How to manually download the latest definition updates for Microsoft Security Essentials

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Note You must have Microsoft Security Essentials installed to use the latest Microsoft Security Essentials virus and spyware definitions.

Before you install the correct version of the Microsoft Security Essentials virus and spyware definition updates, you must know:

  • Whether Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 is running in a 32-bit or a 64-bit operating environment.

  • Whether you are logged on to Windows as an administrator.

If you are not sure of your Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 environment type, or if you need help verifying that you are an administrator on the computer, go to the Verify your environment and determine whether you are logged on with an administrator account Microsoft website.

After you verify the operating environment, follow these steps:

  1. Download the Microsoft Security Essentials virus and spyware definition update file that is appropriate for your version of Windows:


    Note You must be running a 64-bit version of Windows to run a 64-bit version of Microsoft Security Essentials. The 64-bit versions of Windows include x64-based versions of Windows.

  2. Click Run to install the definition update file immediately. Or, click Save to save the file to the computer. If you click Save, remember the folder where you saved the file.

  3. To install the saved file, follow these steps:

    • Windows XP
      Double-click the file, and then click OK.

    • Windows Vista or Windows 7
      Right-click the file, and then click Run As Administrator. If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, type the password, or click Continue.

  4. When the definition update file runs, a file extraction dialog box appears. The dialog box indicates that the definition update is installing. After the file extraction dialog box closes, you can verify that the virus and spyware definitions were updated. To do this, open Microsoft Security Essentials, click Update, and then examine the virus and spyware definitions status.

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