Cryptocurrency has become highly sought-after in recent years, entering public awareness after the popularization of Bitcoin in the early 2010s. Now that it is more accessible than ever, crypto users are searching for ways to secure their investments. Norton, known for antivirus software, was looking to capitalize on that desire for additional protection with the introduction of Norton Crypto in July of 2021. 

Unfortunately, recent complaints have revealed that the Norton Crypto software is being installed without express user permission. Users have also learned that Norton Crypto, listed on their systems as “NCrypt.exe”, is a cryptocurrency mining application. On December 31st, 2021, one user took to Twitter about the issue. 

“Norton is installing a Cryptocurrency miner called Norton Crypto (NCrypt.exe) on end user systems with out so much as a dialogue during the install of its security product,” wrote one user

The same user continued in a follow-up Tweet, stating: “Their is no way to prevent it from installing on your system or disabling it. You have to physically delete the NCrypt.exe in the Program Files\Norton directory and there is no guarantee it does not come back with a software update or a 3rd party finds a way to exploit it.”

Crypto Mining Software Safety Risks

Although Norton is well-known for its antivirus software, users received red flags from their systems after the update dropped. Some users even noted that their malware detection programs flagged NCrypt.exe as RiskWare. Understandably, various users have shown concern over the safety of the Norton Crypto mining software.

This revelation has introduced a series of questions from other users regarding the removal of the NCrypt.exe program. Many Norton users are searching for a way to ensure that the software is gone for good. Ultimately, the only solution may be to remove Norton products from a device altogether. 

Norton Crypto Mining Concerns

The Norton Crypto program is now part of the company TOS. When a user agrees to install their antivirus software, they also agree to have Norton Crypto on their device. This may be beneficial for some, but users never needed the program in the first place. 

Norton has also tacked on a 15% mining fee along with the Norton Crypto program. This means that anything a user mines with Norton has a 15% cut taken off before it reaches their wallet. Although mining fees are common aspects of crypto programs, many believe that 15% is steeper than they’re willing to pay.

On the FAQ section for Norton Crypto, the company states that the current “settings” thresholds have certain limits. This means that users cannot currently make any adjustments. “For now, Norton will manage the settings,” the company wrote. “We are continuing to build capabilities and could potentially make the settings adjustable for you in the future.”

This inflexibility, and the poorly-communicated launch of Norton Crypto, has given many users a reason to reconsider the product.

Fortunately, Norton is not actually sneaking stealthy crypto mining software onto every single device that chooses to work with them. This does, however, cause concern for many users about the safety and reliability of the company itself. For users hoping to mine Ethereum from their own homes, the Norton Crypto software may be something worth researching. However, for those who do not plan on using it, the software itself can pose potential security risks. If you don’t plan on using Norton Crypto on your PC, here are the steps to remove NCrypt.exe.

How to Remove Norton Crypto from Your PC

  1. Open your File Explorer. 
  2. Under “Devices,” select This PC or Computer.
  3. Open your C: drive.
  4. Select the “Program Files” folder.
  5. Locate the “Norton” related folder and open it.
  6. Inside the Norton folder, open the “Engine” folder.
  7. Select the “NCrypt.exe” application, right-click on it, and click Delete.
  8. Note: You may need to run this process as an Admin.

Another option for deleting NCrypt.exe from your PC is to use the Command Prompt screen. 

  1. Use the Search feature on your Windows device to find the Command Prompt.
  2. You can also use the Windows key to open your Start menu, type “run”, and hit Enter. From the next window, type “cmd” and click OK.
  3. Once the Command Prompt window is open, you’ll see “C:\Users\” followed by your name or the name of your device. Next to that name will be a blinking line.
  4. Beside the blinking line, type “del /f filename” and replace “filename” with “NCrypt.exe”.
  5. You will need the full path of the file to fully delete it. You can obtain this from the File Explorer. Paste it into the Command Prompt window using “cd folderpath” followed by the “del /f filename” command.

Ultimately, the decision to keep Norton Crypto on your device is up to you. Whether you use the new service or not, it’s important to ensure that your privacy and security are intact. To prevent similar issues of invasive software, always monitor the updates made to your devices. Additionally, it can be helpful to install additional software to add an extra layer of protection to your privacy.

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