Award-winning antivirus software protects your data and devices

Our award-winning antivirus software in McAfee® Total Protection frees you to live your connected life safe from threats like ransomware, malware, phishing, and more.



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Introductory pricing for new customers

*First year price. See offer details

Windows® | macOS® | Android™ | iOS®

How does McAfee antivirus secure your devices?

Fast solution
Real-time threat protection

24/7 protection for everyone’s devices from ever-evolving malware and online threats.

Easy to use
Easy to use

Connect all your computers and smartphones and easily manage them from a single dashboard.

Leader in consumer security

Trusted protection for over 600 million devices. Keeping you safer online is what we do best.

Virus Protection Pledge

100% guarantee we’ll remove viruses on your devices, or we’ll give you your money back.**

*First year price. Introductory Pricing for New Customers. See offer details.

Windows® | macOS® | Android™ | iOS®

We’ve got your back

Guided, personalized online protection that makes being safe simple, wherever you are.

Committed to excellence

All the confidence you need

You do you and we’ll protect the rest with our purchase and protection guarantees.
And if you have any questions, our security experts are available to help.

Our virus protection

We pledge to remove viruses on your devices or give you your money back, 100% guaranteed.**

30-day money back guarantee

If you’re not completely satisfied, we’ll be more than happy to give you a prompt and courteous refund.

Security Experts & Online Support

Get assistance and peace of mind from our dedicated security team and support knowledgebase.

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What is antivirus?

An antivirus is a software program used to prevent, detect, and eliminate malware and viruses. It works for all types of devices, such as desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. An antivirus usually runs in the background to provide real-time protection without interfering with your browsing experience.  


Many antivirus programs include additional features to keep your computer optimized and resource consumption at a minimum. Here are the main features of an antivirus: 

Malware detection, quarantine, and removal 
Real-time, on-demand, and scheduled scanning of files and applications  
Advanced firewall for home network security
Free vs Paid Antivirus

What is the difference between paid and free antivirus?

Usually, free antivirus software offers baseline malware protection that may not be sufficient to combat the ever-evolving threat landscape. This is particularly true when it comes to the wide variety of zero-day threats and digital threats that go beyond just antivirus. Some features may be limited in use – even worse, some free programs can even gather your personal data in exchange for their services.

On the other hand, paid antivirus subscriptions give you up-to-date, advanced security protection against a wide variety of malware and digital threats. Paid solutions also tend to come with richer features and services. For example, McAfee® Total Protection includes identity protection and a VPN to protect your personal info.

Rest assured that with our free 30-day trial you’ll get all the features of our flagship product, including antivirus, web protection, password manager, and more. Take advantage of our free trial and gain greater peace of mind every time you use your devices.

Free vs Paid Antivirus

Knowing when a site is spoofed

Have you ever received a congratulatory text about a contest you never entered? Or maybe gotten a poorly drafted email from your bank about an overdue bill you know nothing about? These, and the infamous Nigerian Prince messages, are examples of phishing. Phishing is a tactic used by cybercriminals to mislead you into thinking you’re about to engage in a legitimate transaction. In reality, you may be about to enter your banking credentials or credit card into a fake site.

If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of some links or emails, you can type the address of a website directly into your browser instead of clicking the link you were sent. Checking the domain (or .com) that the email was sent from is another good practice. These simple steps can help you stay ahead of website spoofing or URL spoofing.

With McAfee® Web Protection, you can sidestep malicious sites with clear warnings of risky websites, links, and file downloads.

Spoofed Website

How does an antivirus detect emerging malware and threats?

Security tools of the past relied on manually gathering malware definitions (the different types of malicious software that had been found in the wild, like viruses, ransomware and spyware). As threats have advanced in nature and complexity, industry-leading antivirus software like McAfee Total Protection, also quickly developed to stay ahead of cybercriminals. At McAfee, we use strategies like behavioral detection and machine learning to ensure we can detect, isolate, and eliminate all recognized malware and even zero-day digital threats (brand new threats that haven't been seen before) to keep you safe online.

Protect your data

5 signs that your device may be infected

Depending on the type of malware, your device may exhibit varying behavior. For example:

  • Screen takeover – a screen filled with a matrix of numbers or skull-and-crossbones accompanied by ransom instructions are consistent with being infected by ransomware. 
  • Spikes in data usage - if your data usage is increasing but you're not sure why, malware may be to blame. It's possible that a program is running in the background and transmitting your sensitive information to cybercriminals.
  • Browser pop-ups - while in general pop-up ads are just annoying, if you’re seeing these ads when your browser is closed, you could be dealing with malware. 
  • Overheating - phones and computers are high-performance devices, but if your device unexpectedly gets hot while idle, it’s possible that malware could be stealing performance from that device and using those resources for cryptomining.
  • Faster battery drain - similar to overheating, if your battery life becomes unexpectedly short, it could be because malware is running in the background and draining your power. 

With all the advances in phishing attacks and malware, bad actors no longer need physical access to your devices to wreak havoc. For example, an intruder could sign into your accounts as you, spam your contacts with phishing attacks, add new mobile lines, and even request new credit cards. The good news is that many of these attacks can be avoided with strong security software that can prevent these intrusions before they can cause any harm.



These answers might help.

Malware is a term for any type of malicious software, regardless of how it works, its intent or how it’s distributed. A virus is a specific type of malware that self-replicates by inserting its code into other programs. There are many ways cybercriminals distribute malware and viruses, but the most common are malicious emails and websites.

Fake antivirus software is one of the most persistent threats on the internet today. Masquerading as legitimate antivirus software, these malicious programs extort money from you to “fix” your computer. This new “antivirus” program even disables legitimate security software that you already have, leaving you exposed to real threats. These rogue programs catch unsuspecting users by displaying a browser popup that warns you that your computer may be infected, and that you need to download a (fake) security software to fix the problem.

This type of malware is often referred to as “scareware” since the pop-ups use messages like “You have a virus,” as a way to get you to click. Most of us are eager to get rid of any potential problems as quickly as possible, which opens a huge window of opportunity for these bad actors. If successful, the cybercriminals get your credit card details and other personal information, and you get nothing but malware in return.

When you purchase a qualifying McAfee antivirus suite and opt-in for automatic renewal, you will gain access to our Virus Protection Pledge. With this, you have our 100% guarantee that if a supported device gets a virus, a McAfee expert will remove it. If we can’t, we will offer a refund on your purchase price. From the moment you subscribe, you can rest easy knowing that we’re here to help keep your devices virus-free with our multi-layered protection. Learn more about our pledge here.

McAfee products offer real-time, on-demand, and scheduled scanning, allowing you to automatically or manually scan your device for malware and other threats while keeping your data private and protected. Our antivirus software also includes identity monitoring and VPN.

Installing and downloading McAfee

Only install a safe and legitimate McAfee antivirus product purchased through our website, partner outlets, or legitimate application stores. Our free trial instantly provides basic protection after download and installation. You can get a free trial here. Our premium antivirus products can be purchased online and easily activated at McAfee.com/activate with the product code and your email. After you have installed the product, you can follow the steps that appear on your device as we help you improve your online protection.

Scanning for threats using McAfee’s antivirus

Once installed, McAfee gives you real-time protection against malware, ransomware, spyware, and more. You can initiate an automatic or manual virus scan through our Real-Time Scanning, an active scanning process that happens in the background while you use your device; On-Demand Scanning, a quick scan of your drives and folders; or Scheduled Scanning, an initiated scan at a predetermined time. We recommend scheduling regular scans, so you don’t have to worry about manually scanning your device for threats. If anything’s amiss, we’ll inform you right away and take the necessary steps to isolate and remove threats, and ultimately secure your device.

You may request a full refund via phone by contacting Customer Support or via an online request by accessing your My Account page within 30 days of initial purchase or within 60 days of automatic renewal. You may also be entitled to a pro-rated refund outside this window. See the Refund Policy for details.

  1. Log in to your McAfee account.
  2. At the top of your My Account page, select Account, and then click Auto-Renewal Settings.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to turn auto-renew on or off.

Get more info · Log in and get started


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