Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Defender Usage

Updating, Scanning, and Virus Removal

Updating

Because new viruses and malware are released daily, Microsoft regularly releases new virus definitions for Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) and Windows Defender (Defender).

MSE and Defender will update automatically. To update manually, use the following procedure:

  1. Open MSE or Defender by double clicking the MSE icon (microsoft security essentials notification icon) or the Defender icon (a castle).
  2. Click the Update tab.
    MSE application displaying update tab
  3. Click Update Definitions.
    MSE application window displaying the update process

Scanning

  1. Open MSE or Defender by double clicking the MSE icon (microsoft security essentials notification icon) or the Defender icon (a castle).
  2. Click the Home tab.
    MSE application displaying Home tab
  3. On the right, select a Scan Option (quick, full, or custom scan) and click Scan now.
  4. The scan will start.
    MSE application displaying scan process

    An icon in your notification area will swirl while the scan is in progress.

    MSE scanning notification icon

  5. If nothing is found, you will return back to the home page panel interface. If malware is found, see the Virus Removal section of this documentation

Virus Removal

  1. If a virus or harmful software has been detected, the icon in your notification area will turn red and have an X through it.

    MSE risk notification icon

  2. Open MSE or Defender by double clicking the icon in your notification area.  Red indicates your computer is at risk.
    MSE application displaying home tab after a threat is detected
  3. Click Clean Computer to start.

    MSE application displaying home tab during file scan

  4. Once complete, a list of Detected items will be displayed. Click Apply Actions to remove the potential threats on your computer.

    MSE application displaying list of detected items

  5. After the items have been successfully removed, click Close.
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