Saturday, December 5, 2009

How to auto update Microsoft Security Essentials with Windows update disabled


Microsoft Security Essentials, the new antivirus from Microsoft, has received many positive reviews around the web since it’s launch. In recent comparative tests against established commercial and free antivirus applications, Microsoft Security Essentials came out with flying colors. If you are curious to try out this new antivirus, there is one thing you should know before you start downloading it - Microsoft Security Essentials can update it’s virus definition files only if you have Windows auto update enabled.

Many Windows users have auto update turned off by choice. Once Windows update is disabled, Microsoft Security Essentials doesn’t update any more. The only workaround is to manually download the latest virus definition files. But that’s a tiresome job since MSE updates daily and each virus definition file is a hefty download (~50MB).

MSE Update Utility is a small tool written in .Net that allows you to automatically update Microsoft Security Essentials even if you have Windows Update turned off.


From the main window you can select the update intervals, there are four options given – Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or Startup. It notifies you once the update is completed.

You can either keep MSE Update Utility always running in the background, which is the way it’s intended to be used, or manually launch the program whenever you feel like updating the virus definitions.


  1. I see the point of this app, but why would anyone disable Microsoft Update?

  2. Two reasons:

    1) Many users prefer manual update. Also not every update is absolutely necessary for a home computer. There is no point in installing every one of them.

    2) Majority of them are using pirated Windows and hence can't be validated.

  3. Three.

    3) I disabled the automatic updates and BITS services because I love ram.

  4. ad 2) which case MS Security Essentials cannot be installed anyway - right? AFAIK it tests via WGA at install if the current Windows copy is not pirated.

  5. Nice one! It happens mostly because most of the people use pirated windows and I hope your article would help us to tackle the problem of auto updation.
    I have found out some cool stuff for windows 7- windows 7 themes:

  6. This app causes a constant .net error (version 4.0). The error is an exception error message. This requires exiting programs. Once I uninstalled this app everything went back to normal. Perhaps a bug fix is in order.



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