Does Microsoft Security Essentials work with other antivirus software?

Richard writes:

“Can Microsoft Security Essentials co-exist with other antivirus software like McAfee or Norton?  Or do I have to uninstall my current McAfee Suite?”

Yes, you should uninstall McAfee Suite before installing Microsoft Security Essentials.

Microsoft Security Essentials is free software that helps protect against viruses, spyware, worms, and other malware or unwanted software. If you use Microsoft Security Essentials, you don’t need to install any other antivirus or antispyware software.

In fact, if you run more than one antivirus or antispyware program at once, it might affect your computer’s performance. For more information, see Uninstalling existing antivirus or antispyware programs before installing Microsoft Security Essentials.

Bottom line? You should choose one antivirus program. Obviously, we recommend Microsoft Security Essentials, but we’re not alone: others recommend it too.

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 »

Join the conversation

  1. Anonymous

    “Can Microsoft Security Essentials co-exist with other antivirus software…?

    Can you give a direct answer to the above question?

  2. Marcelle Amelia

    Thanks for your question, David. The short answer is, "no."

  3. Anonymous

    Can Microsoft Security Essentials work with Windows Firewall and Defender that was already on my computer?  Should I turn those off?

  4. Anonymous

    i can not remove security assentials to load panda security

  5. Anonymous

    I really liked the "Saftey Scanner" that microsoft had especially the registry cleaner.Does microsoft have anything now that shows what you can clean in the registry?

  6. Anonymous

    Do I have to turn off the Microsofts security updates before installing another company's antivirus software?  If so, how is it turned off?

    Thank you.

  7. Anonymous

    I have to say the answer is YES!  I run MSE and Norton 360 simultaneously with no problems whatever.  The combination has done me quite well.  McAfee is good; but, it doesn't run with MSE that I know of.

  8. Anonymous

    I have microsoft scanner and love it. Best one I've ever had.

  9. Anonymous

    I use MSE and Avira AntiVirus, the free Edition on a Windows Vista Home Premium Laptop with no problems.

  10. Anonymous

    we do not recommend to run MSE only, get yourselves a full av programme, we use Bitdefender for years on end…

    Nor do we recommend to run more than one AV programme at the same time, due it slows down your pc…

    that's all, folks.

  11. Anonymous

    This information is incorrect. You should never run two antivirus programs at the same time – but you'd be foolish to use only one antispyware. For instance, Microsoft Security Essentials has no problem allowing users to install FunWebProducts – but almost all other antispyware programs give a strong warning. Perhaps this is because of Microsoft's business relationship with Interactive Corp? I don't know. But as far as most experts are concerned FunWebProducts is a hijacker, a browser hijacker and it meets all the requirements for spyware.

    Any user of MSE who wanted to install FunWebProducts for whatever reason would be putting his / her online privacy at risk, and putting his /her computer at risk

    While MSE is an excellent antivirus, its antispyware component is lacking and should be reinforced with another product such as SUPERAntiSpyware – which is made to run along side of another antispyware program.

    There is enough misinformation on the Internet without it being further propagated by a Microsoft related site.



  12. Anonymous

    My friend has an IMac computer and would use Microsoft Security Essentials if it were available in a Macintosh version.  Is that likely to happen some time in 2011?

  13. Anonymous

    Yes it can co-exist with the new breed of cloud antivirus programs.  Panda has the best one and it's free and it works great with no noticeable slow down of the system because it works in the cloud.

  14. Anonymous

    Microsoft Security Essential works perfectly with my antivirus Avast free

  15. Anonymous

    The problem with microsoft security is that there is no customer support.  My internet provider provides me with anti-virus and malware protection.  If I have a problem, one phone call and the problem is solved.

  16. Anonymous

    I hope Microsoft has a big flashing red warning sign about these created problems before this program get downloaded.

  17. Anonymous

    What about Defender, and Malware you support. I could not get my Defender to work, after installing MSE.

  18. Anonymous

    I tried using Avast installed before Installing MS Security Essentials and it caused problems. I uninstalled Avast and that fixed the problem. Now I am going to uninstall Ad-Aware. Hopefully, MS SE will keep the viruses and other malware at bay.

  19. Anonymous

    Does the I.E.-9 update automatically install Microsoft Security Essentials? How do you choose not to have or to uninstall Microsoft Security Essentials?

  20. Anonymous

    Is Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool unneeded therefore if you have MSE installed?

  21. Anonymous

    Is the "Microsoft Security Essentials" free, or is there a charge?

  22. Anonymous

    I have replaced my anti-virus software with Microsoft Security Essentials and now have the 'XP Security 2012' virus 🙁

  23. Anonymous

    why is my microsoft essentials allways turned off when i put my laptop on thanks

Comments are closed.