Computer Help forum


Help me to activate Windows Defender

by Guet Pooi / February 18, 2013 12:16 AM PST

I just bought a Dell Inspiron laptop with Windows 8 OS. It came pre-installed with McAfee AV. Tried as I might to activate the Windows Defender program, I could not.

Please tell me how to activate Windows Defender and use it as my preferred AV.

Thank you.

Guet Pooi.

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Clarification Request
(NT) How sure are you that McAfee is gone gone gone?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 18, 2013 12:20 AM PST
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Not sure
by Guet Pooi / February 18, 2013 11:28 AM PST

I am not sure if McAfee is gone. Windows 8 is new to me. It's not like Windows XP where the AV is shown in the taskbar below the screen. But I saw, when I was trying to activate Windows Defender that it is 'running'.

Do I have to deactivate McAfee first before Windows Defender will work?

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Ask McAfee?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 18, 2013 12:39 PM PST
In reply to: Not sure

I thought you had removed McAfee and why I asked this question. We've seen too many other protections fail when there are more than one.

All Answers

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Windows Defender Is NOT An Antivirus
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / February 18, 2013 3:58 AM PST

It works as an antispyware program but won't detect many typical viruses.. If you want an antivirus, you'll need to make sure McAfee is running, or remove McAfee and use something else. Maybe free ones such as Avira, AVG, or Avast are what you're looking for. They work well for most.

In regards to activating Windows Defender on Win8, Google is a great tool.. Typing your search request into Google, comes up with a number of good suggestions, including the link below:

Hope this helps.


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Did Not work
by Guet Pooi / February 18, 2013 11:35 AM PST

That link was what I found through Google. Unfortunately, on clicking on the Windows Defender icon, I got a reply that it has been disabled, and nothing of what the link shows appears.

I even went to the control panel and set the Windows Defender to 'automatic' and reboot the computer. But when I click on it again, I got the same window saying it has been disabled.


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Did you read the post stating Windows Defender
by glb613 / February 18, 2013 8:05 PM PST
In reply to: Did Not work

isn't an anti-virus program? If you want a free anti-virus program, look into Microsoft Security Essentials. Be advised, you must disable or uninstall McAfee first.

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Then If McAfee Is Installed, Defender Will Be Disabled
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / February 19, 2013 8:45 AM PST
In reply to: Did Not work

McAfee has its own antispyware program and both programs would conflict if running at the same time. (I believe the actual Defender "service" is turned OFF by MCAFEE in such cases.) As mentioned by "sonymaster101", in order to enable Windows Defender, you'll need to uninstall McAfee.

Hope this helps.


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Im pretty sure it is...
by sonymaster101 / February 19, 2013 4:42 AM PST

Windows defender as it is implemented in windows 8 is a re-wrapped version of Microsoft security essentials as it exists for XP-7. Works perfectly fine for me as a full av suite.

In regard to the actual question, windows defender disables itself if you have a 3rd party AV suite installed at all. So, if you want to use defender then remove all other AV software.

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One more question
by Guet Pooi / February 19, 2013 11:15 AM PST

Thank you all. I now have a clearer picture of what is happening.

I have been using Windows Security Essentials and am very happy with it. The icon at the bottom of the screen tells me that it is guarding my system and the security status of the system.

What is the equivalent in Windows 8. How do I know what AV or Anti-spyware, if at all, is guarding my computer?

Thank you.

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Windows 8 Has AV/Antispyware Built-in....
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / February 20, 2013 9:27 AM PST
In reply to: One more question

It's a little complicated, (my first post was referring to the "old" Windows Defender not being an antivirus), but the newly morphed "Windows Defender" is promoted by Microsoft to combine both antivirus and antispyware and it's automatically installed and running on Windows 8 UNLESS you install a third party security program. The new version of "Windows Defender" is supposed to use the same virus definitions as Security Essentials..,2817,2411464,00.asp

Unfortunately, I am always concerned about the effectiveness of any security product until it's reviewed and tested thoroughly.. When Windows Defender first was released on other versions of Windows, it wasn't the "best" antispyware program on the market and therefore, many steered clear of it.. Since Windows 8 now has a combo program of Security Essentials and antispyware called "Windows Defender", you might want to do your own checking as to the quality of the product.

Hope this helps.


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Windows Defender
by jackclarck / February 21, 2013 9:01 PM PST

you should have to instal antivirus in your computer, which will help you to protect your files form virus. you may download these antivirus from different download sites.

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