5 best antivirus for low specs Windows PCs

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
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Are you a Windows user with low specs PC? Today we have compiled the best antivirus for your kind of PC.

Antivirus has become very important since the early 2000 s with the expansion of the internet with lots of hackers releasing virus, malware and recently ransomware which can put computer users at risk of losing information and files or being held to ransom before accessing their system.

It has become increasingly important to have quality antivirus software to protect against such threats.

If your computer is a low budget PC then the best type of antivirus are those that would be light in size and not use too much of your computer’s resources as this would slow down the PC.

Since this low budget PCs comes with usually low end processors it is vital that the antivirus to be installed should use as little resources as possible while providing adequate security against malicious threats.

Today we review the best low resource antivirus to use on your computer:

    • Emsisoft Anti-Malware
    • Panda Cloud Antivirus
    • Microsoft Security Essentials
    • Malwarebytes
    • Avira Antivirus
    • Avast Antivirus

Antivirus for low specs PC to use in 2018


Emsisoft Antivirus (recommended)

Emsisoft Anti-Malware lightest antivirus for low spec PC

Emsisoft Anti-malware is an extremely powerful security software designed to run smoothly on low specs PCs and laptops. It is highly compatible with Windows 10 running on both x32 and x64 platforms.

This tool is offering a real-time protection and blocking malware before it can be executed, using the high-performance dual engine scanner or the behavior analysis.

In addition, the surf protection was recently improved and warns you about many phishing sites when you try to access them.

Emsisoft Anti-Malware stands out in the top security software with a redesigned interface, significant improvements and recently awards from AV-comparatives and Virus Bulletin.

Emsisoft AV Malware Protection Test

This is a reliable tool that protects the most important parts of your system against malware, ransomware, adware, you name it – and it is the lightest antivirus to use on your low spec PC.

High performance antivirus
emsisoft logo website
  • Dual-engine Scanner
  • 4 protection layers to block online threats
  • Real time protection

Panda Cloud Antivirus (suggested)

Panda Cloud Antivirus

Panda Cloud Antivirus is a free security software that uses cloud processing to clean the PC.In addition, it has a nice user interface making it ideal for novice computer users as well.

Furthermore, Panda Cloud has a handy vaccination tool that automatically checks for USB drives for malicious software.  Also, emergency rescue USB drive which users can use to reboot to scan affected system. This antivirus is compatible with Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.


  • Excellent malware detection
  • Users can create emergency USB rescue disk


  • Impacts a bit on resource of user system

Panda cloud antivirus is a useful antivirus software for low spec PC with its cloud based protection which does not impact too much on users PC while still offering other stellar protection features

Recommended antivirus
panda dome
  • Real-time monitoring
  • Personal firewall
  • Device management
  • USB Protection

Microsoft Security Essentials

Microsoft Security Essentials

Microsoft Security Essentials may not be one of the top-rated antiviruses but it is still among the best when it comes to its functions and compatibility with low spec PC.

This malware protection software which was launched by Microsoft in 2009 has gotten a reputation as a decent antivirus software.

Microsoft Security Essentials is free to download for windows which is a plus and comes with well-programmed protection tools geared towards antivirus and anti-malware protection.

It is also compatible with multiple Windows versions from Windows XP to Windows 10 and comes in both 32bit and 64 bit which is a crucial aspect for low-end PCs.

Furthermore, one of its unique advantages is that it can be installed and run on more than 8 systems simultaneously because it is small to download and utilizes low resources.

Users can also determine how much of the CPU resources would be allocated to the software for a scan with the default at 50%.


  • Easy to install and use
  • Compatible to numerous version of windows O.S
  • Gives protection with access to large database of virus definitions


  • Does not have gaming mode feature

Microsoft Windows essential is the ideal antivirus for a low specs PC with its small size and easy installation appealing to users.

The routine scan also uses little of the computer resources which gives it an edge for users of low Specification PC.

Download Microsoft Security Essentials



antivirus for low spec pcMalwarebytes is a unique software, best used in conjunction with other antivirus as it helps to detect unwanted bugs that accompany software download, especially if you like to download free software.

Also, it gives layers of protection which specializes in detection of malware and malicious files.

Web protection blocks traffic to known dangerous addresses, whether by the browser or by a malicious application.

Ransomware protection watches for the behaviors that occur when an unknown program is getting ready to encrypt your files.


  • Gives fast scans and good protection.
  • Detects threat normal antivirus may miss


  • May interfere with other security software
  • It has no real time protection.

Malwarebytes is an ideal software to have in conjunction with a regular antivirus as it helps to boost the antivirus software by detecting security threats.

It also takes little resources from users progress PC which makes it one of the lowest impact antivirus for low specs PC.

Best choice
alwarebytes logo official website
  • Performance without slowing down your PC
  • Removes infections with a quick scan 
  • Customize your security

Avira  Antivirus


Avira Antivirus is one of the popular antivirus software offering free antivirus and is used by millions. This antivirus gives top notch protection to users computer’s.

The installation of the antivirus is slow and contains lots of advertisements which reminds users that they are using a free software.

After installation things get interesting with the user interface opening a homepage consisting  of a main window with a slatted menu and panels where users can view the system status. While gaining access to major features.

When clicking on PC protection users can start a scan of the system. Users can also toggle on the real time protection features and configure the default settings .

However, Avira is  slow in running full scan with each full scan taking about two and a half hours which is far longer than other competitive rivals.

Unlike other antivirus that skip already validated files for subsequent scanning, Avira still validates this same files for every scan meaning that subsequent scans still take more than 24hours.


  • The antivirus gives good independent results when used.
  • Very good in blocking malware


  • Quite slow on scanning
  • Limited browser protection

Avira antivirus is an ideal antivirus for low specs PC because it gives quality protection against to users computer. Though using the free version might be a hassle, choosing the Pro version will make a huge difference.

Next-Gen AI Technology
avira website logo
  • 300 thousand threats blocked per day
  • Endpoint Scanning of malware
  • 100 million sensors for detecting threats

Avast Antivirus


avast antivirus

Avast Antivirus is a worldwide giant in the antivirus industry with hundreds of millions of users worldwide.

Avast incorporates features such as excellent detection of malware and malicious software with real time protection which makes the antivirus consistently rank among the best in the world.

Avast antivirus features browser protection using specific plugins with just little delays when installing this plugins.

This software competes comparatively well in browser protection especially against malware threats and highlights dangerous links in search engine results while blocking trackers.

In addition, the gaming feature prevents displays of updates or pop ups from appearing to disrupt users gaming experience.


  • Myriad of features available
  • Excellent URL filtering options


  • Conflicting lab results

However, Avast sometimes causes lagging of PC when running scans but it is an excellent virus threat detector.

Avast provides almost everything needed from an antivirus and is an ideal antivirus for low specs PC from its myriad of features to URL filtering and gaming mode.

Essential antivirus protection
avast logo official
  • Secure password manager
  • VPN
  • WebCam Shield
  • Browser Cleanup

Do share with us your experiences in using any of the antivirus programs we mentioned above.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2018 and has been since updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.