Microsoft Security Essentials

Microsoft Security Essentials
Microsoft Security Essentials
Credit: Softonic

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is an Antivirus Software developed by Microsoft Inc. as a built-in security program for providing protection against different species of malicious software, including computer viruses, Spyware, rootkits, and Trojan horses. Initially Microsoft security essentials 29 September 2009. Before version 4.5, MSE used to be operated on windows XP, windows 7, windows vista but not on windows 8.1. The version prior to 4.5, was Microsoft security essential for windows XP. MSE 4.5 did not support on windows XP, but MSE was offered built-in in windows 7 and windows vista. Microsoft Security Essentials or popularly also named as Windows Security Essentials is built upon similar scanning engine and virus definition as other Antivirus product of Microsoft. It certainly lacks the centralized management feature of Forefront Endpoint Protection and personal firewall feature of Windows Live OneCare. Microsoft Essential received positive reviews from the experts highly praising its freeware license, user interface and low resource usage. In 2013, MS Security Essentials became most popular antivirus product in North America and 5th most popular antivirus product globally with total security rating 965 with 94% of accuracy as per antivirus popularity ranking conducted in 2016.

Development and future of Microsoft Security Essentials:

  • In 2008, November 18 Microsoft announced plan for free built-in antivirus product for Windows operating system. Instead of providing subscription-based security product, Microsoft new plan codenamed Morro would provide free security software with small or no impact on Windows system resources.
  • Without direct competition with other commercial antivirus developers, it was focused on the PC user who didn’t have paid version of antivirus protection.
  • In 2009 Microsoft announced official name for Morro and named as Microsoft Security Essentials.
  • Having to exhibit its potential to eradicate all widely encountered malware, Windows Essentials Antivirus finally passed AV test in 2009. It didn’t last long as Microsoft Essentials lost its AV certificate in 2012 as it failed to update its threat definition and constant decline in protection scores.
  • Microsoft Essentials Security replaced Windows Live OneCare in Windows XP and was offered as a built-in antivirus for Vista and Windows 7 users.
  • Microsoft Security Essentials worked as full phased antivirus software with Windows Defender in Windows XP, Vista and 7. Microsoft Essentials used to turn off itself when Windows Defender is activated.
  • With the launch of Windows 8, Microsoft announced the end of Microsoft Essentials and was replaced by Windows Defender as full phased antivirus software for Windows PC. Windows Defender works almost as similar as Microsoft Security Essentials. Windows Security Essentials doesn’t run in Windows 8 and beyond.

Basic features of Microsoft Security Essentials Windows 7, Vista and XP:

The basic features of Microsoft Security Essentials were almost similar as that of Windows Defender. Some of the most important features of Microsoft Security Essentials are listed below:

  • Microsoft security essentials are very easy to get.
  • It runs quietly without interfering anything in your respective pc. It runs in the background without harming the performance of the pc.
  • Microsoft Security Essentials has almost the same virus definition and scan engine as other Microsoft’s Security products.
  • It was released with the feature of real-time protection. Real-time protection refers to protection from the virus before it becomes a problem. It detects the virus before it creates any problem to your pc. It prevents from opening any suspicious file so that it may harm your computer.
  • It has three types of scanning system which includes a quick scan, full scan, and custom scan.
    • Quick scan refers to the scanning your computer quickly and checks the areas which are most probable to be attacked by any suspicious software/viruses.
    • A full scan checks all the files in your pc whether there are any virus or other suspicious software or not. It also scans the program which is currently running in your pc.
    • Custom scan asks you the areas to be scanned in your computer and only scans the area you selected.
  • Like other Microsoft’s security products, MSE offers real-time scanning, constantly monitors activities on the PC and scans new files as soon as they are downloaded or copied from the external sources.
  • It helps us to detect rootkits. Rootkits are that malware which is hard to protect against. MSE has a number of latest and new technologies that helps us to detect and take action against similar malware.
  • It detects threats and after the detection, it automatically blocks it from running until user choose how to deal with them.
  • If no response is received from the users, suspected threats are handled according to User’s default action setting. It might also create System Restore checkpoint before deleting the detected threats.
  • Microsoft Security Essentials automatically checks for Microsoft updates and download the latest virus definition, Users also can manually download the updates from Microsoft’s official website.
  • It reports all the unusual suspicious behavior of tracked programs to Microsoft Active Protection Service (MAPS), a web-based security service.
  • However, it doesn’t offer the centralized management feature of Forefront Endpoint Protection and personal firewall feature of Windows Live OneCare.

The basic requirement for Microsoft Security Essentials:

As the requirements differ depending on the operating system, on a computer running Windows Vista or Windows 7, it requires:

  • 1 GB of RAM or higher.
  • A pc with CPU of the clock of 1.0 Gigahertz or higher.
  • 200 MB of free hard disk space.
  • A computer monitor with a display resolution of at least 800 × 600 pixels or higher,
  • An Internet connection for downloading installation files, updates, and the latest threat definition.
  • Internet Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or later, Mozilla Firefox 2.0 or later.

Downloading and installing Microsoft Security Essentials Windows 7:

Microsoft Security Essentials comes up with most of the genuine Windows XP, Vista and 7 operating system. Still, if you don’t have MSE installed you can manually download free from Microsoft official website. Since, after April 8, 2014, Microsoft has ended its technical support for OS below Windows 7 you can find the installation file for only Windows 7 OS.

  • Go to the Microsoft Security Essentials download page.
  • Scroll down and look out for your preferred language and click on one of the two links according to the Windows 7 OS you have in your PC i.e. either 32 Bit or 64 Bit.
  • Open the downloaded file after completion.
  • Click on Run, if security warning box appears.
  • In the welcome screen, Click on Next.
  • Proceed as per the instruction and after setup is completed click on Finish.
  • After you finish the installation, MSE directly opens the update screen and downloads the updates on your PC.

Scanning the computer for security threats with Microsoft Security Essentials Windows 7:

Microsoft Security Essentials offers you three modes of scanning your computer for suspicious threats namely Quick Scan, Full Scan, and Custom Scan. You can follow these steps to scan your PC.

  • Click on Start > All Program > Microsoft Security Essentials.
  • Navigate to Home tab.
  • Select your preferred mode of scanning your PC.
  • Quick Scan for scanning only the files and folders most likely to contain threats.
  • Full Scan for scanning your whole PC.
  • Custom Scan for scanning drives and folders you choose.
  • MSE will scan your PC in a mode you choose, and displays a certain result.

Scheduling scans with Microsoft Security Essentials:

Microsoft Security Essentials offers you real-time scanning but if you want to schedule your scans, follow these steps:

  • Open MSE and navigate to Setting tab.
  • Click on Schedule Scan.
  • Tick the checkbox next to Run a scheduled scan on my computer (recommended).
  • Select Mode of the scan, day and times and other scanning conditions and Click on Save Changes.

Changing real-time protection settings in Microsoft Security Essentials:

Real-time protection of MSE scans every file that is download or copied from external sources and checks if it’s safe for your PC. To change real-time protection setting in MSE follows these steps:

  • Open MSE and navigate to Setting tab.
  • Click Real-Time Protection at the left panel.
  • Turn Off/On Real-Time Protection.
  • Click on Save Changes.

Microsoft Security Essential Error “Microsoft Security Essentials isn’t monitoring your computer because the program’s service stopped. You should restart it now.”



  • Restart your computer.
    Save all your unsaved files and close all the apps and restart your computer.
  • Be sure that MSE service is started and is set to automatic.
    • In Windows Vista and Windows 7, Go to Start > Start Search Box.
    • Type services.msc and press enter.
    • Search for Microsoft Antimalware Service and Right Click it to choose Property.
    • Check if Startup Type is set to Automatic.
      Click on the Start button or if it is not available, click on the Stop button and click on Start to start the service.
  • Delete any installed Internet Security Software.
    • In Windows Vista and Windows 7, Go to Start > Start Search Box.
    • Type appwiz.cpl and press enter.
    • Search for any installed third-party security programs and Uninstall it.
    • Restart the computer and try to install MSE again.
  • Uninstall/Reinstall Microsoft Security Essential:
    • In Windows Vista and Windows 7, Go to Start > Start Search Box.
    • Type appwiz.cpl and press enter.
    • Search for Microsoft Security Essential and Uninstall it.
    • Restart your PC and try to Re-install MSE again.








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