Microsoft Security Essentials 4.5.216.0 on Windows XP - At Risk > 9 April, 2014

Technical Level : Basic

Summary

Version 4.5.216.0 of Microsoft Security Essentials was deployed on the 26th of March, 2014.

On Windows XP, the status displayed permanently became Amber/Yellow indicating "Potentially Unprotected"

After the 8th of April, the date support for Windows XP ended, the status became Red indicating "At Risk"

This Wiki article explains this change.

Please do not use the Comments to complain about this MSE behavior, argue the value of the behavior, or provide creative workarounds to change the MSE status back to green. This Wiki is not the place to share details on how to pretend that the PC running Windows XP is adequately protected by Microsoft Security Essentials or any other antivirus product.

Applies to:

Windows XP


Details

Version 4.5.216.0 of Microsoft Security Essentials was deployed on the 26th of March, 2014. On Windows XP, the status displayed permanently became Amber/Yellow indicating "Potentially Unprotected"

After the 8th of April, the date support for Windows XP ended, the status became Red indicating "At Risk"

This is by design due to the fact that Windows XP end of support is 8 April, 2014

After Windows XP is updated with KB2934207- http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2934207, the following message will appear when starting the computer.

You can prevent this message from reappearing by clicking into the box next to "Don't show this message again" before clicking OK.

After Microsoft Security Essentials is upgraded to the latest version, 4.5.216.0, on a Windows XP system, when Windows starts, you will see an alert from the notification tray.

Before 8th of April:

After 8th of April:

You can click the displayed link, which will provide information on the End of support for Windows XP or you can close the alert by clicking the "Close" button. The alert should close on its own in less than a minute. Some users report that this pop-up remains for much more than a minute.

The Microsoft Security Essentials icon in the notification tray will remain amber/yellow (red after 8th April, 2014)

If you open the main Microsoft Security Essentials interface by double clicking the tray icon or starting the program from the Start Menu, you will see details:

After 8th April, 2014:

Prior to 8th April, 2014:

In this window you can also see if there are any other issues with Microsoft Security Essentials such as out of date definitions, or no scan having been performed recently.

  • You cannot change the status of Microsoft Security Essentials to Green on Windows XP after the upgrade.
  • The notification tray icon for Microsoft Security Essentials will remain Red even if no other issues are detected.
  • You cannot uninstall the upgrade and return to the prior version as it will automatically upgrade.
  • Note that workarounds exist to override the alert and status. This Wiki is not the place to share details on how to pretend that the PC running Windows XP is adequately protected by Microsoft Security Essentials or any other antivirus solution.

Microsoft Security Essentials will continue to protect your PC from malware and will continue to receive updates to the definitions through 14 July, 2015. However, Windows XP will no longer receive any updates for newly discovered vulnerabilities which will make your computer more susceptible to attack that cannot be prevented by an antivirus program alone.

If you must continue to use Windows XP, please make sure that your logged in User Account does not have administrative rights. If it does, go to Control Panel/User Accounts and create a new User Account with Administrative rights. Log off of your current account and log in with the new account. Go to Control Panel/User Accounts to modify your primary account(s) to have Limited User rights. Log off of the new account and back into your preferred account for day to day use. Make sure that all installed programs are updated to the latest available and patched versions from the vendor, especially Java (www.java.com), Flash and Adobe Reader (www.adobe.com).

Note that the advice to use a limited user account to reduce exposure to malware's actions is of limited benefit. As new exploits are discovered and patched for later versions of Windows malware writers will make extra efforts to use these exploits to target Windows XP machines.

You can uninstall Microsoft Security Essentials and replace it with a different antivirus program of your choosing. Many vendors have committed to provide continued support for Windows XP.

Note also that Microsoft has stated the Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows XP will no longer be available for download beginning 8 April, 2014. A common "repair" for Microsoft Security Essentials is to reinstall the program. Unless you have saved the installer, this will not be possible on Windows XP. You may have a backup copy of the installer - a backup copy can be found in C:\program Files\Microsoft Security Client as well as C:\Program Files\Microsoft Security Client\backup\x86. Do not download from unauthorized sources/archives.

See also:

Uninstalling Microsoft Security Essentials

Windows XP End of Support

Choosing an Anti-Virus Program

The risk of running windows xp after support ends

Special thanks to the following:

Le Boule

quietman7 MS MVP

bhringer

Rob Koch

Cameron Parrish

 

Forum Article Info


Last updated August 14, 2019 Views 29,980 Applies to:

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<applause>  Nice work, boys!
--
~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
Microsoft MVP (Windows Client) since October 2002
Too bad 4.5 isnt on the site. Still says 4.4
I think "Windows XP End of Support is on April 8th" dialog appear by KB2934207(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2934207) udpate. Not by MSE 4.5.216.0 update.
I think "Windows XP End of Support is on April 8th" dialog appear by KB2934207...

The pop-up encountered after installing KB2934207 has a "Don't show this notice again" option whereas the MSE-associated pop-up doesn't.

--
~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
Microsoft MVP (Windows Client) since October 2002

I am conscious that I already have ruffled feathers and that all my contributions might become "A. User" if I am not careful, but I think I can write the subsequent paragraph without fear of consequences. What is written there will not be expanded upon (for fear of a handle change) so people will just have to do the experiments that I did to find out how, but (if I am believed) at least they will start with the knowledge that it is possible and very often that is half the battle. So, FWIW...

I have got MSE installed on one of my XP rigs and it has a green "house" in the system tray. It continues to receive updates post April 8th (at least up to just before the time and date of this post) and the house is staying green. I have achieved this after getting the system tray warning shown in the second picture of the original post, but no further warnings have been displayed since I made my alterations. Furthermore no warnings are displayed in MSE either. As far as I can tell MSE continues to work as we would hope it would and as it did before Microsoft's recent annoying "interventions".

What I think I can also say, having just done the research, is that there are clues as to how to go about getting to this state in various threads on "Answers".

Tricky

Edit: There is no registry maniuplation involved.

Tricky, I see no reason why you would be banned. You raised a concern and opened a discussion. Feel free to contact me privately (see my profile) if you wish to discuss that further. You had mentioned in the referenced thread that this wiki contained some inaccuracies that you would suggest edits for. Since that time I've updated the wiki to reflect the At Risk status post 8th April vs. the original information that MSE would present "Potentially at risk" forever. If there are other inaccuracies, please share them using the Suggest and edit link.

As for your experience above, that does not mirror what my understanding of MSE on XP post 8th of April is. By design, the status changes to At Risk with a red icon. I can speculate on how you set it to Green. One possibility is that you have reverted MSE to the version prior to the update that incorporated the warnings and have blocked the MSE update. Another possibility is that you've changed the PC date to a past date and another might be that you located a registry hack to eliminate the end of support detection, though I find the last option unlikely.

I am considering deleting your comment and this reply -- performing any workaround to eliminate a warning about the very real risk of running Windows XP and believing that the PC is being protected by MSE or any other antivirus software is foolhardy.

-steve

^_^
Windows Insider MVP (Security), Moderator Microsoft Community

I have made a small edit to my first post.

You only strengthen my belief that I am on "thin ice" by threatening to remove my post and implying that I am a fool for eliminating Microsoft's warning.

Go ahead delete my post(s) if you want. Delete me too if you want. I'm not sure this fool is valued or welcome here now anyway (if I ever was).

Maybe I am a fool, for expecting that Wiki's should be comprehensive when dealing with a subject.

I have made a small edit to my first post.

You only strengthen my belief that I am on "thin ice" by threatening to remove my post and implying that I am a fool for eliminating Microsoft's warning.

Go ahead delete my post(s) if you want. Delete me too if you want. I'm not sure this fool is valued or welcome here now anyway (if I ever was).

Maybe I am a fool, for expecting that Wiki's should be comprehensive when dealing with a subject.

From my perspective, you are not at all on "thin ice" for this discussion or the one in Feedback.

 

Tricky, it was not my intent to call you a fool. My point is that the action of manipulating anything to make it seem that all was well with Windows XP was foolish. I suppose that could reflect on the person performing the action. The warning from MSE is there for good reason. The PC *is* at risk now that XP will no longer be patched. In reality, the icon probably should have remained amber on 99% of XP systems out there since day one of MSE a few years back because XP just isn't secure and never has been.

My point about deleting the comment and reply were made because I wrote the wiki to explain the situation with MSE on XP, not to provide guidance on how to continue using MSE on XP as if all were well after end of life. I want the article to be comprehensive, accurate, and helpful in providing information about best practices. Making MSE on XP no longer show the status as being at risk is not a best practice. In fact, using XP is not a best practice. As I outlined in the wiki, for those who have no other option than to use XP, steps to minimize the risks should be taken. If, after doing all that, one wanted to change the MSE status to green, fine. However, I suspect that those seeking to change the status or remove warning simply want to use XP with MSE in the same manner as before.

By the way, I cannot delete you, ban you, or otherwise. I have no reason to report you for abuse, either.

This is a valuable and valid discussion.

-steve

^_^
Windows Insider MVP (Security), Moderator Microsoft Community

Let's talk about the real world, rather than the Utopia that Microsoft and you seem to want.

People are going to continue to use XP beyond the 8th April. This does not neccessarily mean that they are foolish. Neither does it mean that they are not aware of the risks.

It seems to me that this warning is going to appear until such times as MSE is uninstalled or the PC upgraded to Win7 or Win8 or the PC is turned off forever. This might be days for some people, for others it might be months or even years. Just how many times do you think it is neccesary for the warning to be displayed before someone "gets the message"? (rhetorical)

If someone is prepared to take the steps to get rid of the message, surely it is a good bet that they are doing it because they understand its content but have chosen, for whatever reasons, to live with the risk of continuing with XP and therefore consider the message to be an annoyance that they can do without? Even more so if they have decided to do some research and ended up at your Wiki.

Who are we ("Answers") to play nanny? Let's just help them live with the consequences of their decision in the most convenient way. Shame on Microsft for apparently making this a permanent "feature". And shame on Microsoft for pulling the XP download. If they have made the decision to support MSE on XP until July 14, 2015 they should at least allow it to work in the fashion to which its users have become accustomed and permit re-installation (via download) should it become necessary. After all, apparently the decision to extend MSE's life was taken "To help organizations complete their migrations". Note that the actual phrase used employs the word "help" not "coerce". I would suggest that after a short while the message does nothing to help and just becomes an annoyance.

It's your Wiki, I would suggest that you might want to do the research into your ideas about how to eliminate the message and edit your Wiki accordingly. According to you there is nothing to fear in doing this. IMO you risk alienating people by putting on a caveat implying they are fools. In all probablility, if they have ended up here, they are far from foolish.

I am fully aware that people are going to continue to use XP for days, months, and years.

The warning pop-up, which floats away after a few moments, and the red icon are fairly innocuous. Having a green MSE icon and no pop-up does not mitigate the risk of using XP.

I don't intend to provide information on how to accomplish this via the wiki. My advice is to remove MSE and use a different security product.

-steve

^_^
Windows Insider MVP (Security), Moderator Microsoft Community

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