Does Windows come with a virus protection program?

Updated: 06/22/2018 by Computer Hope

Almost all versions of Microsoft Windows do not come pre-installed with an antivirus protection program. This includes: Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 2003, and Windows Vista.

Windows 10

Windows 10 saw a change to Windows Defender.

Windows 7 and 8 virus protection

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE)

Microsoft Windows 8 includes a version of MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials) that offers antivirus and malware protection to Windows 8 users. Windows 7 users may download it for free from Microsoft's website.

Windows 3.11 virus protection

Windows 3.11 did include a very basic virus protection program (msav). However, this program is no longer updated and is considered out-of-date and should not be used to protect your computer against viruses.

Bundled virus protection

Some computer manufacturers (OEMs) include bundled software with their computers often include an antivirus protection program (e.g., McAfee or Norton). Although these programs can help keep your computer protected against viruses, make sure it is not a trial version of the program. Many manufactures only include a trial of the virus scanner, which means the program stops working after 30 days.

Once the trial has expired, you can purchase a new license or uninstall the antivirus program and install an alternative antivirus program such as MSE or an alternative free antivirus program.

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