Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials on Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP

** Updated 3/11/13 by Stephen Boots 


Q: Can I install Microsoft Security Essentials on Windows 8?
A: No.
"Windows 8 *already* has a full antivirus/antimalware product installed. Windows Defender on Windows 8 is more like MSE than like Windows Defender on older versions of Windows.



Q: How is Microsoft Security Essentials different from Windows Defender (XP/Vista/7)?

A: Windows Defender on XP/Vista/7 detects and removes known spyware only. It is not designed to protect against the full breadth of malicious software, and specifically does not prevent viruses, worms, Trojans, and other malicious software from infecting your machine.


Q: Is Microsoft Security Essentials (XP/Vista/7)designed to replace Windows Defender?

A: No but if you are running Microsoft Security Essentials, you do not need to run Windows Defender. Microsoft Security Essentials is designed to disable Windows Defender in order to manage the PC’s real-time protection, including anti-virus, rootkits, Trojans and spyware.


Q: Does installing Microsoft Security Essentials (XP/Vista/7) disable Windows Defender?
Microsoft Security Essentials should disable Windows Defender on Vista and Windows 7 and uninstall it from XP. In some cases, this does not happen automatically.

Q: What happens if I do not disable or uninstall Windows Defender if I am using Microsoft Security Essentials (XP/Vista/7)?
A: If Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Defender are both running, your system may experience performance degradation and other problems caused by the conflict of two services providing real time protection simultaneously.



Question Info

Last updated June 15, 2021 Views 793,275 Applies to: