Why does my AV software keep turning off?

Bob writes:

My antivirus software keeps turning off and I can’t get it back on.

Here are the most common reasons you might encounter this problem:

Your computer is already infected with rogue security software

The warning that you’re antivirus software is turned off might be a fake alert, also known as “rogue security software.” This type of warning is designed to fool you into downloading malicious software or paying for antivirus software. Take our Real vs. Rogue quiz to see if you can identify the difference.”

You have more than one antivirus program

Your antivirus software could turn off if you try to install another antivirus program. Running more than one antivirus program at the same time can cause conflicts and errors that make your antivirus protection less effective or not effective at all.

You might have a virus

Some viruses can disable your antivirus software or disable updates to your antivirus software. Viruses can also prevent you from going online to update or reinstall your antivirus software.

For troubleshooting help, see What to do if your antivirus software stops working.

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. Anonymous

    I have installed internet explorer but its said that Internet Explorer has stopped working.  Che online for a solutation and close the proram 2. Close the program.

    Try several times but it does not access. Kindly assist. hanks.


  2. Anonymous

    When i went on the internet  Google Chrome it was through  Delta, looking this up it says it is a terrible virus thing.   What can I do?

  3. Anonymous

    @Devshi Babaria

    Start IE in safe mode. Go to Start menu and select IE in Safe mode.  If it works than it is a problem with a plugin and will need to uninstall plugin. If it does not work, try another browser like Firefox of Google Chrome.


    Run AV to see if it wil find the virus. Try F-Secure as well. If you run both and no virus, than will need to try something else.

  4. Anonymous

    my microsoft security essentials symbol shows half red and half yellow all the time but firewall antivirus and all security functions are on

  5. Anonymous


    It should always be green. If it is different, than it mean something is wrong. Scan your computer and see if the icon goes back to green.

    If problem with settings, best option is to backup your computer and wipe it and reformat it and reinstall windows.

  6. Anonymous

    my antivirus shuts off by itself every once in awhile, I checked for virus using free Norton, BiteDefender and ESET online scanners and nothing was found, and I'm not running two antivirus programs.  I have to reload MS Security to get to work again, which usually works for 4 to 8 months after that than I have to do it again.  I found a pattern in mine, MS does updates all the time, and every so often one of their updates does that.  I think while some of the problems of Security Essentials shutting down is due to what they said, but they're not willing to admit the reasons for the other times.

  7. Anonymous

    My AV is working fine, but Action Center doesn't "see" it and reports no firewall, no antivirus. Been a problem for about a year. Tried everything, even hired Microsoft to fix it and they can't fix it.

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