I recently purchased a new software package. I was told to disable my
anti-virus software before I install the software. Why? What also has me
concerned is that it does not say I can turn it back on after installation.
What do you feel I should do?
Turn it back on.
There. For those with really short attention spans I wanted to get that
incredibly important tidbit out there before you move on.
Now, as to why you had to turn it off in the first place, that requires just
a little explanation.
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Anti-virus programs as well as anti-spyware programs, which I’ll
collectively refer to as anti-malware programs work, essentially, two different
Traditionally anti-virus programs most often work the first way, and
anti-spyware tools work the second, however the line is most definitely
blurring and it’s safest to assume that all anti-malware tools may operate
using both techniques as well as perhaps others.
Now, program installation is an interesting operation, for several reasons.
When you run a setup program it may do many different things including:
writing program files into Windows folders
writing entries into the Windows registry
adding “auto-start” entries that launch programs whenever you boot your
computer or login
starting, stopping or installing Windows services
deleting other files relating to the program being set up, typically older
… and much more
Here’s the problem: all of those things are often exactly what malware
does. And some anti-malware scanners aren’t always 100% accurate at
telling the difference.
If your anti-malware program blocks or otherwise interferes with a program
installation you may end up with a failed install. Or worse, something that
looks like a “successful” install that doesn’t really work.
Hence almost all software installation programs now recommend that you turn
off your anti-malware scanners before the install to avoid any of these “false
positives” that might cause a problem with the installation.
And to be clear, whether they explicitly say it or not, they mean
turn it off for the duration of the installation process. In other
words, be sure to turn it back on when the installation is complete, or you’ll
be running unprotected from then on.
And that can lead to other problems.