Cannot update Security Essentials

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mike2111

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My ten year old low spec laptop, used as a standby, has proved virtually unusable with Windows 10, so I have reverted to a 2012 image using Windows 7 – it now works fine but there is an antivirus problem. I have tried a number of times to update Security Essentials but every time it fails due to a spurious “internet problem”, so it is eight years out of date and as such provides no protection. I have downloaded free antivirus programs but when I try to activate the option is greyed out and when I try within the new program I cannot because “there is another program running”. Within control panel there appears to be the option to uninstall Security Essentials and if I do this I would hope then to be able to activate Avast or some such free program. I do not wish to take a step which might make things even worse – some advice please.
 

lochlomonder

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Security Essentials reached end of service nearly a year ago (see here), so I would recommend not relying on it at all. You didn't specify which free antivirus programs you downloaded; therefore, I would suggest removing all you've installed, rebooting the PC, and then reattempting the installation of one program only. Also, ensure you run the installer as Administrator to give it adequate rights.
 

flavallee

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My ten year old low spec laptop, used as a standby, has proved virtually unusable with Windows 10, so I have reverted to a 2012 image using Windows 7
I have downloaded free antivirus programs
mike2111:
What is the brand name and model name and model number and serial/service tag number of your laptop?
If one or more third-party antivirus apps are also installed, that's probably why it's not updating.
Security Essentials reached end of service nearly a year ago
Colin:
4.10.209.0 was the last version of Microsoft Security Essentials which was released in 2016.
However, Microsoft will continue to provide engine and definition updates for it until 2023.
I personally use it in all of my Windows 7 computers because it's light-weight and very user-friendly.

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lochlomonder

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My mistake, Frank. After looking at the page I sourced, I had assumed support had ended in totality. Thanks for the clarification (y)
 

mike2111

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Security Essentials will not update and is running with 2012 definitions. There is an option to use an alternative AV program but when I try to do that for a specific program – Avast Free -the option is greyed out and I cannot do so. Avast will only run “on demand” and not continuously, because Essentials is already running. There is the facility in control panel/uninstall to remove Security Essentials. I thought that with SE removed I would then be able to install Avast or similar program – my query was would this work or would I end up in more trouble.
 

lochlomonder

Colin
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Yes, remove SE, reboot the PC, and then install an alternative antimalware package. Real-time protection is only available in the paid version of Avast, so you may want to look at a different package or, indeed, consider paying for this option.
 

mike2111

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Thanks everyone. I have successfully uninstalled Security Essentials and installed Avast Free, which does give real time protection
 
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