Microsoft Security Essentials is a free antivirus software developed for personal computers to provide real-time protection against viruses, spyware and other malicious software. The antivirus program runs in the background while you’re using your PC and checks daily for any updates from the Internet. It performs scheduled scans of your computer for any malware, automatically blocking most threats. If your Microsoft Antivirus icon is displayed as green in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar, your computer is in good condition.

If Microsoft Security Essentials detects a problem or threat, it displays a message with the detected item, the alert level, and the recommended action, so you can decide how to proceed. Users can also use Microsoft Security Essentials to perform a manual scan of a file, a folder, or the entire PC, at any time. The Security Essentials runs quietly and efficiently in the background so that you are free to use your Windows-based PC the way you want without interruptions or long computer wait times.

Microsoft Security Essentials System Requirements

Microsoft Security Essentials

Operating system: Windows Vista (Gold, Service Pack 1, or Service Pack 2); Windows 7. For Windows Vista and Windows 7, a PC with a CPU clock speed of 1.0 GHz or higher, and 1 GB RAM or higher.
A VGA monitor with 800 × 600 pixels or higher resolution.
140 MB of available hard disk space.
An Internet connection is required for installation, and to download updates to the virus and spyware definitions for Microsoft Security Essentials.
Internet browser: Windows Internet Explorer 6.0 or later; Mozilla Firefox 2.0 or later.

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Download and Installing Microsoft Security Essentials

  • Visit the Microsoft Security Essentials website, and click the Download Now. Depending on your browser, you might be prompted to download a file or select the version of Windows you’re using.
  • Click Run. If you are prompted for confirmation, click Yes or Continue.
  • In the Microsoft Security Essentials installation wizard, click Next.
  • Review the Microsoft Security Essentials Licensing Agreement, and then click I accept.
  • Click Validate to confirm that your copy of Windows is genuine.o determine whether your version of Windows is genuine, see What is genuine Windows?
  • Click Install. The installation should take approximately three minutes.
  • When the installation is complete, click Finish. Microsoft Security Essentials automatically checks for any online updates, scans your PC for potential problems, and alerts you to any problems by displaying a message in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

Microsoft Security Essentials is designed for personal computer users. If your business needs security, go to Forefront Client Security Downloads on the Microsoft TechNet website.

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