What is antispyware software?
Antispyware software helps protect your computer against pop-ups, slow performance, and security threats caused by spyware and other unwanted software. To keep up with the latest forms of spyware, you must keep your antispyware software updated.
Many kinds of unwanted software, including spyware, are designed to be difficult to remove. If you try to uninstall this software like any other program, you might find that the program reappears as soon as you restart your computer.
Windows 7 and Windows Vista include antispyware software called Windows Defender. To help fight both viruses and spyware, you can download Microsoft Security Essentials at no cost. If you download Microsoft Security Essentials, Windows Defender will be disabled automatically. Make sure to uninstall any other antivirus software (whether you installed it or it came preinstalled) on your computer first.
Windows 8 includes antivirus and antispyware software called Windows Defender. Windows Defender for Windows 8 replaces Microsoft Security Essentials. It runs in the background and notifies you when you need to take specific action. If you install a different antivirus program, Windows Defender will be disabled automatically.
Note: You might see a warning that Microsoft Security Essentials has been turned off because you have other antivirus software on your computer that automatically turns off Microsoft Security Essentials. This type of warning could also be a fake virus alert that attempts to fool you into downloading malicious software. For examples of such rogue security software, see our Real vs. Rogue Facebook app.