How Can I Disable Microsoft Security Essentials in Windows 7?

By Elvis Michael

Microsoft Security Essentials is a free antivirus suite that provides real-time security against spyware, worms and other malware-related threats. Due to these periodic inspections on your computer, the program might try to remove an application which is, in fact, legitimate. Also known as a "false-positive alert," antivirus programs may not be able to distinguish harmless tools from malicious ones until their virus database has been updated. If you experience issues installing a certain utility, you may disable the antivirus' functions from your computer.

Disable Real-Time Protection

Step 1

Launch Microsoft Security Essentials from its main desktop shortcut or its system tray icon at the bottom-right side of the Windows taskbar.

Step 2

Go to the "Settings" tab. Click the "Real-time Protection" option from the left window pane.

Step 3

Click to disable the "Turn On Real-time Protection (Recommended)" check box. Click "Save Changes" to disable real-time protection effectively.

Disable From System

Step 1

Go to "Start." Point the mouse cursor over to the "Search" section. Type "Msconfig" and press "Enter."

Step 2

Go to the "Services" field. Click to disable the "Microsoft Antimalware Service" entry, listed alphabetically among all other existing services.

Step 3

Go to the "Startup" field. Click to disable the "Microsoft Security Client" entry.

Step 4

Click "OK" to save all settings. Reboot your Windows 7 computer to allow such changes to take place.

Tips & Warnings

  • To remove Security Essentials and all of its features completely, visit the Control Panel from your Start menu, and click "Programs and Features."
  • Keep your antivirus program enabled to ensure your computer remains protected.