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Uninstall Symantec AV with an unknown password

November 15th, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

Here is a tip to uninstall Symantec Antivirus (I use the corporate edition) when the uninstall password has been forgotten (NOTE: the default password is symantec) OR you are using a Symantec Antivirus Server to manage clients and the server has been reinstalled or corrupted thus losing the server group root certificate (stored in the 'pki' folder located in C:\Program Files\Symantec AntiVirus, this should always be backed up!).

1. Open the registry editor on the client (regedit)

2. Find the following registry key:


3. Change the data stored within the UseVPUninstallPassword value from 1 to 0

4. Clost regedit and try uninstalling Symantec Antivirus from the client. It should now uninstall without prompting for the password.

You can alternatively make the Registry key change (I.e. perform all of the above steps) by saving the following file to your computer, double clicking the file and merging the contents with your registry:

Download Here (you may need to right click this link and use "save as" to save it)

In a situation where you are running a Symantec Antivirus Server managing clients you will probably want to script the registry key change through a start-up script.

  1. Abbas Azimi
    July 20th, 2008 at 07:33 | #1

    would you please leave the script here?
    I'm running a Symantec Antivirus Server managing clients and I need to script the registry key change through a start-up script. But I don't know HOW?

  2. James Clements
    July 31st, 2008 at 09:42 | #2

    Hi Abbas,

    The easiest way to do this off the top of my head is to save the following line of text in a .bat file and get your clients to run the bat file during startup (using group policy):

    reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\INTEL\LANDesk\VirusProtect6\CurrentVersion\AdministratorOnly\Security /f /v UseVPUninstallPassword /t REG_DWORD /d 0

    That will add the registry key for you so that the clients will then be able to uninstall the product without prompting for a password.

  3. Joe
    July 31st, 2008 at 13:29 | #3

    Perfect! Fix worked great, very straightforward. Thank you!

  4. andrew tyldesley
    October 9th, 2008 at 11:07 | #4

    I am trying to uninstall symantec antivirus with no password. I really am a layman. Can you explain in simple terms your suggested steps please.

  5. James Clements
    October 10th, 2008 at 10:44 | #5

    Andrew, I have updated this post to include a registry file of the change. You should find this easier to use. Download it using the link above.