Microsoft Security Essentials Review

Microsoft Security Essentials

Microsoft Security Essentials offers antivirus protection for Windows XP, Vista and 7. This antivirus solution excels at blocking worms, rootkits, spyware, adware, keyloggers and viruses from entering computers.

Work quickly and without disrupting network performance without incurring fees; free, as well. However, some features found on more advanced platforms may be missing from it.

Real-time protection

Microsoft Security Essentials provides real-time protection from viruses and spyware, using both definition-file and dynamic signature scanning technologies, rootkit scanning capabilities, as well as monitoring suspicious programs to make sure they do nothing harmful such as altering core parts of the OS or downloading malicious content. In addition, this software offers an on-demand virus scanner for manual scans as well as scheduled quick or full system scans; USB keys or external devices can even be automatically scanned!

The settings tab provides users with the means to adjust how the software responds to threats, such as by creating a list of files, locations, and file types that should be excluded from real-time scanning processes. They can also customize default actions against threats as well as switch membership types (basic membership is activated by default).

Though lacking some features found in other anti-virus software packages, Avast does an exceptional job at protecting computers against viruses, spyware, and rootkits without taking up too many system resources or slowing your PC down. You can even use it alongside Windows Defender. Although free to use, for those requiring more advanced features or who want a set-it-and-forget-it solution to work together with other security measures it may be more suitable to invest in something different than Avast.

This lightweight download weighs in at just 4.8MB for 32-bit Vista version and 7.6MB for XP version (both of which will work on Windows 7), making it one of the smallest security suites out there. However, it cannot compete with big security suites such as McAfee, Symantec or Panda since it only provides protection from basic threats such as viruses, spyware and rootkits. Its user-friendly interface and color-coded taskbar icon indicate whether additional attention needs to be given: green indicates no action while yellow requires further review while red alerts indicate something needs attention as soon as Microsoft retires Windows 7 in 2023. Unfortunately its sole drawback – once this software no longer receives new malware signature updates from Microsoft!


Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is the built-in antivirus program on Windows Vista and 7, as well as being equipped with an on-board malware scanner for Windows 8 and 10. Although MSE provides an array of features, some users may find some key ones missing, including private network protection and identity theft protection, USB drive scanning with heuristics capabilities (an increasingly popular third-party feature) etc.

MSE allows you to exclude certain files and folders from scanning, which is especially helpful if the program keeps flagging certain types of files or locations as malicious. To do this, navigate to the Settings tab and select Excluded Files & Locations; here, use either the selection box or type out its path directly in order to add them as exceptions to your list of exceptions. Once complete, click “OK” and save your changes!

By default, MSE scans all files and folders on primary drives; it will not scan USB flash drives, external hard disks or secondary partitions. You can modify these settings through MSE’s main window via its Settings tab; additionally you can exclude specific file types by going to its Exclude File Types tab in its navigation pane on the left.

Be mindful that exclusions do not ensure a safer PC; viruses may evade detection if they reside in folders you have excluded or even file types MSE has decided not to scan.

Over the years, MSE has fallen behind other competing antivirus products in terms of detection capabilities. For instance, in AV-TEST’s 2011 annual test it received the lowest protection score among all tested products; other tests conducted by Dennis Technology Labs also indicate it scored lower. Furthermore, in some instances MSE failed to identify certain threats at all, leading many people to install third-party security programs instead.


Microsoft Security Essentials’ Options tab enables you to tailor scans further by setting how much of your CPU will be utilized for scanning, setting limits for full scan durations and creating system restore points, automatically checking updates automatically as well as selecting from an assortment of SpyNet options.

Under the Options tab, another useful setting allows Microsoft Security Essentials to check for updates manually rather than through Windows Updates, helping prevent potential issues that could occur if it constantly checks for definition files through this method.

PC World applauded MSE’s user interface as being clean and straightforward; noting how it looks less like Windows XP than its competitors. The main window displays your security status with four tabs across the top that allow for Quick Scan, Full Scan, Custom Scan and Scanning Options options. Real-time protection should also be enabled and updated definition files downloaded so your computer remains fully protected.

MSE can be configured to take several default actions when it detects threats: either disabling it completely, allowing it to run, removing it after an alert (severe, high, medium or low) has been issued; quarantining items up to three months later and then deleting them immediately afterwards; as well as turning on Windows firewall automatically in its absence.

MSE allows you to select how much of your CPU will be dedicated for running its scans – anywhere between 10-100 percent. In addition, you can set it to scan archives and removable drives during full scans, enable or disable notifications from it, as well as keep a history of quarantined/allowed items for future reference.


Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is an antivirus program for Windows PCs designed to provide real-time protection from computer viruses, spyware, rootkits, trojan horses and other forms of malicious software. MSE runs scans at regular intervals during off hours for real-time protection and stops unwanted changes from occurring to your system. Available as a free download on all current versions of Windows, MSE seamlessly integrates itself into daily life so as to not interfere with daily tasks or activities.

MSE is similar to antivirus programs offered by companies like Norton and McAfee; it uses constant virus scanning referred to as on-access protection and signature updates in order to detect new forms of malware. As it requires no annual subscription or additional features such as firewalls, MSE offers free protection.

This program is extremely lightweight and consumes minimal resources, thereby not slowing down your computer or blocking you from launching other applications, and allows users to run multiple programs at the same time. Furthermore, its user-friendliness and performance make it ideal.

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is easy to set up and maintain. It automatically updates so you always have access to the most up-to-date antivirus definitions, working across both 32- and 64-bit Windows versions. In addition to providing basic protection, MSE can be configured to scan archives and removable drives, create backup copies of registry backups, monitor for suspicious activities on system resources, change scanning behavior based on preference or set the frequency of updates checks, select SpyNet options as desired through its Settings Menu.

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is a great choice for businesses that wish to reduce data loss and malware infections, as it’s simple and efficient installation process is seamless with operating system integration. MSE makes an ideal option for smaller environments without critical server infrastructure – although note that MSE doesn’t work on Windows Server 2012 R2+ OS it can still be installed via special steps on that OS version.

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