Indiana University

In Windows, how do I safely upgrade to the latest security software?

To best protect your Windows computer from viruses, use the latest version of security software available for your computer.

Note: In Windows 8.x, you do not need to follow these instructions, as Windows Defender (the full antivirus suite) is included in the install and will automatically update via standard updates; for more, see Windows Update.

Important: When you upgrade your security software, it is important that you follow the procedure outlined below. If you simply uninstall your current antivirus software and then reinstall the newest version while your computer is connected to the Internet, your computer will be vulnerable to a virus or other malicious attack while it is connected to the Internet without the protective software. It can take mere seconds for your computer to become compromised while in such a state. Thus, UITS strongly recommends that you use the procedure below to upgrade.

On this page:


Download the software from IUware

  1. Go to IUware.

    Note: For personal computers, UITS recommends Windows Defender for Windows 8.x, which comes as part of Windows 8.x as a full antivirus suite. Be aware that the earlier version of Windows Defender on IUware is not the full suite, but a spyware program only. For Windows 7 and Vista, UITS recommends Microsoft Security Essentials, available free of charge via IUware. Be sure to have only one antivirus program installed.

  2. If the product you want is not on the main page, click the Security link on the left and choose the product of your choice.

  3. Important: Download the software only; do not yet install it.

    Log in with your IU Network ID credentials, click Download, and save the file to your computer.

Disable your network connection

For the next part of the upgrade process, disconnect your computer from the network. For the instructions below, if your computer is connected to the network with an Ethernet cable, your active connection is the one labeled "Local Area Connection". If your computer is using a wireless connection, your active connection is the one labeled "Wireless Network Connection".

Windows 7

  1. From the Start menu, open Control Panel.

  2. From Category view, click Network and Internet, and then Network and Sharing Center. Alternatively, from the icons view, click Network and Sharing Center.

  3. On the left, click Change adapter settings.

  4. Right-click the icon for the active network connection, and choose Disable.

Vista

  1. From the Start menu, select Connect To.

  2. Click Open Network and Sharing Center.

  3. On the left, select Manage network connections.

  4. Right-click your active connection, and then select Disable.

Uninstall any security/antivirus software

Before installing the new product, you must remove any and all existing versions of security software on your computer (i.e., any programs with the name of your antivirus software in them, such as Security Essentials, Symantec/Norton, McAfee, etc.).

After removal, your computer will likely prompt you to restart; do so before continuing.

If you have any problems uninstalling the old antivirus software, contact the UITS Support Center before proceeding further and a consultant will assist you.

Install the new antivirus product and the latest virus definitions

  1. Open the folder where you saved the new security product installation program. Double-click this file to begin the installation.

  2. When the installation is complete, you will be prompted to download the latest virus definitions. Re-enable your network connection (see directions below), and then follow the prompts to do so.

  3. Configure your software to schedule regular updates and scans. Check the applications help files for instructions if needed.

Re-enable your network connection

Windows 7

  1. From the Start menu, open Control Panel.

  2. From Category view, click Network and Internet, and then Network and Sharing Center. Alternatively, from the icons view, click Network and Sharing Center.

  3. On the left, click Change adapter settings.

  4. Right-click the icon for the active network connection, and choose Enable.

Vista

  1. From the Start menu, select Connect To.

  2. Click Open Network and Sharing Center.

  3. From the left, select Manage network connections.

  4. Right-click your connection, and then select Enable.