Removing Symantec Scan Engine 5.x when Add/Remove programs does not work on Windows 2000 & Windows 2003 Server.

Article:TECH160982  |  Created: 2011-05-26  |  Updated: 2013-02-12  |  Article URL
Article Type
Technical Solution




You are not able to remove Symantec Scan Engine from Add/remove programs.


 Symantec recommends uninstalling Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine 5.x through Add/Remove programs or the Start menu.

To Remove Symantec Antivirus Scan Engine manually on Windows based computer.

  1. On the Windows taskbar click Start > Program > Administrative Tools > Services.
  2. In the right pane, right-click Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine service > Stop.

To edit the registry and remove the Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine keys

  1. Exit all programs.
  2. On the Windows taskbar, click Start > Run.
  3. In the Run dialog box, type the following:
    Click OK.
  4. Navigate to the following registry keys:
  5. Remove Symantec Scan Engine keys from the registry:
    WARNING : make a backup of the registry keys before deleting them.
    • Open the registry the registry editor.
    • Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Symantec
    • If no other Symantec products are installed remove the sub-keys under Symantec
    • If other Symantec products are installed: remove the Symantec Scan Engine string from the “InstalledApps” key.
    • Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services
    • Remove the symcscan key

To remove Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine files and folders

  1. On the Windows taskbar, click Start >
  2. Navigate to the following locations, right-click each, and then click Delete.
    <Drive>\Program Files\Symantec\Scan Engine
    <Drive>\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\Licenses -- Only delete if no other Symantec program installed.
    <Drive>\Program Files\Common Files\Virus Defs -- Only delete the Virus Defs folder if no other Symantec program installed.

NOTE: In case these folders cannot be removed (because they are still in use), reboot the machine and try again

In some cases it might be necessary to follow a few extra steps to ensure a clean uninstall.

Remove Symantec Scan Engine remnants from the Installer folder:
From C:\Windows\Installer, remove all files and subfolders that refer to Symantec Scan Engine.

If the folder Installer is not visible, do the following:

WARNING : It is recommended to keep the Installer folder hidden!

  1. Go to the File menu
  2. Select Tools
  3. Select Folder Options
  4. Select the tab View
  5. Uncheck “Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)”
  6. Click “Yes” for the warning that appears.
  7. Click “OK”
  8. The folder Installer should now be visible

Clear the Temp folders from Symantec Scan Engine-related files
In case a reinstall is considered, clear the Temp folders from Symantec Scan Engine traces. These temp folders can typically be found in

      C:\Documents and Settings\<Logon account>\Local Settings\temp

Reboot the computer.


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