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Unprotected computer message reported from Microsoft Security Essentials

View products that this article applies to.

Important This article contains information that shows you how to help lower security settings or how to turn off security features on a computer. You can make these changes to work around a specific problem. Before you make these changes, we recommend that you evaluate the risks that are associated with implementing this workaround in your particular environment. If you implement this workaround, take any appropriate additional steps to help protect the computer.

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After Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is installed and seems to be runnning correctly, the MSE icon turns from green to orange, and you receive a message that states that the computer is not protected.

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This issue may occur for the following reasons:
  • You use CCleaner from Piriform Ltd on the computer, and it has been used to clear the MSE history.
  • The date and time are not set correctly on the computer.
  • Other security software, such as antivirus, antispyware or anti-malware programs, are either fully or partially installed on the computer.

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Warning This workaround may make a computer or a network more vulnerable to attack by malicious users or by malicious software such as viruses. We do not recommend this workaround but are providing this information so that you can implement this workaround at your own discretion. Use this workaround at your own risk.

The information and the solution in this document represents the current view of Microsoft Corporation on these issues as of the date of publication. This solution is available through Microsoft or through a third-party provider. Microsoft does not specifically recommend any third-party provider or third-party solution that this article might describe. There might also be other third-party providers or third-party solutions that this article does not describe. Because Microsoft must respond to changing market conditions, this information should not be interpreted to be a commitment by Microsoft. Microsoft cannot guarantee or endorse the accuracy of any information or of any solution that is presented by Microsoft or by any mentioned third-party provider.

Microsoft makes no warranties and excludes all representations, warranties, and conditions whether express, implied, or statutory. These include but are not limited to representations, warranties, or conditions of title, non-infringement, satisfactory condition, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose, with regard to any service, solution, product, or any other materials or information. In no event will Microsoft be liable for any third-party solution that this article mentions.

Use the following methods to resolve this issue:

Method 1: Clear the MS AntiMalware check box in CCleaner

If you use CCleaner on the computer, follow these steps to change the CCleaner settings:

  1. In CCleaner, click the Applications tab.
  2. Under Windows, clear the MS Antimalware check box.

Method 2: Make sure that the date and time are set correctly on the computer

To set the date and time on a computer that is running Windows 7, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Date and Time.
  2. Click the Date and Time tab, and then click Change date and time. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. In the Date and Time Settings dialog box, do one or more of the following:
      • To change the hour, double-click the hour, and then click the arrows to increase or decrease the value.
      • To change the minutes, double-click the minutes, and then click the arrows to increase or decrease the value.
      • To change the seconds, double-click the seconds, and then click the arrows to increase or decrease the value.
  4. When you have finished changing the time settings, click OK.
  5. To change the time zone, click Change time zone. In the Time Zone Settings dialog box, click your current time zone in the drop-down list, and then click OK.
    Note If your time zone observes Daylight Saving Time and you want your computer's clock to be adjusted automatically when Daylight Saving Time changes, make sure that the Automatically adjust clock for Daylight Saving Time check box is selected.
  6. Click OK.
For information about how to set the date and time in Windows Vista, see Set the clock.

For information about how to set date and time in Windows XP, see 307938: HOW TO: Change Date, Time, Number, and Currency Value Displays in Windows XP.

Method 3: Remove all traces of other security programs from the computer

Make sure that all traces of the security programs that are installed on the computer are removed. This includes any free or trial products that were pre-installed when you bought the computer, even if they were never activated. Also, make sure to completely uninstall the security program that you were using before you installed Microsoft Security Essentials. Some security programs have their own firewall. By removing these products, the Windows Firewall will be enabled. By default, MSE uses the Windows Firewall.

Note: Security software includes programs such as anti-virus, anti-spyware or anti-malware programs.

If you aren't sure what security programs are installed on the computer, you can use the AppRemover utility from OPSWAT, Inc. to identity the software. To obtain AppRemover, visit

After you identify the security programs that are installed on the computer or have been partially removed from the computer, you can use a cleanup tool or instructions from the security program manufacturer to completely remove the program.

For more information about the cleanup tools that are available for a specific product, see 2688686: List of security program cleanup and uninstall tools.

After all other security programs are removed and cleanup is completed, restart the computer, and then verify that Windows Firewall is turned on. You can check the status of the Windows Firewall in the Action Center (or Security Center if you are using Windows XP), or by using Control Panel.

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More Information

If the issue continues to occur after you have completed the methods described in this article, visit the following webpage to open an email support case:

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Keywords: kb, kbsmbportal, kbsurveynew

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Article Info
Article ID : 2677097
Revision : 2
Created on : 8/20/2020
Published on : 8/20/2020
Exists online : False
Views : 252