Antivirus for Personal Devices | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh
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Antivirus for Personal Devices

The steps on this page provide guidance for personal devices. For more information about University-owned devices, answers to frequently asked questions, guidance for IT support staff in departments, and general information about the antivirus transition, please visit our antivirus transition home page.

Take Action

Please complete the following steps to replace any Pitt-licensed versions of Symantec Endpoint Protection as the antivirus software on your devices.

  1. Uninstall Symantec Endpoint Protection.
  2. Reboot your computer.
  3. Install an alternative antivirus tool as soon as possible after uninstalling Symantec.

Removing Symantec Endpoint Protection

Symantec recommends manually uninstalling Symantec Endpoint Protection using the steps below for your operating system. You need to have administrative privileges on your computer to uninstall Symantec manually.

If you need help uninstalling Symantec Endpoint Protection, please contact your departmental IT staff for assistance or the 24/7 IT Help Desk.

Mac OS

1. Save your work and close any open programs before beginning the uninstallation process.

2. Click the Symantec shield in the top right-hand corner of the menu bar, select Symantec Endpoint Protection, and click Open Symantec Endpoint Protection.

3. Click Symantec Endpoint Protection, then click Uninstall Symantec Endpoint Protection.

4. The "Symantec Endpoint Protection Uninstall" window will appear. Click Uninstall.

5. Enter your local mac username and password when prompted and click OK.

6. When prompted, click the Restart Now button.

7. After the computer reboots, Symantec Endpoint Protection will be uninstalled.

Windows 10

1. Save your work and close any open programs before beginning the uninstallation process.

2. Open the Start menu by clicking the Windows icon in the lower left-hand corner of your screen. 

3. Type Add or remove programs in the search box, then cilck the System Settings option represented by the gear icon.

4. In your list of programs, click Symantec Endpoint Protection and select Uninstall.

5. If prompted, enter your username and password.

6. A notice displays indicating that Symantec is preparing to remove the software.

7. A window displays asking if you want the app to make changes to your device. Click Yes.

8. A window displays indicating the Symantec is gathering required information.

9. If any programs are open, Symantec will display a prompt asking you to close them. Close the program, then click Retry

10. While Symantec is uninstalling, a notification may briefly display with the option to turn on virus protection. Ignore this notification. Virus protection will be turned on automatically after Symantec is fully removed and you restart your computer. 

 

11. When you are prompted to restart your computer, click Yes.

12. After your computer restarts, confirm Symantec Endpoint Protection has been removed. To do so, click the Start menu, type Add or Remove Programs, and press Enter. Browse the list of installed programs to confirm that Symantec Endpoint Protection has been removed.

Windows 8.1

1. Save your work and close any open programs before beginning the uninstallation process

2. Open the Start menu by clicking the Windows icon in the lower left-hand corner of your screen.

3. After the Start menu appears, type “Add or Remove Programs” and click the option named Add or Remove Programs, which should be the first option under the search box

4. In your list of programs, select Symantec Endpoint Protection and select uninstall.

5. You may receive a message stating “Do you want to allow the following program to update software on this computer”. Select Yes.

6. If you are prompted to enter your username or password, please enter them.

7. A message displays indicating that Windows is configuring Symantec. Allow this process to run, and do not cancel it.

8. While Symantec is uninstalling, a notification may briefly display with the option to turn on virus protection and spyware protection. Ignore this notification. Virus protection will be turned on automatically after Symantec is fully removed and you restart your computer.

9.When you are prompted to restart your computer, select Yes.

10. After your computer restarts, confirm Symantec Endpoint Protection has been removed. To do so, open the Start menu by clicking the Windows icon in the lower left-hand corner of your screen. After the Start menu appears, type “Add or Remove Programs” and click the option named Add or Remove Programs, which should be the first option under the search box. Browse the list of installed programs to confirm that Symantec Endpoint Protection has been removed.

Windows 7

1. Save your work and close any open programs before beginning the uninstallation process

2. Click the Start menu and select Control Panel.

3. Click Uninstall a program under Programs.

4. Select Symantec Endpoint Protection and follow the prompts to uninstall.

5. Restart your computer after Symantec is uninstalled.


Installing an Alternative Antivirus Solution

Although Microsoft Defender ATP is not available for students or faculty and staff members with personally-owned devices, the following alternative antivirus solutions provide excellent protection and can be installed at no cost. Select and install one option from the list below:

Other antivirus tools also provide good protection and can be installed at your discretion. View a list of antivirus tools compatible with PittNet VPN (Pulse Secure).  

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Activating Defender for Personal Use

If you choose Windows Defender as your antivirus solution, it may activate automatically after you uninstall Symantec Endpoint Protection on your personal Windows device. However, sometimes an error in the Symantec uninstallation process prevents it from doing so. Take the steps below to ensure Windows Defender is activated:

Windows 10

1. Select Start and click Settings.

2. Scroll down and click Update & Security.

3. Click Windows Security.

4. Click Virus & threat protection.

5. Click Manage settings (or Virus & threat protection settings in previous versions of Windows 10).

6. Ensure Real-time protection is On.

Windows 8.1 and 8

  1. Use the search function to search for Defender. Then, click on Microsoft Defender.
  2. Select the Settings tab.
  3. Check the option, "Turn on real-time protection (recommended)."
  4. Click Save to save changes and complete the process.

Adding Anti-malware Protection

For maximum protection on Windows devices, Pitt IT recommends using Defender for traditional antivirus, combined with Malwarebytes’ anti-exploit system to guard against ransomware and zero-day attacks. Malwarebytes is available for Windows at no cost to students, faculty, and staff through Pitt IT’s Software Download Service. Note that a reboot may be required after installation of these products.

Frequently Asked Questions

Review answers to frequently asked questions about the antivirus transition. If you have a question that isn't answered, please contact the 24/7 IT Help Desk and let us know so that we can add it.

Troubleshooting

If you have problems manually uninstalling Symantec Endpoint Protection, you can download and run the CleanWipe removal tool from the Software Download Service. You need to have administrative privileges on your computer to use CleanWipe, which automatically removes all Symantec products from your device.

Important: Broadcom does not recommend using CleanWipe the first time you have uninstallation trouble. It should be used only as a last resort to remove Symantec products when other uninstallation methods have failed. Consider using CleanWipe only in one of the following scenarios:

  • You have uninstalled Symantec Endpoint Protection from the system and Windows Defender or another antivirus program does not automatically begin working. This indicates the uninstall did not remove all components of Symantec from the system and CleanWipe is needed to fully remove Symantec from the system.
  • You have uninstalled Symantec Endpoint Protection from your device, but errors were reported during the uninstall process. Run CleanWipe to ensure Symantec is fully removed.
  • You receive any errors related to Symantec Endpoint Protection after the uninstall process.
  • All other methods of uninstalling Symantec Endpoint Protection have failed.

Help is Always Available

Please contact the 24/7 IT Help Desk at any time if you have questions or need assistance moving to Microsoft Defender ATP.