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Can I run more than one antivirus program?

Can I run more than one antivirus program?

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Carole asks:

Is it OK to run Windows Defender with Norton or McAfee antivirus protection?

No. You should never run more than one antivirus program at the same time. The two programs could slow down your computer, and they might even identify each other as a virus, which could lead to file corruption or other conflicts and errors that make your antivirus protection less effective—or not effective at all.

We recommend that you use the antivirus protection that’s included in your version of Windows. Windows 8 includes antivirus and antispyware protection called Windows Defender. If you use Windows 7 or Windows Vista, you can download Microsoft Security Essentials at no cost.

For more information, see How to boost your malware defense and protect your PC.

  • Since MS can not provide a call number to call to talk to a real person, would it be possible to unlock everyone's account that was temporary block for two weeks after first sign in? This will let me get my emails to be printed out so that I have a record off them and than if MS wants my account than they can have it. I just want my emails if possible. I think I have about 200 emails that I would need to print out so two weeks should be fine for me. Plus would send email to my friends and family to let them know that my email was taken by MS.

    Please help me.

  • I fell for a scam from an outfit that claimed to be Microsoft trained experts for a free check of my computer which  then claimed to have found and removed a number of problems but would need payment for removing some remaining items.

    This  resulted in my getting a blue screen from a  rootkit MBR MAYACHOK ok B (boot image)  which was discovered by the Secure IT antivirus program which was on my computer but they said after trying for  some time and resetting the system to an earlier time without it  removing the virus that they would recommend wiping the hard drive and reinstalling Windows 7 which would take off all the pictures and files etc. on my computer.  

    I have been unable to use my computer except by starting it in safe mode w/networking for two weeks after getting the first blue screen. I seem to not have email or online access by programs etc.

    Would I be able to download Security Essentials and would it help now ?  I would appreciate your advice.  

                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks ,  Bob  

  • It is possible to run two AV products at the same time.  It works better if they do not scan the same way--say pair a true AV product with an antimalware product.  It is best to exclude each AVs program folder, data folder, and quarantine/signature folders (if they are not in the program folder), and the temp folder created during scans, from the other AV to prevent conflicts.  There will be some overlap in which they may scan the same file, but the overlap should not be for a long enough period of time to really consume excessive resources.  In the event there is significant overlap, you should disable the real-time scan capability of one AV and use it for "on-demand" or scheduled scans only.

    Malwarebytes, Immunet Free, ClamWin, and perhaps some other AVs suggest that their product be used as a "second opinion."

    I am almost certain that you will not agree with this, but it is not a bad strategy.  One AV can not find every malware that might be out there.


  • Malwarebytes takes control of my computer, locking up screen changes, even locks up in the middle of words an email I'm trying to type. Even to exit or shut off the program takes several minutes before I can again browse, type, or screen change. Malware seems to stop everything and check it before allowing it to appear on screen, either brousing or starting a program on my computer.

    Kaspersky does the same.

    Both do this even if I am not on line, unplugged and disconnected from the service provider.

    Is there a product that does not crank up unseen and lock up what I am doing?

    What good is anti virus if one cannot use the computer when it is working?

  • Can i run Kaspersky internet safety at the same time as windows defender?

  • Frank: Are you running the premium versions of both security suites? If so, is real-time protection enabled in each? It sounds as though Kaspersky is competing with Malwarebytes for access to your computer's resources.

    Have you added the appropriate files to Kaspersky's lists of Exclusions and Trusted Apps--and vice versa with Mbam?

    if you're confident you've done this correctly, try disabling advanced disinfection technology on Kaspersky.

    If your computer is still acting sketchy, abandon the paid version of Malwarebytes and use it for on-demand scanning only, as guitar Bob suggested.

    If after THAT, you're still experiencing strange activity, download Kaspersky's free TDSS Killer program from their website and run it. Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool is also a nifty little gadget you might want to consider using in the event you are still experiencing problems.

    Kaspersky is hypervigilant and a power-hog, but it shouldn't be dropping anvils on your system... Hope this is helpful.

  • The question is NOT answered here. It seems to me that a straight answer should be either yes or no. However, the answer provided by MS is NOT.

  • YES.  You can run two AVs at the same time.  As long as they are designed to work that way. While, strictly speaking, Malwarebytes is NOT an AV, it is designed to run with your AV.  Webroot is also designed this way. Although it's a full AV and malware protection product, it will run with any AV.

  • It would be hugely helpful (and polite) if you answered all the above questions and posted your expert replies

  • Microsoft Security Essentials is appallingly bad at detecting and removing the sort of stuff inexperienced users often pick up that's annoying and difficult to get rid of but probably not out to steal your credit card number or anything. I've been using Malwarebytes Antimalware alongside Microsoft Security Essentials and the two work well together.

  • Defender and security essentials do not scan email. If your email provider does av scanning you are ok, otherwise you need an av that scans email coming to pc to outlook or other email tool.

  • X.  Do you offer any protection for a Motorola smartphone?

    Oops not a comment.  I will read all your articles anyway. Their Great.

  • I ran Microsoft security essentials on my windows 7 computer for antivirus. I got Cidox.boot virus on my computer with security essentials NOT stopping it nor would it remove or fix it. I will use another anti virus because of this, don't trust it.

  • I am not a computer "wizard", just a home computer user with lots of experience trying various free antivirus programs trying to find one that works the best.  So what follows is strictly my experience and may not reflect yours.  My computer is on the Vista system, found no need to move on to another operating system since this one has been the most stable of any operating system I've ever used prior and haven't had one problem with it...yet! LOL

    I've used Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Defender and neither were not that great of a anti virus/malware/anti-spyware program, both let all sorts of crap in including one that attached itself to all my e-mails I would send out so others got the bug.  I went with a different group of FREE packages and haven't had an issue in a long time.  Not sure if I can mention the ones I use but I'll try, I use Avast Free which according to several different reviews done of all the free ones it was the best and it used far less resources than any other except for Panda Cloud Free but that one wasn't as powerful.  I only use the free ones because according to all the reviews I read a couple of the free ones are just as good and even better than the pay for versions, Avast and AVG are those two, but I went with Avast due to lower resources it used as mentioned earlier.  I also about once a week use ESET free online antivirus spyware scanner and repair just to make sure that Avast doesn't miss anything, ESET is a online thing so it doesn't run on your system screwing up your computers antivirus but you do have to deactivate your computers antivirus to make it run right.

    The problem with malware and spyware is that there isn't one company that can get rid of all of those so you have to use several to beat the odds, these are all free.  Spybot Search and Destroy, SuperAntiSpyware, CCleaner, Wise Disk Cleaner and Wise Registry Cleaner, Malwarebytes (this one on occasion just shuts down and I have to delete it completely and reinstall it new), and Trojan Killer (this one supposedly will kill any Trojan but I haven't needed to use it but it's in my bookmarks just in case), and there are others too that I don't use but I'm sure work just as good as the ones I mentioned.  Be careful with the Wise product because in the download process they'll ask you 3 or 4 times to download other pieces of software you don't need nor want running so read all the panes well before you click yes, they do this at every update too.

  • This is a very unhelpful article. In essence it says that all non-MS anti-virus program's are dangerous. I.e. It's anti-competitive i.e. knocking the opposition. MS should be more intelligent than this and give sensible answers. The real question is "what settings are best if I want to run Norton/Kaspersky etc. on Windows?"

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