Leo, I have Microsoft Security Essentials. I want to install software that
requires that I temporarily turn off my anti-virus while installing. How do I do
It’s not uncommon for setup or installation programs to suggestion that you
turn off your anti-malware scanning tools so that the installation can
proceed with as few hiccups as possible.
The problem they’re trying to avoid are unnecessary “false positives” –
reports of malware activity when there is in fact none – as well as
occasional outright failures when anti-malware software interferes with the
I’ll show you how to do that in Microsoft Security Essentials, but first,
I’ll discuss whether it’s really necessary.
Do you really need to turn off anti-malware tools?
I’ll be honest: I ignore these requests.
I rarely turn off my anti-malware tools when running a setup program, even if that program suggests that I do so.
I’ve never run into a problem.
Oh, and by the way, I run Microsoft Security Essentials.
So there’s a good chance that simply doing nothing and proceeding with your installation will simply work.
If it probably works, why do they ask?
Because it might not.
And they don’t want to deal with the blame and the support issues if that’s the case.
In my opinion, many software manufacturers are simply covering their behinds – because it might happen, they don’t want to have to deal with a setup problem that might be caused by anti-malware tools.
And to be honest, I can’t blame them.
Just because Microsoft Security Essentials doesn’t cause program X’s setup a problem doesn’t mean that some other anti-malware software won’t. And just because program X doesn’t experience a problem doesn’t mean that program Y won’t.
Thus, it’s safer to simply suggest that you disable your anti-malware tool until the setup completes.
My approach has been to assume everything works until it doesn’t and then deal with it if that happens.
So far, it hasn’t.
Disabling Microsoft Security Essentials
What the software vendors are asking is that you disable any real time scanning. You certainly don’t have to uninstall the anti-malware tools, just make sure that it’s not trying to keep track of things as they happen.
Open MSE by right-clicking the icon in the notification area and clicking Open.
Click the Settings tab, and then click the “Real-time protection” item in the left pane.
Uncheck the option “Turn on real-time protection (recommended)”, and click Save changes. (You may need to confirm a UAC prompt.)
Run the setup that started all of this.
When the setup completes, check the real-time protection option again and click Save changes once more.
That’s all there is to it.
Other anti-malware tools
I obviously can’t detail all of the different settings for all possible anti-malware tools, but hopefully the example above will help identify the corresponding setting in whatever anti-malware tool you might be using.
Just remember that it’s the so-called “real time”, often called “active”, scanning that the tools perform that might conflict with an installation.