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This article describes how to identify and then remove all traces of a security program from a computer. To help prevent issues that may occur due to a conflict between programs, it is important to remove all other security programs before you install Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE).

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Make sure to remove all other security programs that are installed on the computer before you install MSE. This includes any free or trial products that were pre-installed when you bought the computer, even if they were never activated.

Note Before you uninstall your virus scanner, make sure that the Windows Firewall is enabled, and make sure that programs that were not previously approved by you do not have access to the Internet through the firewall.

An antivirus program helps protect your computer from viruses. Don't download or open files from sources that you do not trust, visit websites that you do not trust, or open email attachments when your antivirus program is disabled. For more information about computer viruses, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 129972: Computer viruses: description, prevention, and recovery.

If you aren't sure what security programs are installed on the computer, you can use the AppRemover utility from OPSWAT, Inc. to identity the software. To obtain AppRemover, visit

After you identify the security programs that are installed on the computer or have been partially removed from the computer, you can use a cleanup tool or instructions from the security program manufacturer to completely remove the program.

The following list provides links to the instructions and cleanup tools that are available from many security program manufacturers:

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