Microsoft's Excellent Free Antivirus Reaches Version 2

Last week Microsoft released version 2.0 of Security Essentials, its free antivirus scanner for Windows.  If you're currently running version 1, you can get the latest release from in order to benefit from additional features and advanced detection technology.

It runs on Windows XP and above, and is available in 32- and 64-bit versions.  The download is around 9 MB.

If you don't currently have any antivirus software on your PC, it's vital that you do.  If not for yourself, then for the sake of any friend, relative or colleage to whom you risk sending an infected file. 

I've actually been using Microsoft Security Essentials v1 on one of my own PCs for the past few months, and have found it to be very reliable and stable.  I shall upgrade to version 2 over Christmas and let you know if I find any shortcomings.

Security Essentials is free, although Microsoft does point out that you need to be running "genuine Windows" in order to be able to download it.  While I'm not about to condone software piracy, I do think that Microsoft should make an exception here, and allow MSE to be used even by those with illegal copies of Windows.  It would help to reduce the spread of virus-infected files to legitimate users, which would help to prove that Microsoft really does take security seriously.

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by MHS (not verified) on 27. December 2010 - 17:55  (63357)

Excellent suite, superior MSOffice compatibility, very light on resources and blazing fast. Used by a large proportion of German high schools.

by wesman on 24. December 2010 - 16:59  (63199)

If malware is detected, what options are available in MSE? Is there an option other than moving it to some virus vault, such as attempting to clean the infected file?

by Faust (not verified) on 23. December 2010 - 17:29  (63148)

Is it possible to install MSE as an on-demand scanner?

by MidnightCowboy on 23. December 2010 - 18:07  (63153)

Even if it were IMO HitmanPro, Malwarebytes or the Emsisoft scanner would be much better options.

by pm (not verified) on 23. December 2010 - 10:36  (63125)

I have Security Essentials v1 and want to upgrade it. Opening S.E. from its icon at the bottom of my computer screen I clicked on the arrow next to "Help" and then "Upgrade". I was told I had the latest version (v1).

Then I followed your link on this page and found there are two files to choose from -
File one: en-us\amd64\mseinstall.exe

File two: en-us\x86\mseinstall.exe

The instructions say "Download the files most appropriate for you". Please can anyone tell me what the difference is. I have Windows 7 x32.

PS Also from your linked page I went to the System Requirements page and then clicked on the Download tab. This didn't do the job, in fact my Security Essentials stopped working and wouldn't come back after restarting the computer. I finally had to do a system restore to get it going again.

by Megagamerx1 on 23. December 2010 - 17:18  (63147)

Download the "File two: en-us\x86\mseinstall.ex". Also: just so you know, the 32 bit version of Windows wouldn't be "x32", it would be x86, hence the download location.

by pm (not verified) on 28. December 2010 - 0:31  (63370)

Cheers. Obvious if you know but I didn't. That's computers for you. Thanks.

by bhavya (not verified) on 23. December 2010 - 6:39  (63117)

I have been using MSE for about a year now...
And is simply amazing...
Yet it needs a bit of working ...thats why i use SuperAntispyware for occasional scanning and get rid of some pests there...
I recommend everyone to do the same.

by Markus (not verified) on 24. December 2010 - 15:13  (63195)

Way to go! I go the occasional scan with Emsisoft. Thanks for the article, rschifreen.

by rhiannon on 23. December 2010 - 2:06  (63102)

Sometimes installing MSE will change your Windows Update settings to automatic if they are set to another choice such as "Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them."
Though rare, this has happened to me on a few installations, and there are some reports of others having the same issue.
If you have Windows Update set to anything other than automatic you might want to have a look at the settings and see if they are set the way you want.

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