Windows 7 Guide to using Microsoft Security Essentials

This guide covers the basic usage of Microsoft Security Essentials on the Windows 7 platform.

An Anti-virus program is only as effective as its latest Definitions.  Make sure to update regularly and to scan often.

 Locating Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE)

MSE can be found in your system tray and is an Icon that looks like a Castle.  In the event that you cannot find the Taskbar icon try looking in hidden items, the small arrow pointing upwards, clicking this will show any hidden items in your Taskbar.

Microsoft Security Essentials has 3 states.

Green:  All is OK and your system is protected.
Amber:  the System needs attention as something needs to be done.  Usually A scan or an update.
Red:  Something has gone wrong, you have a possible viral threat or MSE is not working.  This requires you to do something with MSE.


Updating your antivirus is very important, as new virus definitions (The code that recognise viral behaviour and how to get rid of a virus) are updated as soon as a virus is discovered.  This is a daily occurrence with new viruses coming to market every day.

To update Microsoft Security Essentials simply open the interface, as described above, then click the update tab and then click the button marked update.


One simple way to find out if MSE has detected a virus on your computer is to do the following:

  1. Open MSE as shown at the beginning of this user guide.
  2. Click the Home Screen and select “Full Scan” then click “Scan Now”.

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