Do I really need McAfee on my new laptop?
August 22, 2019 12:04 PM   Subscribe

I recently purchased a Lenovo ideapad 330. Ever since setup, McAfee popups have been trying to browbeat me into subscribing, but my understanding was that Lenovo 330s came with Windows Defender, but I'm not finding that when I search my computer? Suggestions?
posted by DrAstroZoom to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Uninstall it and use Windows Defender! Windows Defender is built into the OS so you can get to it through Settings > Update and Security > Windows Security. Also I think once you uninstall McAfee the OS will prompt you to set up antivirus and the default action will be to enable Windows Defender.
posted by implied_otter at 12:13 PM on August 22, 2019 [20 favorites]

Do I really need McAfee on my new laptop?

With or without WD, no, you do not.
posted by Melismata at 12:15 PM on August 22, 2019 [21 favorites]

The first thing I do with any new PC is to check if McAfee or Norton are installed, then remove them. I've been doing a certain amount of tech support for friends and relatives for many years (as well as for work) and these two products cause more problems than any other I've encountered. implied_otter's advice is therefore seconded.
posted by pipeski at 12:41 PM on August 22, 2019 [10 favorites]

McAfee is terrible. Kill it with prejudice.

Personally, I like Bitdefender (and Commodo firewall) enough that I actually shelled out money for it - my first paid antivirus ever.
posted by porpoise at 12:56 PM on August 22, 2019 [5 favorites]

John McAfee himself posted a video on how to remove it.
posted by Sophont at 1:05 PM on August 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Nope. And like others, I really like Windows Defender. And it routinely scores well (usually at the top) on av-test's scoring.
posted by deezil at 1:15 PM on August 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

I had the same issue on a new work computer, which was also an IdeaPad 330 and also came with McAfee preinstalled and the endless popups saying that the computer would be unprotected in X days unless I paid up now. I removed McAfee and the computer sped up, with no more popups.

It was a work machine, so I wasn't surfing random websites or opening suspect emails with it, but I never had a problem just using Windows Defender.
posted by winterhill at 1:25 PM on August 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Windows Defender is sufficient for real-time protection and virus scans. If you want to get really paranoid, then you can pair it with Malwarebytes to do manual scans for the very small number of things that Defender doesn't cover.

All other third-party anti-virus software is a complete scam at this point.
posted by tobascodagama at 2:20 PM on August 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

Read IT security blogs and listen to the SANS Internet Storm Center podcast.
You’ll be shocked how often antivirus and anti malware software is a source of some shockingly stupid vulnerabilities.
posted by shorstenbach at 2:42 PM on August 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Hell no.
posted by spitbull at 4:10 PM on August 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

By design, Defender is default in Windows and hides when other anti-virus programs are installed. When you uninstall, Defender comes out of hiding and goes to work. Combined with wise choices in where you browse/what email you open, Defender is more than adequate to protect your machine.
posted by lhauser at 6:56 PM on August 22, 2019 [3 favorites]

The publishers of McAfee almost certainly paid Lenovo to include their software in the install image for your laptop -- Lenovo did not provide it out of the kindness of their heart and the McAfee publishers did it because they expected to extract money from you.

As others have said, get rid of it without the faintest hint of regret. It's there to attempt to extort money from you AND it's bad software on top of that.
posted by Nerd of the North at 10:22 PM on August 22, 2019 [3 favorites]

Thanks everyone.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 11:41 PM on August 22, 2019

McAfee is terrible. Kill it with prejudice.

Couldn't agree more.
posted by Crystal Fox at 1:26 AM on August 23, 2019

Nuke and pave. If your laptop came with McAfee preinstalled, it also came with a bunch of other bloatware you don't want or need. Doing a clean Windows 10 install is really easy these days, and you'll spare yourself an endless doomed quest to uninstall all the garbage.

And no, you don't need McAfee (nor any other AV apart from -- arguably -- Windows defender). Minimize your attack surface by not running program binaries from untrusted sources, and you'll be fine.
posted by sourcequench at 6:02 AM on August 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

FYI -- I use (and prefer) BitDefender (free version) and today I noticed that even with BitDefender installed and running, there is now an option to have Windows Defender scan periodically. It's probably overkill for most users, but just sharing.
posted by sm1tten at 2:28 PM on August 23, 2019

« Older Will these urine test strips still be accurate?   |   Help me find the right kind of musical showing off Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments