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What's the Difference


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Here's a Google search, the last sentence should answer your question.


Windows Defender is a software product that attempts to detect and remove malware. Initially released as an antispyware program, it was first released as a free download for Windows XP, shipped with Windows Vista by default, and currently ships with antivirus capabilities as part of Windows 10.


Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is an antivirus software (AV) product that provides protection against different types of malicious software such as computer viruses, spyware, rootkits and Trojan horses. Before version 4.5, MSE ran on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7, but not on Windows 8 and later, which have built-in AV components. MSE 4.5 and later do not run on Windows XP. The license agreement allows home users and small businesses to install and use the product free of charge. It replaces Windows Live OneCare, a discontinued commercial subscription-based AV service, and the free Windows Defender, which until Windows 8 protected users from only adware and spyware.

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From Microsoft Q&A site:



Recently i have installed windows 10 on my PC. So can Microsoft Security Essentials provides me full protection against viruses and malware threats.



No. Microsoft Security Essentials won't work in Windows 10 but Windows Defender is built into Windows 10.



By now, you likely have upgraded your Windows 7 installation to Windows 10 by using the free upgrade offer from Microsoft and probably wondering why Microsoft Security Essentials is not available for Windows 10.

Microsoft Security Essentials program doesn’t support Windows 10, meaning that you can’t install Security Essentials in Windows 10. In fact, it doesn’t even support the previously released Windows 8/8.1 as well.

When you upgraded your Windows 7 installation to Windows 10, the program was removed because Windows 10 ships with a good antimalware program out of the box.


Windows 10 is safer and more secure thanks to Windows Defender and Windows Firewall.

When you start up Windows 10 for the first time, Windows Defender is on and working to protect your PC by scanning for malicious software. It will turn itself off if you install another antivirus app.

Windows Defender uses real-time protection to scan everything you download or run on your PC.

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I second that, it is even better when you pair it with Malwarebytes Premium.mI use only Defender on my systems now save a laptop that runs Win7 thus using MSE.


Just think of Defender as the new improved MSE for 8 and above. In setting up the new All In One I bought for my wife I uninstalled the free trial for McAfee using the removal tool, rebooted and Defender and the Windows Firewall kick in. Perfect, quiet, effective.

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