Microsoft Security Essentials & Safety Scanner

Be In Touch

I wrote about Microsoft Security Essentials as a new product back in October, 2009. Since then, Microsoft has released a newer and better version of Security Essentials. Check here for information and download of Microsoft Security Essentials.

It’s still a free download for anyone with a licensed copy of Windows and over the last couple of years has gotten some great reviews. Here’s one from Ars Technica that compliments the simple interface and clean style of MSE.

microsoft security essentials

There are just four tabs at the top, so not a lot of clutter or hard to understand settings. When you pull it up, you’ll either see green (protected), yellow (caution) or red (watch out!). Pretty simple.

I really like that it’s not bloated like Symantec & Norton. I refuse to run either of these on my systems. I have used both the free AVG and the fee-based Nod-32 by Eset. Both have worked well for me, but I decided to switch over to this product because to me it makes sense to have a security suite by the same people who made my OS.

Here’s a screen shot of a protected computer – green is good!



There are tabs to check out for fine-tuning your system. The settings tab has many options on it for configuring when, where and how to handle whatever the scan might find.

Microsoft Safety Scanner

Microsoft recently came out with a new tool called Microsoft Safety Scanner. It’s a free download that works with any existing antivirus software. Download and run the tool, choosing either the short or full scan. It doesn’t replace your current antivirus software, it’s just another tool to use. Sometimes things get past some security software, that’s why it’s a good idea to use these other tools from time to time.

The Microsoft Safety Scanner expires 10 days after being downloaded. This is because new viruses come out so frequently that the tool becomes obsolete after this short period of time, but you can download it and run it as often as you like.

Here’s the complete list of security tools from Microsoft if you’d like to check them out.

Microsoft Security Tools
Categories : microsoft, Web Security


  1. Bart says:

    What is the difference between the Safety Scanner and Security Essentials? Do they detect the same malware?

    • Lynn Dye says:

      Thanks for writing. Security Essentials is a free anti-virus software that is installed on your computer and updates itself daily. You can adjust the settings to scan your computer at regular intervals. It's like AVG or Norton, only better (in my opinion).
      Safety Scanner is a high-powered tool that has to be downloaded and then run on your computer. It's for one-time use when you think you might have malware, a rootkit or other bad stuff. In order to run it, you'll need to log off all your work and programs and install and run the scanner. As I recall, it took nearly two hours for it to run. It did find some bad stuff on my oldest machine, so I was glad I ran it.

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