5+ best antivirus software for Windows XP to use today

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
Last update:
Affiliate Disclosure

  • 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.
  • A top-tier solution comes from BullGuard. Rest assured that triple-layer next-generation antimalware protection is part of the package.
  • Panda and Kaspersky Lab also offer reliable solutions that you can take into consideration.
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.

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.

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BullGuard, Avast Free Antivirus, Panda Security Cloud Antivirus Free, Kaspersky Lab are some of the best antivirus solutions that you can install on your Windows XP computer.

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 is the best antivirus that works with Windows XP?

ESET NOD32 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.

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.

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

ESET NOD32 Antivirus

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

Avast Free Antivirus

Avast Free Antivirus is the official home security software for Windows XP, another reason why 435 million users trust it.

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 in Windows XP through regular updates.

However, 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.

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

Avast Free Antivirus

While Windows XP won’t get any new updates, Avast Free Antivirus will constantly protect you with new updates.
Free downloadVisit website

Avira Antivirus

avira for windows 10

Windows XP is long time unsupported but if you’re still using it, make sure you got the right protection to cover its wide breaches.

Avira has been a long time among us and it’s the kind of light solution that will still work on your old system.

Like you would expect, Avira is protecting you against viruses, worms, spyware, and Trojans by using the latest algorithms and technologies.

But that’s not all, because behind its intuitive interface, Avira offers a lot of tools that can even speed up the performance of your PC.

The package even includes a VPN, firewall management and even a PC cleaner tool.

Let’s see some its most interesting features:

  • Social networks phishing protection
  • Constant software updates that keep you up to date on your protection
  • Blocks all online threats, including ransomware and spyware
  • Free VPN (with limited band)


Use this versatile antivirus solution for seamless protection even on your old Windows XP system.
Free trialVisit website



Bullguard is a trialware antivirus option that looks clean and has a great protection rating.

In addition to file scanning, Bullguard also brings a spam filter to your local email client as well as traffic scanning for when you are browsing the web.

These automated protection schemes coupled with the 24/7 support make Bullguard antivirus a solid choice for the budget-conscious users.

The software is as easy to use as it gets, providing powerful layered protection against all types of malware, such as trojans or phishing attempts.

Also, it doesn’t slow your computer down, maintaining the speed of your device.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • A custom-built secure browser that protects you from web-based attacks while focusing on privacy
  • Machine Learning powered detection algorithms to identify even the most advanced threats
  • Triple-layer next-generation antimalware protection
  • Game Booster mode to block pop-ups during your gaming sessions
  • Integrated Vulnerability scanner and Firewall


In love with XP? Don’t give up on your OS – Team up with BullGuard to keep it safe and keep on using it forever.
Free trialVisit website

Panda Security


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
Panda Dome

Panda Dome

Panda offers real time protection, your personal firewall, VPN and more for your old XP machine.
Free trialVisit website

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 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.



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

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

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.

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

There are still third-party tools available for this old operating system that will make Windows XP work smoothly even in today’s world dominated by Windows 10.

If your computer is old, check out these antivirus tools that will not slow down your PC.

If 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
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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.

  • Actually, yes. There are both free and paid antivirus solutions that still work with Windows XP such as BullGuard or Panda.

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Good and timely article– you would be surprised how many xp machines are still in regular use.

a minor but still important criticism of your article is the text section on avast, “Avast Free Antivirus protects users in Windows XP through regular updates.

However, 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.”

that avast continues to update its software is clear.
the confusing text comes from the omission of the word “Microsoft” in the second sentence. more clearly, that sentence should be “However, microsoft (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.” “

As of 2020-12-02, the Bullguard website (at the bottom of the page) states that Windows system requirement is Win7 or above.

I just tried installing BullGuard on Windows XP, but it gave me a message box stating that it no longer supports Windows XP. Sorry Ivan Jenic. Rewrite your article.

The last XP-supported version is 20.0.381 AFAIK. However you’ll have to contact Bullguard to send you the direct DL link to the offline installer. Hope that helps……

Dec 2020. Nice to see someone out there still has love for good old XP.
Keep up the great work with articles like this to keep the old O/S alive.
Oh, and for browsers for XP, Mypal is brilliant!

It’s a complicated issue. Some have XP in their main machines but missed the best times for system migration ie. around 2015, where most hardware were still compatible with w7. OTOH, so e simply dude’s have the resources to migrate esp. since they’ve been too attached to that OS environment due to all circumstances.

I have used Norton for over a decade now, but they inform me they will no longer support XP in early 2021. My subscription ends in November, So I’m looking for a good security provider for $30-$50 a year is fair… Any help?

Same here, have used Norton for years and have run into the same problem. Hoeever, their notice didn’t say if any ongoing subscriptions will still run after the cutoff date which is really concerning, as expired/disabled subscriptions would effective lock out the program of any functionality.

I caught Avast ignoring a virus once (was caught by AVG at the time) so it’s off my list for a while.
And AVG has been a little too naggy in the last few years. I no longer recommend it to people.

Actually I just cancelled my long-term subscription with Bitdefender as they had advised me last month that nothing they have will work for Win XP any longer as of 06/07/2018.

You state that Bit Defender is the best for Win XP, but their website states that the System Requirements are Win 7, 8, 8.1, 10.
Will it really be useable on Win XP SP3?