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Windows Defender and avast! Free on Windows 7?

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#1 PamJ55


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Posted 24 November 2013 - 11:46 PM

Hi all!


I just purchased a Dell computer with Windows 7. I immediately downloaded avast! Free. Shortly after, I realized that something called Windows Defender was also running. Not knowing exactly what this was and knowing you should not run two anti-virus resident programs at the same time, I turned off Defender real-time protection and the auto scan.


I posted over on avast! forums asking if these are two things that could run together or not. At present, there seems to be a difference of opinion on the answer. Since I was familar with this great site here and someone over there referenced a thread on this subject here (from 2009), thought I'd ask you good folks since that 2009 thread is so old.


What exactly in the Windows Defender that runs on Windows 7? I've read that it's an anti-spam thing, not anti-virus. Regardless of that, is it safe to run that real-time protection and leave auto-scan on while running avast! Free (or any resident anti-virus for that matter)? And if it's safe, is there any real need to run it? (I also use Malwarebytes, but not as a resident program.)


Thank you!



Edited by PamJ55, 24 November 2013 - 11:49 PM.

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#2 noknojon


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Posted 25 November 2013 - 06:13 AM

Hi and Welcome -

Please read This Topic By quietman7 with directions on the New Windows Defender.

It includes details + links to more information + what you can use as extra protection -


That topic is generally more related to the Windows 8 version, as Win7 is more suited to private / other programs.


Thank You -

Edited by noknojon, 25 November 2013 - 05:13 PM.

#3 Union_Thug


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Posted 25 November 2013 - 07:58 AM

Windows Defender (on Windows 7 or less) is the first service I disable upon any fresh install... Windows Defender (on Win 7) is just so much wasted resources IMHO... YMMV.


ETA: How To Turn Off & Disable Windows Defender

Edited by Union_Thug, 25 November 2013 - 08:36 AM.

#4 quietman7


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Posted 26 November 2013 - 05:05 PM

You can use the original Windows Defender alongside avast on Windows 7.

Windows Defender on Windows 8 is not the same as Windows Defender on earlier operating systems. Although it uses the same name, the new Windows Defender on Windows 8 is not the same as Defender in previous operating systems.

Windows Defender is an anti-spyware tool intended to supplement your anti-virus program. The version of Windows Defender included with all versions of Windows 7 and Vista is part of the operating system so it cannot be uninstalled but it can be disabled and it's service turned off.

About Windows Defender:Windsows Defender incorporates other features and tools such as Software Explorer which allows users to view detailed information about programs that are running on their systems. It can also be used as a startup programs manager or as a replacement for the Windows Task Manager. Software Explorer can monitor:
  • Startup programs, which run automatically when you start Windows.
  • Programs currently running on the screen or in the background.
  • Network-connected programs or processes that can connect to the Internet, or network.
  • Winsock service providers, which perform low-level networking and communication services for Windows and programs that run on Windows.
However, there are plenty of free tools that can do the same thing as Software Explorer.

I agree with Union_Thug...I generally recommend folks disable it and use more effective alternatives.
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