McAfee Virus Popup

McAfee virus popup

The McAfee virus popup is a type of online scam intended to trick users into visiting a phishing webpage and providing their personal details. The McAfee popup isn’t related to the legitimate McAfee antivirus – it simply uses this name to mislead its victims.

The McAfee popup can be encountered on any browser, operating system, and device. You can see it on Windows computers, Android smartphones, iPhones, and Macs. The way the scam works and its end goal largely remain the same regardless of what device is being targeted. There are, however, different ways you could get exposed to the McAfee virus popup scam. The typical way people get exposed to this scam is through questionable and unreliable websites. Once you visit such a site, its pages would either automatically generate the deceitful pop-up or spam it on your screen once you interact with some (any) element of the rogue webpage that you are on. Once the pop-up appears on the screen, some users may fall for what’s written on it and click it, which would get them redirected to the scammer’s page. On that page, the user would normally be required to enter some personal details under a false premise and submit them. If the victim falls for the scam and submits whatever details are requested on the phishing page, those details would immediately be saved on the scammer’s server, and from that point on, the user’s personal information could get used in a wide variety of harmful ways. One of the more straightforward examples is that the scammer can use the victim’s credit or debit card credentials that the latter has submitted on the phishing page to steal money from their banking account.

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McAfee popup scam

The McAfee popup scam is a commonly encountered criminal online scheme aimed at tricking users into submitting sensitive personal details. The McAfee popup uses the name of the popular antivirus program to seem more believable and thus lures more users into its scheme.

The good news is that even inexperienced users should be able to see that this popup is a scam from a mile away. In general, most online users know not to trust random sketchy-looking pop-ups that show up out of nowhere, even if they use the name of a popular antivirus solution. If the McAfee popup showing up on your screen was an isolated occurrence, then you can simply ignore it and close the online page that has spawned it on your screen. However, if you keep seeing such pop-ups in your browser or even in your calendar if you are using an iPhone, then you will have to do something about it. In most cases, the reason people keep seeing such pop-ups on their screens is that they have inadvertently and unknowingly given their permission to some rogue site to show notifications in their browser and now those notifications simply won’t stop appearing. Oftentimes, the aggressive pop-ups may even show on the screen when the browser is closed. Though rarely, the cause of the constant appearance of such pop-ups could be a rogue application installed in the device. However, it is much more common for users to have simply allowed a certain questionable website to put notifications in their browsers, which is something that can be easily dealt with.

Fake McAfee popup

The fake McAfee popup is a type of online scam aimed at making the victim think that their McAfee subscription has expired and/or that the device is being attacked by malware. Users should ignore the fake McAfee popup and eliminate its source.

If you are seeing such pop-ups on your device, it is critical that you do not interact with them or with the web pages that they may redirect you to. Even if you have the McAfee antivirus on your device, the program would never use such pop-ups to get you to renew your subscription or to warn you about malware attacks.

The best course of action if you keep seeing these McAfee pop-ups is to find what their source is and eliminate it. As mentioned earlier, a certain site has most likely gained your permission to show pop-ups and notifications on your device (even when the browser is closed). To deal with this issue, you need to go to each of your browsers and check their notifications settings. Most likely, there, you will find that some obscure and unreliable site has permission to show pop-ups on your screen – taking away this permission from that site or, better yet, blocking the site, would most likely solve the problem. It is also a good idea to check what extensions the browser has and uninstall anything that seems unwanted or questionable, especially if you don’t remember installing it.

One thing we need to add here is that some iOS users encounter unpleasant McAfee pop-ups in their devices’ calendars. iOS calendar spam is a common way of exposing users to different types of online scams, and it seems that this also applies to the McAfee pop-up. If you are an iPhone or iPad user and keep getting McAfee calendar spam notifications, know that this is virtually the same thing that we’ve been describing in this post, so you should ignore the notifications and make sure to get them to stop showing up in the future.

In the removal guide below, we will show you how to make the McAfee notifications stop in the most popular desktop browsers and in the iOS calendar app.

McAfee popup removal

The McAfee popup removal can be performed by going to each of your browsers and removing from them any rogue and suspicious extensions. Next, to complete the McAfee popup removal, you also need to block any questionable sites that have notifications permissions in the browser.

Delete undesired programs/apps

Before trying to clean your browsers, we advise you to check your system for any unwanted apps or programs – in some cases, a rogue piece of software installed on the computer could be the cause for annoying pop-ups such as the McAfee one to appear on the screen. Therefore, we advise you to perform the following steps for your device to ensure there aren’t any unwanted programs/apps installed on it.

For Windows PC

  1. Open the Start Menu and type in its search bar appwiz.cpl.
  2. Press Enter and check the items shown in the Programs and Features list – look for anything that has been installed recently and that may be unwanted and linked to the aggressive pop-ups. We recommend sorting the items in the list by installation date to make the search easier.
  3. If you find anything you think shouldn’t be on your computer, right click it and select Uninstall. After that, follow the on-screen uninstallation prompts to complete the removal. While uninstalling the program, pay close attention to the uninstallation settings and use the ones that will ensure that everything from the program gets erased from your PC.

For Mac

  1. Open a Finder window and click on Applications in the left panel.
  2. Look for suspicious and untrusted apps in the Applications folder, especially ones that have been downloaded from third-party sources and not from the Mac App Store.
  3. If you find anything that might be unwanted, drag-and-drop its icon to the Trash/Bin or right-click it and select Move to Trash/Bin.

For Android devices

  1. On your Android device, go to Settings and find and open the Apps/Applications section.
  2. Tap on Manage Apps (or a similarly-named button).
  3. Sort the apps by their installation date.
  4. Look for a recently-installed app that you think may be causing the pop-ups to appear, and tap on it.
  5. Tap on Uninstall and confirm the uninstallation.

For iOS devices

  1. Look through the apps on your iPhone for an application that may be triggering the pop-ups.
  2. If you find such an app, touch it and hold the touch until a Remove button appears.
  3. Tap on Remove and then tap on Delete app.
  4. Confirm the deletion by tapping Delete.

If you want to be certain that there’s no rogue or unwanted software on your device, we also recommend using the advanced removal program that you can find linked on this page. It can find and eliminate any unwanted app that may be causing the aggressive McAfee scam pop-ups to appear.

Cleaning your browsers


We will give you instructions on how to make the pop-ups stop in Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera. If you are using a different browser, know that the way to clean it would likely be very similar to the instructions shown for the browsers mentioned here. At the end of the guide, we will also explain how to clean your iOS Calendar so that it no longer gets fake McAfee notifications.


  1. Start Opera, click the red O icon in the top-left, click Extensions, and then click Extensions again in the side-menu.
  2. Look at what extensions are installed in your Opera browser and if you notice anything that you think shouldn’t be there, click the Toggle button to disable it and immediately after that, click the X button for that extension to delete it.
    Opera 2
  3. Click the Opera menu again, and go to Settings.
  4. In the Settings page search bar, type Site Settings and click on the Site Settings section.
    Opera 1
  5. Next, scroll down and find and select the Notifications button.
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  6. See what sites are listed under the Allow to send notifications section (you may need to scroll down) and if any of them seem suspicious or unknown, click the three dots icon for that site and click the Block option. Do this with every site listed there that you do not trust. If you are unsure which sites to block, simply block all of them.
    Opera 4


  1. Once in Chrome, you need to click the three dots in the top-right, then select More Tools, and click Extensions.
  2. On the extensions page, search for unknown and questionable entries and if you find anything, click its toggle button and right after that click Remove.
    Chrome 1
  3. Open the menu again, and click on Settings.
  4. Go to Privacy and security (left panel), then select Site Settings, scroll down a bit, and click on Notifications.
    Chrome 2
  5. Find the Allowed to send notifications section and see what sites are shown below it. If any of them seem untrusted, click the three dots next to them and select Block. If unsure, you can simply block all sites in that section.
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  1. After you open the Firefox browser, go to its menu (three parallel lines in the top-right), and click on Add-ons.
    Firefox 1 1
  2. On the page with Firefox add-ons, look for questionable apps and if you think any of the one listed there may be causing the scam pop-ups, click their respective toggle buttons, then select the three dots icon for the extensions, and click Remove.
    Firefox 2
  3. Now go to Settings from the Firefox menu, click Privacy & Security from the left panel, scroll down to the Permissions section, and click the Settings button next to Notifications.
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  4. If any of the sites listed in the window that opens look suspicious, make sure that their status is set to Blocked. If you don’t know which sites should be blocked, simply block all of them.
    Firefox 4


  1. Start Safari, click the Safari menu from the menu bar, and open Extensions.
    Screenshot 2021 11 18 At 15.35.16
  2. Delete any items shown on the extensions page of Safari that you think are questionable and unwanted (you will probably not find any such items, as Safari browsers rarely get any rogue extensions added to them).
  3. Click the Safari menu again, open Preferences, and click on the Websites tab.
    Screenshot 2021 11 18 At 15.35.23
  4. In the left panel, find and click the Notifications button.
  5. In the right panel, look at what sites are listed there and if among them, you see any questionable and untrusted ones, select them, and click the Remove button below the list. If you are unsure about which sites to remove from the list, simply remove all of them.
    Screenshot 2021 11 18 At 15.36.14

Cleaning the Calendar app on iOS devices

  1. If your device is running on iOS 13 or earlier, open the Settings app on your iOS device, and go to Passwords & Accounts > Accounts. If the device is on iOS 14 or later, go to Settings > Calendar > Accounts.
  2. See if there are user accounts listed there that you do not recognize, and if you find any, delete them.
  3. Next, open the Calendar app, find one of the McAfee spam events, and tap on it.
  4. Now tap the Unsubscribe from this Calendar option shown at the bottom of your screen, and confirm the action by selecting Unsubscribe. This should delete all spam events coming from the McAfee spam scheme.

About the author


Brandon Skies

Brandon is a researcher and content creator in the fields of cyber-security and virtual privacy. Years of experience enable him to provide readers with important information and adequate solutions for the latest software and malware problems.

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