If you have Microsoft Security Essentials installed and are still using Windows Vista, you are now facing a huge problem when it comes to scanning and detecting Malware. As of April 11, 2017, support for Windows Vista officially ended, which also means that Microsoft decided that you should no longer be able to use Security Essentials. Fortunately, there is a way to continue using Security Essentials without being nagged with messages telling you that support has ended and that your computer is at risk.

The fix is very easy. Uninstall your current version of Security Essentials and install an earlier version, which would be v4.4.304.0. Finding a copy is very hard since Microsoft no longer offers this version, leaving you with 3rd party sites to choose from, which may be hacked or contain malware. Luckily, the Internet Archive has the Microsoft hosted versions on hand and can be downloaded below.

Microsoft Security Essentials  v4.4.304.0 – 32-bit / 64-bit

Once you’ve installed v4.4.304.0, go to Windows Update in the control panel, check for updates, and if a newer version of Security Essentials is available to download, uncheck it and hide it as installing a version higher than 4.4 will result in disablement and nag messages due to the end of support. Microsoft apparently made this change starting with v4.5 to get people off of Windows XP and also decided to extend it to later versions just to irritate users who refuse to or can’t upgrade to the latest version of Windows.

Reverting back to v4.4.304.0 can also be done with Windows XP as well as Windows 7 for when the time comes. (Unless Microsoft issues some kind of update that will prevent an older version of Security Essentials from installing/running). However, it can’t be done on Windows 8 or higher as Security Essentials (renamed to Windows Defender) is now part of the OS, and uninstalling it is not possible. You can only upgrade “Windows Defender” via Windows Update.

Even though it’s better having some protection then none, installing v4.4.304.0 of Security Essentials should only be done to extend the use of the operating system for a few months after support has ended. Without monthly security updates, your computer will be at risk to new threats. If you must use your computer on the internet, don’t use Internet Explorer, only visit trusted sites and avoid sites that require or use personal and banking info.

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