8 Best Antivirus Software for Windows XP to Use Today

Get today's best security features for Windows XP

by Ivan Jenic
Ivan Jenic
Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
Passionate about all elements related to Windows and combined with his innate curiosity, Ivan has delved deep into understanding this operating system, with a specialization in drivers and... read more
Reviewed by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
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  • Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft. In such conditions, it's imperative to use it with a proper antivirus.
  • Such an antivirus has to be light, speedy, and still completely compatible with this old OS.
  • Just be cautious when using your PC, and make sure you're using an up-to-date browser, antivirus, and applications that still support Windows XP.
  • Follow our guide to find the best free antivirus for Windows XP, as well as paid security software for more protection.
antivirus tools for Windows XP
ESET Antivirus comes with all the security tools that you may ever need to protect your data and privacy, including:

  • Anti-theft support
  • Webcam protection
  • Intuitive setup and UI
  • Multi-platform support
  • Banking-level encryption
  • Low system requirements
  • Advanced anti-malware protection

An antivirus program needs to be fast, efficient, and cost-effective, and this one has them all.

Windows XP was released for manufacturing on August 24, 2001, and was supported by Microsoft until April 8, 2014.

During those years, the operating system became widely adopted. If you happen to be a part of those Internet users that are on Windows XP, finding a good third-party antivirus should be a high priority.

Although XP is more vulnerable in principle owing to its age, in practice, most hijackers are script kids using off-the-shelf software.

That software tends to target the most renowned operating systems, so with XP using single digits, there aren’t many people building attacks against it.


Advantages and disadvantages of using Windows XP

Is Windows XP still fully operational? Yes, it is, but it is riskier to use. To assist you, we will outline several techniques that will keep Windows XP safe for a long time.


Windows XP hasn’t lost all of its benefits. Even if there are a few, we are confident that it has some minor or major flaws.

  • A 1-gigahertz CPU with 1 gigabyte of RAM is all that is needed for a 32-bit system and 2 gigabytes of RAM for a 64-bit system.
  • Handles 802.11b wireless LAN access.
  • System Restore and Device Driver Rollback.
  • Remote Desktop and Remote Assistance are both supported.
  • Mode of Application Compatibility.
  • Windows XP has a bright, colorful, and user-friendly desktop, folder, and “Start” menu that is akin to visiting a website.
  • With the Professional version of Windows XP, you can configure a computer to run with two processors; allowing high processing speed equipment.
  • Windows system security is extremely weak, making it vulnerable to viruses and worms.
  • The lack of a Java Virtual Machine is impetuous.
  • Windows XP OS has no community support and the code is not for public use. It was found in September of 2020 that the source code for Windows XP had been leaked online.
  • The screen can get crowded due to malware attacks.
  • XP inherited the blue screen of death, and new hardware is not available for this edition.


Microsoft has stopped providing security upgrades for Windows XP, making it vulnerable to new virus and spyware threats and resulting in low-end natural security.

  • The security of the Windows operating system is exceedingly weak, making it exposed to a variety of malware threats.
  • The lack of a Java Virtual Machine is impetuous.
  • Windows XP OS has no community support and the code is not for public use.
  • It was found in September of 2020 that the source code for Windows XP had been leaked online.
  • The screen can get crowded due to malware attacks.
  • XP inherited the blue screen of death, and new hardware is not available for this edition.

Is antivirus necessary for Windows XP?

It is very important since the operating system has gone unsupported for over 6 years now. But before that, you should make sure you are as up-to-date as possible.

Because Windows XP lacks a built-in defender like its successors, it is highly recommended that you use an antivirus optimized for it, just be on the safe side when browsing the internet.

Instead, you’d have to download Microsoft Security Essentials for first-party protection, which is both obsolete and only provides a very basic level of security.

To secure your Windows XP PC, we strongly advise you to use a third-party antivirus if you want to keep using your Windows XP computers clear of hijacking attacks.

Why do I need a lightweight antivirus for Windows XP?

If you are one of those Internet users of Windows XP, getting a reputable third-party antivirus software should be a top priority.

Even if our computer has limited capabilities or is relatively old, you may install a lightweight antivirus that does not consume a lot of system resources.

Even regular virus definition downloads from traditional antivirus packages might be too much for the limited storage space on a Windows XP PC.

A lightweight antivirus tool with cloud protection can provide comprehensive security while using few resources and leaving a small data trace.

We tested the best lightweight antivirus applications for outdated or low-end devices in this list to ensure appropriate security without bothersome delays or freezes.

Some of these tools are free, while others come with a price tag. Read on to learn how each of these antivirus solutions can protect your Windows XP PC.

What to look for in antivirus for Windows XP?

Most antivirus solutions for Windows XP give full functionality in trial mode for a limited time, whereas a free version removes certain functions and makes the free product available for a year or longer.

We believe that it is as much about the operating system as it is about system resources such as processor type and speed, as well as memory.

If you don’t have enough capacity, disk space might be an issue. Because you can only install one real-time AV solution, you’re obviously better off selecting one with a high protection rating.

But you shouldn’t stop there if you’re browsing on your XP computer, because the chances are heavily stacked against you.

To keep secure, you should perform periodic double-checks by scanning with any of the on-demand malware-removal solutions listed below.

Supplementing your anti-virus program with anti-malware tools provides the highest level of security for the vulnerable Windows XP.

You should also be aware of the PC resources impacted by your antivirus of choice to assure high performance on your computer.

This is why we classified each antivirus from this article in order to inform you about full scanning CPU usage and quick scanning CPU usage.

What is the best antivirus that works with Windows XP?

ESET NOD32 Antivirus – Best lightweight antivirus

ESET NOD32 Antivirus is one of the lightest solutions out there so you can make sure that it also runs on your old Windows XP PC.

In addition to desktop versions, ESET is also available on Windows Server, so if you need antivirus software for Windows Server, ESET is the right choice.

Needless to say, this tool offers exquisite protection against all threats including spyware, rootkits, worms, viruses, and even adware.

And it doesn’t only protect your PC but also covers your external drives, including USB flash drives and the data contained.

And to make sure it won’t disturb you during your activities on the PC, ESET NOD32 Antivirus comes with dedicated work modes for Gaming, Presentation, or Movies.

And if you’re facing any problems, you will have all sorts of informative materials and, of course, e-mail, live chat, and phone support at your disposal.

Let’s take a look at some of its key benefits:

  • Very light on your PC resources
  • Whether you work or play, this tool will make sure you won’t be bothered
  • Protection against all kinds of cyber attacks
  • 30-days free trial period
  • Multiple platform compatibility

ESET NOD32 Antivirus is available on multiple platforms, including your Android smartphones so give it a long try because you have 30 days to make up your mind.

ESET NOD32 Antivirus

Protect your old XP system with the best and lightest solution for your PC.

Free Trial Visit website

Bitdefender Free Antivirus – Best protection against new threats

Bitdefender for Windows XP is a well-known tool that can detect and remove viruses and harmful malware in real-time. It offers cloud storage for personal document backup and restoration.

The program monitors traffic and provides continuous active virus management as well as preventive security.

It detects and prevents internet dangers such as phishing, spyware, and questionable files and components. It’s one of the best free antiviruses for Windows XP you can have and feel safe while using your PC.

The software offers a straightforward user interface that allows you to immediately grasp a large range of working tools, functions, and sections. Bitdefender’s official newest version for Windows XP is available for free download.

If you want basic security protection for your Windows-based computer, you should absolutely download Bitdefender Free for Windows Vista or Windows XP.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • Downloads and installs in seconds
  • Intuitive User Interface
  • Offers a great gameplay experience
  • Powerful antivirus protection

Bitdefender adds antimalware protection support for Windows Vista (SP1 & SP2), Windows Server 2008 and Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2008, Microsoft Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 clients to provide a security solution while they upgrade to new operating systems.

Bitdefender Free Antivirus

Protect your Windows computer from all cyber dangers, regardless of whether you are tech-savvy or not.

Free Trial Visit website

Kaspersky Lab – Best for Internet privacy

Kaspersky Lab

Kaspersky Lab has had a great reputation for a while now, and it will certainly not be a bad choice to secure your Windows XP SP3 machine from viruses.

With similar scores given from AV-TEST, Kaspersky‘s reputation along with low system requirements helped place it up to the number two spot.

Not taxing a computer too much to keep it protected is a big deal for Windows XP machines since many of them are underpowered.

Kaspersky for Windows XP only requires an 800MHz processor, 512MB of available RAM, and a minuscule 480MB of disk space.

This lightweight configuration gives room to breathe on most machines, especially older Windows XP 32-bit ones that tend to have 1GB of RAM and slower processors.

Let’s see some of its best features below:

  • Free VPN with up to 300 MB of daily traffic
  • Safe Money feature that encrypts your online payments and transactions
  • Webcam protection to block any unauthorized access
  • Constant lookout for device vulnerabilities and threats
  • Isolates and removes immediate threats

Check to see if your computer’s CPU supports the SSE2 instruction set before installing a Kaspersky program on Windows XP.  

Before installing Kaspersky Lab, there are two key factors to consider. To begin, verify whether your processor supports SSE2, then install Kaspersky versions 19 and 18. If the processor does not support SSE2, only Kaspersky version 18 can be installed.


Kaspersky is the perfect solution for old PCs and can handle old systems like even Windows XP.

Free Trial Visit Website

Panda Security – Best virus detection rate

So, is there a free antivirus for Windows XP? The answer is yes, and Panda Antivirus is one of the best options out there.

This virus protection tool for Windows XP SP2 and up has a sleek-looking UI that might look too modern compared to the gradients of old XP along with top-notch protection and no noticeable performance hit.

Panda’s offering differs from many of its competitors by running scans in the cloud, meaning users will not have to deal with daily updates.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • Great protection scores
  • It always keeps itself up to date instead of nagging the user to download update files one or more times per day
  • Keep virus definitions up to date with no user interaction or knowledge
  • Does not impact the performance of your system

During startup, an automatic scan begins, which is important for checking security warnings. The newest scanning engine, EXE file scanning, and enhanced memory utilization have less impact on your Windows XP computer while completing scans quickly.

The user interface has a utility called Speed Up programs for removing files that slow down your system as well as shortening the device’s running process.

Panda Dome

Panda offers real-time protection, your personal firewall, VPN, and more for your old XP computer.

Free Trial Visit website

Webroot – The fastest antivirus scans

Webroot Secure Anywhere Antivirus for Windows XP is a defense solution with an easy-to-use interface that is also reliable and trustworthy.

Webroot Secure Anywhere Antivirus is compatible with most Windows operating systems, including Windows XP and Vista, and provides assistance when problems arise.

It is compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows XP and Vista, and it installs quickly and runs smoothly in the background.

Webroot antivirus for Windows XP provides protection not just against websites, but also against social networking sites, chat forums, and Voice over Internet Protocol applications, which may and frequently do transmit viruses.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • User-friendly Interface
  • Lightweight and consume low resources
  • Mid-level privacy and security
  • Email protection

Webroot antivirus tool will deliver efficient virus protection and guard your Windows XP device against complex cyberattacks.


Protects your computer and data in real-time by detecting and blocking new threats as they arise.

Check price Visit Website

AVG Antivirus – Efficient web and email security

AVG AntiVirus Free and AVG Internet Security are still available for Windows XP and Vista for basic security and antivirus protection. This security software is a compatible free antivirus for Windows XP 32-bit and 64-bit.

If you are using previous versions of AVG on Windows XP or Windows Vista, you will continue to be protected and get virus definition updates.

However, AVG suggests updating to the most recent versions of Windows and AVG in order to benefit from the greatest detection rates and the most up-to-date features.

AVG Free Antivirus provides basic antivirus and antispyware protection and is available for free download. You can download AVG free version standalone Windows XP antivirus offline installer for a better experience from the AVG support page.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • Easy installation
  • Real-time PC protection
  • Web and email protection
  • Stops spyware, viruses & malware.

With restricted functionality and no support for versions lower than 18, it is intended for personal and non-commercial usage only.

AVG Antivirus

A great antivirus that stops all attacks on your privacy when browsing online.

Free Trial Visit Website

Avast Free Antivirus – Best ransomware protection

Avast Antivirus is the official home security software for Windows XP, another reason why 435 million users trust it. This security software is a compatible free antivirus for Windows XP 32 bit and 64 bit.

AV-Comparatives claims Avast Free Antivirus to be the least impacting antivirus for PC performance. In addition, it comes with advanced cleaning and optimization features for your PC to further improve its performance.

Avast Free Antivirus protects users through regular updates, and you may also safely download Windows XP antivirus offline installer. It’s still one best free antivirus for Windows XP that won’t let you down when you need it most.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • Advanced Ransomware protection
  • Do Not Disturb Mode blocks any distractions and popups
  • Behavior Shield feature for constant files and app monitoring
  • Light on your system and resources

However, the Windows XP software updates (including new features, hotfixes, or support) are no longer available due to the fact that Microsoft has stopped publishing security updates for this version.

Avast Free Antivirus

Amazing protection of data and advanced ransomware protection for a free antivirus.

Free Download Visit Website

Comodo – best cloud-based antivirus tool

If you use the unsafe Windows XP operating system, the possibilities of your computer becoming attacked by keyloggers are quite significant.

This, however, may be avoided by installing Comodo Windows XP Free Antivirus. This security tool has advanced security capabilities and delivers great protection against not only keyloggers but the whole spectrum of malware.

Comodo’s innovative Default Deny Approach, Containment, Host Intrusion Prevention System, and Viruscope security capabilities keep malware threats and zero-day assaults at bay.

Comodo is a well-known malware remover that uses cutting-edge technologies to defend your Windows XP. It’s one of the best free antiviruses for Windows XP you can have with full support.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • Automatic deny for suspicious files
  • Viruscope prevention system
  • Advanced firewall engine
  • Cloud-Based malware analysis

Thanks to easy-to-use UI, robust security measures, and a dashboard that shows the current status of your PC, you are covered with security. With the help of the Launch Option, you may scan your PC with a single click.

Get Comodo

Because not all goods are suitable for all systems, it is important to go with a solution that is most suited to your chosen operating system.

Keep in mind that the number of malware and virus attacks is growing by the day. Moreover, hackers love to exploit security vulnerabilities in old operating systems.

There are other third-party security tools you can add to this old operating system that will make Windows XP work smoothly even in today’s world dominated by Windows 10.

So, if you want to protect your Windows XP device and make it bullet-proof against the latest cyber threats, do install one of the antivirus solutions listed above.

If you’re using Service Pack 2, be sure to check our list of best antivirus applications for Windows XP SP2.

Can you still download Windows XP Service Pack 3?

You may launch Windows Update by selecting the Windows Update icon in your Start menu to install Windows XP Service Pack 3. Windows XP SP3 should be one of the available download and installation choices.

Although Windows XP Service Pack 3 may still be obtained via the Windows Update Catalog, the media for Windows XP is no longer available for download from Microsoft because it is no longer supported.

Is Windows XP Service Pack 3 32 bit or 64 bit?

There is no Service Pack 3 for Windows XP 64-Bit, only a 32-bit with the final update.

Windows XP Service Pack 3 32-bit last update includes all previously released operating system upgrades. In addition to the things that have been available as separate downloads since Windows XP Service Pack 3 RC1, the current version offers further networking and security improvements.

If you’re seeking Windows XP x64, make careful to look for file hashes for Windows XP because they might be fake.

Still, Windows XP 32bit is best for old PC hardware that requires an OS with a user-friendly interface and low resource usage.

How do I deal with Windows XP security vulnerabilities?

As the number of unpatched and afflicted computers grows, so do the costs of recovering files or a damaged computer.

Our main concern is how a hacker would try to install malware on Windows XP systems. Once that goal is met, the attacker has essentially taken entire control of the system, with you having no idea what is going on.

And it is at this point that a WinXP PC that is no longer receiving security updates becomes particularly vulnerable.

What you should do to make Windows XP machines more secure is as follows:

➡ Ensure that all apps and security tools are up to date.

➡ Replace Microsoft apps with open source alternatives wherever possible.

➡ Only use Google Chrome (or Mozilla Firefox) as the primary web browser.

➡ Disable Vulnerable Browser Plugins Like Java, Flash Player, and Adobe Reader

➡ Firewalls, both hardware, and software should be used.

➡ Make use of application and website whitelisting.

With these tools and with our other guide posted throughout the entire article, we show that you can keep Windows XP forever.

However, if you think of updating your OS to the latest version, look at our selection with the best Windows 11 antiviruses.

Assuming that you have any recommendations for the protection and installation of Windows XP Service Pack 3, do let us know in the comments below.

tipProtect your PC now!
Don't leave your PC unprotected! Get one of the best antivirus tools in the world and navigate the Internet without worries! ESET Antivirus comes with all the security tools that you may ever need to protect your data and privacy, including:

  • Webcam protection
  • Multi-platform support
  • Low system requirements
  • Top-notch anti-malware protection

Frequently Asked Questions

  • While there are more advanced OSs available, you should be able to keep using Windows XP safely, with just a few easy tricks.

  • Yes, it can. You will need a more lightweight browser for the job, though. Since Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft, it’s recommended to use a VPN for safety.

  • Kaspersky for Windows XP is an optimal solution for an older PC, and it still offers support for it.

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