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OSX McAfee Removal

Removal of McAfee from OSX

Note: This was written in 2015, it may be out of date now.

There are a lot of commands here which I use sudo if you don't know what you're doing with sudo, especially where I rm you can severely screw up your system.

There are many reasons which you would want to remove a piece of software such as McAfee, such as not wanting it to hammer your CPU during work hours which seems like primetime for a virus scan.

I intend this to be a living document, I have included suggestions from peoples' replies.


You can attempt to uninstall, but it may not work randomly. There's an uninstaller you can download, it never worked properly for me.

Per @ryenus try:


Per @mirnujAtom try:

sudo /usr/local/McAfee/uninstall EPM

Per @javaswinger try any or all of the following:

All Modules

sudo /usr/local/McAfee/uninstall EPM

Threat Prevention Module

sudo /usr/local/McAfee/uninstall ThreatPrevention

Firewall Module

sudo /usr/local/McAfee/uninstall Firewall

Web Control Module

sudo /usr/local/McAfee/uninstall WebControl

launchd Services

There are both local and root level launchd services. Thanks @rynosoft for finding some more which I missed.

Local User Level

launchctl stop com.mcafee.menulet
launchctl stop com.mcafee.reporter

launchctl remove com.mcafee.menulet
launchctl remove com.mcafee.reporter

Root Level

sudo su -

launchctl stop com.mcafee.virusscan.fmpd
launchctl stop com.mcafee.ssm.ScanManager
launchctl stop com.mcafee.virusscan.ssm.ScanFactory
launchctl stop com.mcafee.ssm.Eupdate
launchctl stop com.mcafee.agent.macompat
launchctl stop
launchctl stop com.mcafee.agent.macmn

launchctl remove com.mcafee.virusscan.fmpd
launchctl remove com.mcafee.ssm.ScanManager
launchctl remove com.mcafee.virusscan.ssm.ScanFactory
launchctl remove com.mcafee.ssm.Eupdate
launchctl remove com.mcafee.agent.macompat
launchctl remove
launchctl remove com.mcafee.agent.macmn

Finding More Services

As this document may be out of date by the time you find it, try these to find more mcafee garbage.

launchctl list | grep mcafee
sudo launchctl list | grep mcafee

You can use similar steps as above to stop and remove them.


Aside from the services, there will be a shit-ton of files left on the file system.

You can search and destroy mcafee stuff with this:

find / -name "com.mcafee*" -exec rm {} \; -print

You may not have access to all of those files, you can sudo find... to elevate your privileges.

Per @jlevy if you are using TimeMachine, you'll want to ignore those back-ups.

sudo find / -name "*MobileBackup*" -prune -or -name "com.mcafee*" -print > /tmp/to-delete

You can cat /tmp/to-delete to show what you should delete.

Per @javaswinger consider finding just *mcafee* instead of com.mcafee* for a more complete list.

sudo find / -type f -name '*mcafee*' -print

Fix McAfee Runaway Process

Per @TimLethbridge you can fix mcafee's runaway process by modifying some permissions.

cd /usr/local
sudo chown -R root McAfee
sudo reboot

Block Corp Policies

@alexellis asked how to block corp policies from re-installing McAfee.

This is outside of the scope of this document. If you are on a corporate network screwing around with policies may result in a strong lecture or even cost you your job, depending on your field.

I have some theories involving setting up non-domain level users on the system, but I don't have a lab to do the testing and I primarily use Linux now, so I don't care enough try it.

Remove Provisioning Tool

Per @dneto82

rm /Applications/Utilities/McAfee\ ePO\ Remote\ Provisioning\


Fuck McAfee.

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stran12 commented Nov 28, 2017

Thank you!!

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pjobson commented Feb 4, 2018

I'm so happy that so many people are enjoying this gist!

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You have no idea, my friend! I develop for iOS and Android and McAfee seems as if it's personally trying to stop me from being able to be productive. Even turning it off, moments later it would come right back on again. This however seems to have done the trick. It's odd being able to use your CPU to it's true capacity for actual compilation and not checking yet again the same $@#@#% files to see if there's a virus every freaking time I try and build.

TLDR: Thank you, kind sir. Thank you a thousand times over.

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Love it.!

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If you just want to stop McAfee without uninstalling (i.e. it's not yours to uninstall) but have root access you can do the following:

sudo launchctl unload /Library/LaunchDaemons/*mcafee*
sudo /usr/local/McAfee/AntiMalware/VSControl stopoas

The important part is that you unload all the daemons not just stop them. Unloading will disable them until you restart.

One of those daemons is the McAfee agent, which is the daemon the listens to the enterprise server (if you have an enterprise deployment) and will restart everything according to the server's instructions. If you don't stop this, all the services will reactive when it checks again.

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The fact this exists brings my hope in humanity back. Thank you!
I modified the find command a bit to be case insensitive and look for all mcafee occurrences to find things like /usr/local/McAfee
It will fail on directories, but will output the message that you can then use to rm -rf manually.

sudo find / -iname "*mcafee*" -exec rm {} \; -print

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You have done a great service for the world. Thank you!

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This script made by someone on the McAfee forums in 2016 has never failed me, even with Big Sur in 2021.
in article

If it doesn't run you have to make sure to set executable permissions on the file with "sudo chmod 755"
Copy file to computer, open terminal, go to folder, sudo chmod 755, sudo ./
It outputs a log of what it does, and usually is removing the same LaunchAgents and LaunchDaemons this post reports.

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pjobson commented Apr 16, 2021

Thanks for the feedback @ryanturcotte !

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dneto82 commented Apr 18, 2021

Thanks for amazing service! Still working to remove this cancer of your computer.

Just want to add:

rm /Applications/Utilities/McAfee\ ePO\ Remote\ Provisioning\

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pjobson commented Apr 18, 2021

Thanks @dneto82!

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Thank you 🙏

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maksymx commented Oct 27, 2022

Thank you very much @pjobson

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If you want to stop or start DLP (Data Lost Prevention)

Stop DLP
sh /usr/local/McAfee/DlpAgent/bin/ stop

Start DLP
sh /usr/local/McAfee/DlpAgent/bin/ start

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pjobson commented Mar 26, 2024

Thanks for the update @amaydiam ! I haven't thought about this gist for years.

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