How to Turn Off McAfee Antivirus in Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Turning off McAfee Antivirus in Windows 11 might be necessary for various reasons, such as troubleshooting or installing another software. To achieve this, you’ll need to disable the real-time scanning feature temporarily or turn off the antivirus completely. This guide will walk you through the process step by step.

How to Turn Off McAfee Antivirus in Windows 11

Before jumping into the steps, remember that disabling McAfee Antivirus will leave your computer vulnerable to threats. The following steps will guide you on how to disable McAfee Antivirus temporarily.

Step 1: Open McAfee Antivirus

Locate the McAfee icon in your system tray and double-click it. This action will open the McAfee dashboard.

If you can’t find the icon in the system tray, use the search bar in the Start menu to look for McAfee. Once you locate it, click to open.

Step 2: Access Real-Time Scanning

Navigate to the Real-Time Scanning option in the McAfee dashboard. Click it to proceed.

Real-Time Scanning is the feature that actively monitors your system for threats. Turning it off will effectively disable the antivirus temporarily.

Step 3: Turn Off Real-Time Scanning

Click the Turn Off button next to Real-Time Scanning. You will be prompted to select the duration for which you want to disable it.

Choose a reasonable time frame for your needs. McAfee will automatically re-enable the scanning after this period.

Step 4: Confirm Your Choice

A confirmation window will pop up. Confirm that you want to turn off the feature by clicking the appropriate button.

Make sure to read any warnings so you are aware of the risks involved in turning off the antivirus.

Step 5: Verify the Status

Go back to the McAfee dashboard to ensure that Real-Time Scanning is turned off. The status should now show as disabled.

Double-checking the status ensures that you’ve successfully turned off the antivirus.

After you complete these steps, your McAfee Antivirus will be turned off for the specified duration. This allows you to proceed with any tasks that required the antivirus to be disabled, such as software installation or troubleshooting.

Tips for Turning Off McAfee Antivirus in Windows 11

  • Always re-enable McAfee Antivirus as soon as you’re done with your task to keep your computer protected.
  • Avoid downloading files or browsing suspicious websites while your antivirus is turned off.
  • Use the shortest duration possible for disabling real-time scanning.
  • Keep your system updated to minimize vulnerabilities.
  • Consider switching to another antivirus if you frequently need to disable McAfee.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why would I need to turn off McAfee Antivirus?

You might need to disable it temporarily to install new software or troubleshoot system issues.

Is it safe to turn off McAfee Antivirus?

It’s safe for short periods, but it leaves your system vulnerable to threats. Always re-enable it as soon as possible.

Can I turn off McAfee Antivirus permanently?

While you can disable it, McAfee will prompt you to turn it back on. Permanent disabling is not recommended.

How do I know if McAfee Antivirus is turned off?

You can check the status in the McAfee dashboard. Real-Time Scanning should show as disabled.

What happens if I forget to turn it back on?

Your system remains unprotected from viruses and malware, making it susceptible to attacks.


  1. Open McAfee Antivirus.
  2. Access Real-Time Scanning.
  3. Turn Off Real-Time Scanning.
  4. Confirm Your Choice.
  5. Verify the Status.


Turning off McAfee Antivirus in Windows 11 is something you might need to do for various reasons like troubleshooting or installing new software. While it’s a straightforward process, it’s crucial to understand the risks involved. Always remember to re-enable your antivirus as soon as you’re done with the task to keep your computer protected. For further reading, consider researching the importance of antivirus software and how to choose the best one for your needs. If you found this guide helpful, consider sharing it with others who may benefit from knowing how to turn off McAfee Antivirus in Windows 11.