Windows Defender for Windows Vista

Some of you have been asking about whether or not you should download Windows Defender.


Here’s the short answer:


Windows Defender comes with Windows Vista. If you use Windows Vista, do not download Windows Defender. If you use Windows XP SP2 you can (and should!) download Windows Defender for no charge.


What is Windows Defender?


Windows Defender is a free program from Microsoft that helps protect your computer against pop-ups, slow performance, and security threats caused by spyware and other unwanted software. For more information, see Windows Defender helps remove spyware from your computer.


What happens if I use Windows Vista and I try to download Windows Defender?


You should see an error message that says, “You do not need to install this software because Windows Defender is included in Windows Vista. You can access Windows Defender from the Security section of the Windows Control Panel.”



About the Author
Eve Blakemore

Group Manager, Trustworthy Computing

Eve Blakemore is a Group Manager for Trustworthy Computing who delivers consumer guidance around the latest trends in security and privacy. Eve joined Microsoft in 1998 and has worked in corporate and field roles with Microsoft Learning, US Public Sector, Read more »

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  1. dan.cedar

    I upgraded from xp to vista and don’t have defender installed. I tried installing it but get the "you do not need…." message. Is there a way to install defender on vista by bypassing this message? Thanks.

    I posted before but my comment was deleted.

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