How Do I Disable Norton Antivirus?

By Elizabeth Wolfenden

Although many people agree that Norton Antivirus software is an effective virus protection program, there may be some instances whene you need to temporarily disable the program. Sometimes there is a conflict between Norton Antivirus and a computer game or new software installation. There are two main ways to disable the program, and which one you decide to use may depend in part on which version of Norton Antivirus you have installed on your computer.

Via Norton

Unlike previous versions of Norton Antivirus, some later versions will allow you to disable the program directly from the Norton program itself. You can do this one of two ways. The first option is to locate the Norton Antivirus icon on the Quick Start portion of the task bar at the bottom of your computer screen. Then, simply right-click on the icon and select the "Disable Norton Auto-Protect" option. The second option involves opening the Norton Antivirus program, going to the settings menu and unchecking the box next to the "Smart Firewall" option.

Via System Configuration

If you have an older version of Norton Antivirus that does not allow you to disable the program using the method above, you can also disable the program via System Configuration. First, make sure you are logged into Windows and click the "Start" menu. (If you are running Windows XP or earlier versions, click the "Run" option. If you are running Vista, simply locate the search bar at the bottom.) Type in msconfig and hit enter, which will open the System Configuration dialogue box. Clicking on the "Startup" tab will bring up a long list of everything that automatically starts when the computer is turned on. Simply uncheck all of the boxes that have the manufacturer Symantec Corporation listed next to it. Be careful to only uncheck these boxes, as clicking the wrong boxes may cause your computer not to work properly. When you are finished unchecking the boxes, click the "OK" button, then click "Restart Now" when prompted by the next window. When you log back onto the computer, you should find that Norton Antivirus is no longer running automatically. In order to enable Norton Antivirus once again, simply repeat the above process but check the boxes listed next to Symantec Corporation instead of unchecking them.