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Microsoft Security Essentials Definition Update being listed as "Optional" under Importance?

    Question

  • Why is Microsoft Security Essentials Definition Update being listed as "Optional" under the Automatic Windows Update?

    You actually have to choose it to be downloaded (since it is listed as optional), instead of MSE/Windows automatically downloading the definition.

    If you do not manually select it to be downloaded, Windows will not automatically download the MSE definition. 

    Isn't it odd that a security definition update for MSE be listed as "Optional" in terms of "importance?" This happens in both Windows 7 and Windows Vista OS.

     

    Any reasons or answers?

    • Changed type Vivian Xing Friday, January 21, 2011 4:55 AM
    Thursday, January 13, 2011 3:12 AM

Answers

  • "They are marked optional in Windows Update because if they are ignored MSE will install the definitions at its regular daily update check." (official answer from http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/msestart/thread/b5594cea-93b4-4320-8cbb-edc59a0948cc)

    Even if many people set their Windows Update (incl. MS Update) settings to "check for updates and notify..." instead of "install updates automatically", I would strongly recommend the automatic setting. It's safer when MSE checks and updates the virus signatures every time you start the computer (before you can do anything in Windows) than when it updates according to its own daily schedule. The difference is not huge but existent.


    "192 GB ought to be enough for anybody." (from the miniseries "Next Generation's Jokes")
    • Marked as answer by Vivian Xing Friday, January 21, 2011 4:55 AM
    Thursday, January 13, 2011 12:37 PM

All replies

  • "They are marked optional in Windows Update because if they are ignored MSE will install the definitions at its regular daily update check." (official answer from http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/msestart/thread/b5594cea-93b4-4320-8cbb-edc59a0948cc)

    Even if many people set their Windows Update (incl. MS Update) settings to "check for updates and notify..." instead of "install updates automatically", I would strongly recommend the automatic setting. It's safer when MSE checks and updates the virus signatures every time you start the computer (before you can do anything in Windows) than when it updates according to its own daily schedule. The difference is not huge but existent.


    "192 GB ought to be enough for anybody." (from the miniseries "Next Generation's Jokes")
    • Marked as answer by Vivian Xing Friday, January 21, 2011 4:55 AM
    Thursday, January 13, 2011 12:37 PM
  • Maybe I'm missing the point. Why does it even appear in Windows Update? When I was using 'BitDefender', it would check when I logged on and then every hour thereafter to see if there were updates to the definitions and would update them without any user intervention .

    When I check MSE's status on the 'Home' page, it states that "Virus and Spyware definitions are up to date". Then, if I check for updates on the 'Update' page, it goes off and gets the needed update, even though the 'Home' page said it was current. MSE does not seem to do an update unless a scheduled scan is about to take place. I've left it alone for days on end, and it doesn't seem to go off to get an update, even though it has fallen behind by several updates. That seems a little irresponsible and risky.

    I've found that anything left to the discretion of the user, will be forgotten or ignored(out of sight, out of mind). Please. Take it out of the users responsibility and do an automatic(mandatory) update every sixty minutes.

    Thanks for your support,

    Leighton

     

     

    • Edited by Leighton Cyr Wednesday, January 26, 2011 12:19 AM edit for clarity
    Tuesday, January 25, 2011 11:09 PM
  • You're wrong. My experience is: If you've installed MSE and don't do anything (change settings etc.), it will update (or search for updates) every time you're starting Windows. If you're online for a certain amount of time, you'll get a notification about "optional updates" available (if you search for it = "check updates"), that is: In the meantime, there are (minor) updates to the virus definitions available. That's all. Usually, the first check (when starting Windows) is enough, the virus signatures don't change so often.
    "192 GB ought to be enough for anybody." (from the miniseries "Next Generation's Jokes")
    Wednesday, January 26, 2011 12:37 AM
  • You're wrong. My experience is: If you've installed MSE and don't do anything (change settings etc.), it will update (or search for updates) every time you're starting Windows. If you're online for a certain amount of time, you'll get a notification about "optional updates" available (if you search for it = "check updates"), that is: In the meantime, there are (minor) updates to the virus definitions available. That's all. Usually, the first check (when starting Windows) is enough, the virus signatures don't change so often.

    I'm wrong?? Obviously we are seeing two different versions of reality. As I stated, in my world, if left alone, it does nothing. The 'Home' screen says "Virus and Spyware definitions are up to date". It isn't until I force an update on the 'Update' screen that it will actually do an update. Even after multiple reboots during the course of the day, 'Windows Update' doesn't alert me to an update.

    Please note that I DO NOT have Windows Update set to 'Auto'. I prefer to know when and what is being installed on my PC. I don't get a 'Windows Update' notification that there is an 'Optional' update available. If the update were listed as 'Recommended ' instead of 'Optional ', it might give me a notification.

    My point is that I don't think that it should be an OPTION. It should just be installed by MSE for my own good, not left to the users discretion under 'Windows Update'. It also seems silly to clutter-up the 'WU Installation History' with all of the mundane updates to MSE definition files.

    Please take that into consideration.

    Thanks,

    Leighton

     

     

    • Edited by Leighton Cyr Wednesday, January 26, 2011 3:15 AM additional thoughts
    Wednesday, January 26, 2011 3:06 AM
  • At first, when MSE v2.0 came out, definition updates were labeled as "Recommended". Windows Update on auto settings checks daily (or maybe even more frequent) and installs updates labeled "Recommended" or "Important" automatically, without any user input. As there are several definition updates a day, letting Windows Update install them automatically seems the way to go. But lately all definition updates for MSE have reverted to optional.

    MSE's default update settings, as far as I know, are to check for updates before every scan and scan once a week (2am every sunday).
    This means virus definions are updated every week.

    With threats on the internet evolving very rapidly, once a week is not nearly enough.

     

    As somebody else said earlier, why not let Windows Update do its job? It checks daily anyways.

    Saturday, February 05, 2011 11:59 AM
  • Please note that I DO NOT have Windows Update set to 'Auto'. I prefer to know when and what is being installed on my PC. I don't get a 'Windows Update' notification that there is an 'Optional' update available.

    My point is that I don't think that it should be an OPTION. It should just be installed by MSE for my own good, not left to the users discretion under 'Windows Update'. It also seems silly to clutter-up the 'WU Installation History' with all of the mundane updates to MSE definition files.

    Please take that into consideration.

    Thanks,

    Leighton

     

     

    kickee,

    I reiterate, why not let MSE take care of business and apply the update without the user being involved(hourly, as BitDefender does)? Why get WU involved at all?

     

    Thanks,

    Leighton

     

    Saturday, February 05, 2011 3:41 PM
  • Please note that I DO NOT have Windows Update set to 'Auto'. I prefer to know when and what is being installed on my PC. I don't get a 'Windows Update' notification that there is an 'Optional' update available.

    My point is that I don't think that it should be an OPTION. It should just be installed by MSE for my own good, not left to the users discretion under 'Windows Update'. It also seems silly to clutter-up the 'WU Installation History' with all of the mundane updates to MSE definition files.

    Please take that into consideration.

    Thanks,

    Leighton

    kickee,

    I reiterate, why not let MSE take care of business and apply the update without the user being involved(hourly, as BitDefender does)? Why get WU involved at all?

    Thanks,

    Leighton

    I'm like the original poster in many ways.  I installed MSE with all default options.  I've never changed any options.  I have Windows Update set to fully automatic.  However, I still like to run Windows Update manually sometimes to see if there are any updates.  MSE definition updates always show up as optional.

    If I open MSE, it says that updates are available.  This proves that my MSE is not automatically getting updates whenever Windows (7) starts.  Again, I'm using all default options on both.

    Friday, July 06, 2012 5:53 PM
  • I agree with the last poster. I just checked my Windows Update and there was the update file under optional. This should be installed automatically whenever a new file is available, as it is in Norton. The program should also check periodically for updates and not depend on windows Update to run when Windows is started (I am running Windows 7 on a laptop). True, there may not be any significant changes, but it only takes one....


    ASUS CM-6850 Intel I7-2600 CPU, 16GB RAM, 1 TB HDD, 180 GD Corsair Force 3 SSD, Windows 8 Professional 64 bit

    Monday, December 03, 2012 10:53 PM
  • Im in the same boat.  My concern is that there seems to be a daily update.  Is MSE becoming obsolete?  Am I to believe that it is time to go out and get a different product?  I have had good peace of mind that with MSE and my knowledge of pitfalls to avoid that this is a good product.  Now, with the continuing updates, which arent automatic, that I need to do something different.  Im currently in CIT in college and I have not heard about any massive virus outbreaks that would require such daily definition updates.  Just confused! :-(
    Tuesday, December 04, 2012 1:49 PM