Microsoft Security Essentials


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 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 products of Microsoft. It certainly lacks the centralized management feature of Forefront Endpoint Protection and the 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 the most popular antivirus product in North America and 5th most popular antivirus product globally with a total security rating of 965 with 94% of accuracy as per antivirus popularity ranking conducted in 2016.

Development and Future of Microsoft Security Essentials:

  • In 2008, on November 18 Microsoft announced a plan for a free built-in antivirus product for Windows operating system. Instead of providing subscription-based security products, Microsoft’s 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 an official name for Morro and named Microsoft Security Essentials.
  • Having to exhibit its potential to eradicate all widely encountered malware, Windows Essentials Antivirus finally passed the 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.
  • It worked as full phased antivirus software with Windows Defender in Windows XP, Vista, and 7. Microsoft Essentials is 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 to 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 and easy to get.
  • It runs quietly without interfering with 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 is released with the feature of real-time protection. Real-time protection refers to protection from the virus before it becomes a problem. It detects virus before it creates any problem for your pc. And, it prevents from opening any suspicious file so that it may harm your computer.
  • It has three types of scanning system which includes quick scan, full scan, and custom scan.
    • Quick scan refers to scanning your computer quickly and checking the areas which are most probable to be attacked by any suspicious Softwares/viruses.
    • A full scan checks all the files in your pc whether there are any viruses or other suspicious software or not. It also scans the program which is currently running on 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 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 help us to detect and take action against similar malware.
  • It detects a threat and after the detection, it automatically blocks it from running until the user chooses how to deal with them.
  • If no response is received from the users, suspected threats are handled according to the User’s default action setting. It might also create a System Restore checkpoint before deleting the detected threats.
  • Microsoft Security Essentials automatically checks for Microsoft updates and downloads the latest virus definition, Users also can manually download the updates from Microsoft’s official website.
  • Microsoft Security Essentials 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 the personal firewall feature of Windows Live OneCare.

A 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:

  • A 1 GB of RAM or higher.
  • A pc with a 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 systems. Still, if you don’t have MSE installed you can manually download free from Microsoft’s official website. Since, after April 8, 2014, Microsoft has ended its technical support for OS below Windows 7 you can find installation files 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 link according to the Windows 7 OS you have on your PC i.e. either 32 Bit or 64 Bit.


  • Open the downloaded file after completion.
  • Click on Run, if a 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 the 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 model 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 the Setting tab.
  • Click on Schedule Scan.

Shcedule scan

  • Tick the check box 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 downloaded 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 the Setting tab.
  • Click Real-Time Protection at the left panel.

real time protection

  • Turn Off/On Real-Time Protection.
  • Click on Save Changes.

Microsoft Security Essentials 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 the 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.

Leave a Comment