1. Home
  2. Windows

Microsoft Security Essentials Review (With Screenshots)

Microsoft Security Essentials is the name of Microsoft’s latest Anti-Virus/Anti-Spyware software for Windows operating system. It is already being tested internally at Microsoft and is rumored to launch in September of this year. We were lucky to gets hands on the pre-beta build version of Security Essentials. I tested it on Windows Vista and was quite impressed with it. Below is the complete review along with some interesting findings.

Update: Microsoft Security Essentials has finally been released to the public, check it out here.

Note: Click the images below to enlarge.


Installation was a breeze, here are the step-by-step procedure for installation. When you run the installer for the first time, you are shown the welcome screen, click Next.

microsoft security essentials - installation Read the License Agreement and click I accept.

microsoft security essentials - installation 2 Here is the real bummer for those who are using non-genuine versions of Windows. This step will validate whether your Windows is genuine or not. Click Validate to check, if your Windows is validated you will be moved to next step, otherwise installation will fail.

microsoft security essentials - installation validate Now once your Windows has been validated, Security Essentials will now get ready to be installed. Click Install to begin installation.

microsoft security essentials - installation ready Installing…

microsoft security essentials - installing Once installation is complete, check the Scan My Computer checkbox and click Finish.

microsoft security essentials - installation complete

Using Security Essentials

Once installation is complete, you will be redirected to automatic virus & spyware definition updates.

microsoft security essentials - updates Now go to Home tab where you will be notified that everything is running smoothly.

microsoft security essentials - home To perform a System Scan, you can select from any one of the three options, Quick, Full, or Custom. First, I performed a quick scan to see how well it goes. The Quick scan was not so quick as the name suggests, it took several minutes(10 minutes to be exact on my system) to complete.

microsoft security essentials - quick scan I did not perform a Full Scan since it would have taken more than 20 minutes 2-3 hours easily. So I went straight ahead with Custom Scan. You have to choose the exact drive or destination that you would like to scan and click OK.

Update: For those thinking why I did not perform a full scan, the problem was not about time(although I did perform it later). There was no need to review the Full Scan option, because it is just similar to Quick Scan but instead scanned all locations of hard disk.

microsoft security essentials - custom scan

This is how the Home window looks like when a threat is detected.

microsoft security essentials - threat detectedTo remove this threat, click Clean Computer button. It seems like a Trojan was sitting on my computer which NOD32 failed to detect.

microsoft security essentials - remove trojan

I have to commend Security Essentials for finding and removing this stupid Trojan.

microsoft security essentials - clean trojan

To schedule a scan you can either click Change My Scan Schedule link on the Home window or go straight to Settings.

microsoft security essentials - schedule scan Below are some additional screenshots of Default action, Real-time protection, and Advanced settings.

microsoft security essentials - default action microsoft security essentials - real time protection microsoft security essentials - advanced settingsIn History tab you can see all Detected Items, Quarantined Items, and Allowed Items. To remove all history, click Delete History button.

microsoft security essentials - history


Since I tested the pre-beta build, it is quite difficult to draw the final verdict. But one thing that held out is it’s ease-of-use and small memory footprint. The overall size of the software installer is only 4.8MB and takes around 6.6MB + 36MB(runs two different processes) when running on my system. Which is quite impressive if you look at the fact that it detected and removed a Trojan downloader that NOD32 even failed to detect in the first place. Just for the sake of comparison ESET NOD32 takes 35MB of system memory, which means approx 28.4MB more than Security Essentials. 😉 Enjoy!

Leave a comment