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Message 1 of 15

Can't Activate McAfee Total Protection 2014

Hope someone can help.

I've been trying to install McAfee Total Protection 2014 on my father in laws computer for him and although I've managed to install the product it is not letting me activate online.

He previously had McAfee Internet Security installed but got Total Protection 2014 for considerably less than a subscription renewal.

Here's the steps I've gone through so far:

1. Father in Law Installed McAfee Total Protection 2014 from DVD, allowed installer to search for and uninstall previous versions. Product installed but wouldn’t let him activate using activation code / username & password.

2. I said I'd have a look at why it wasn't working. I went to add / remove programs, spotted what appeared to be a different / older version of McAfee. Uninstalled that, still couldn’t activate Total Protection 2014.

3. Decided to uninstall Total Protection 2014 and start from scratch with a clean install. Uninstaller appeared to crash halfway through. After restarting machine could no longer uninstall or reinstall Total Protection 2014.

4. Decided to manually remove all McAfee files from my C:/ drive and in the system registry using RegEdit.

5. Everything seemed to delete okay and I was able to install Total Protection 2014 but again was unable to activate.

6. Used the program uninstaller, which this time didn’t crash and followed up with the McAfee Product Removal Tool as instructed by the McAfee website.

7. Uninstallation appeared successful, installed Total Protection 2014 again, STILL wouldn’t let me activate. After a good few minutes waiting an error message popped up saying 'couldn’t activate product at this time'.

8. Tried using a different email address to activate, still wouldn’t work.

As it stands, Total Protection is installed but working INCREDIBLY SLOWLY. Literally takes minutes for the McAfee control panel window to appear after clicking on the desktop icon and it needs to be activated in 15 days to continue working.

If anyone has any ideas as to what's going on and why I can't activate I'd be greatly appreciative of your help.



14 Replies

Re: Can't Activate McAfee Total Protection 2014

Hello Robert,

One thing to make sure is that the target machine is totally up to date, including IE & its add-ons, whether or not it's being used.

Can you recall what that "a different / older version of McAfee" was called?

As you appear to have done everything right I think you are best advised to go straight to Technical Support.  It's a free phone call, or you can use online chat if you prefer.

See the link under Useful Links at the top of this page.

If at first you don't succeed keep trying and have them escalate the problem to a higher support tier.

Good luck.

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Message 3 of 15

Re: Can't Activate McAfee Total Protection 2014

Hi Peter,

Thanks for the reply.

Actually forgot to mention that in my original thread. Tried doing a Windows update on the machine, had about 15 items that need updating / installing. After downloading them all it couldn't install them, do you think this points to a deeper rooted problem? Virus perhaps blocking everything?

Can't remember the other version of McAfee, wish I could. I really don't think it was the previously installed Internet Security though, something Scan maybe if memory serves.

I've emailed tech support and their solution was to reinstall Internet Security, which isn't a solution to my actual problem, hance me poting here. Will try ringing them perhaps.

Re: Can't Activate McAfee Total Protection 2014

Last things first. Emailing support will get you nowhere's the slowest means of contacting them.  The UK has toll-free phone and online chat support 24/7.  I would go that route.

That "other version" sounds very much like Security Scan Plus which is an annoying little sales tool that installs with, amongst others, most Adobe products (Flash, Reader etc.) unless you keep eyes open for the option and uncheck it.

No harm done there, it's not needed anyway.

Not sure what to suggest regarding stuck updates except to ask on a support forum for that system, what OS & Service Pack is it?  Maybe I can recommend one or two.

Yes it could be an infection, in which case try scanning with a few extra tools such as Stinger, Malwarebytes Free (don't accept the trial to keep it free) and whatever else you choose from the last link in my signature below.

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Message 5 of 15

Re: Can't Activate McAfee Total Protection 2014

To be fair, they actually reply pretty quick but so far not very helpful. My father in law is bringing the PC round on Wednesday so I may ring /online chat when I have the machine in front of me.

Yeah, Security Scan Plus, that could be it.

It's a Win 7 machine, can't check the service pack without it in front of me, will do though.

You've confirmed my next move, was thinking of downloading some free tools to scan for possible problems.

I wondered if it might be worth uninstalling Total Protection again and installing something like AVG free to do a full system scan? Or do you think I'm better with your suggestions.

Re: Can't Activate McAfee Total Protection 2014

They replied, well, I live and I learn...LOL  Still phone/online would be better and get things fixed on the spot, when you have the machine.

There's an excellent Win 7 support forum run by a Microsoft MVP here:  (He also has Vista and Win 8 forums and even one for the future, nineforums).  I can recommend that for help.

Also you should note that Microsoft provides free support for update issues.   It's one of the few times they do provide support free of charge.

Yes try some of those tools, when you get the machine of course.

Regarding your last line, yes maybe it might be worth a try.   The McAfee GUI (interface) relies on Internet Explorer despite any default browser settings, that's why I mentioned IE by the way.

There isn't really much you can do until you have the machine in front of you anyway, but it's good to be prepared.

Good luck ;)

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Message 7 of 15

Re: Can't Activate McAfee Total Protection 2014

Thanks for the additional info. Will report back. Thanks.

Re: Can't Activate McAfee Total Protection 2014

OK, hope it gets sorted.

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Message 9 of 15

Re: Can't Activate McAfee Total Protection 2014

No joy.

Got my father in laws computer back yesterday and spent the whole day trying to sort it.

Completely uninstalled Total Protection and then installed AVG, Stinger and MalWareBytes.

AVG flagged something which I deleted.

MWB found 11 items and I deleted them too.

Stinger found nothing.

I then tried Windows Update again. Still wouldn't install 64bit updates or the newer version of Internet Explorer.

Did a Google and stumbled across the System Update Reeadiness Tool which is supposed to pave the way for future updates to install properly.

This installed fine and at first updates appeared to install after this too.

After this I used the following link supplied to me by McAfee texh support:

I then inputted the CD key from my retail version of Total Portection, associated it my father in laws McAfee account and installed via download. This bypassed the Activation issue I was having and Total Protection installed, appeared to be running but I could not get the McAfee control panel to open at all and the whole PC was practically grinding to a halt.

I then realised that the Windows Updates hadn't installed (The update page previously showing a green windows had returned to amber) and I firmly believe this is at the heart of the problem but I'm now at a total loss.

Unfortunately I had to unistall Total Protection due to it not opening and running the PC into the ground and as an interim measure I've installed AVG and MWB to provide basic protection.

Thanks for all your help, sorry I don't have more positive news. Think I need to dig into the WIndows Update problem some more.

Re: Can't Activate McAfee Total Protection 2014

Do you have a System Disc or other means of returning the machine to factory settings?

Or try this:

Either way lots of updating will be the result.

If you are using any registry cleaners, stop as they can cause this.

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