Does Windows 11 Need an Antivirus? Yes, and Here’s Why

by Claire Moraa
Claire Moraa
Claire Moraa
Claire likes to think she's got a knack for solving problems and improving the quality of life for those around her. Driven by the forces of rationality, curiosity,... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • The latest version of Microsoft's operating system comes with its own set of security features including a built-in antivirus. 
  • It's always good practice to have more than one antivirus program on your PC, just in case one fails or becomes incompatible with an update.
  • Get to explore the undeniable facts about Windows 11 security and the need for an antivirus.
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.

The release of Windows 11 created a buzz as the most secure OS yet. This has prompted users to wonder whether Windows 11 needs an antivirus.

Because Microsoft has been consistently criticized for its security flaws, it’s no surprise that users are questioning the security of the latest version of Windows.

Windows 11 was designed with security in mind. The latest version of the popular operating system is more secure than ever before, with new features such as SmartScreen designed to protect you from malware and other threats.


Is Windows 11’s antivirus good enough?

Does Windows 11 come with an antivirus? Yes. Windows 11 has its own antivirus: Windows Defender. The main question here is whether or not it will be good enough to protect your system from all kinds of threats out there.

The longer answer is that there are several factors that determine whether or not you need an antivirus program on your laptop or desktop. 

If your activities are not internet-intensive and no frequent sharing of files then Windows Defender is good enough for you.

It can help protect against viruses and other threats that might try to attack your PC through email attachments or websites. But it isn’t as powerful as third-party antivirus software. You can look at a more in-depth review of Windows Defender to see all that it has to offer.

Does Windows 11 need an antivirus?

1. Security patches aren’t always secure

In a world of software updates and patching, antivirus is no exception. But does it mean that you don’t need antivirus protection? No. Updates are not always secure as sometimes they are infected with bugs so it is good to be protected at all times.

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2. Hackers are watching your online activities

How much time do you spend online? If you’re constantly connected to the internet, then chances are that there is malware out there specifically targeting computers with internet access.

3. Your sensitive information is at risk

Another factor is how much sensitive data you have stored locally on your PC. If you’re someone who uses their laptop for work purposes, then this could include sensitive information.

Your browser stores your credit card numbers or passwords in browser tabs or browser history files. Hackers can access such information so you need to practice safe browsing habits by using secure browsers or an additional antivirus program to secure your confidential information.

4. Windows Defender cannot do it alone

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There are some things that Windows Defender cannot do. It’s designed more for detecting and removing malware than protecting your computer against viruses, tracking cookies, and other threats. You will need another antivirus program to do the job.

It’s ideal you get a security tool with multi-layered protection. We recommend ESET Internet Security because it combines up-to-date threat databases with advanced machine learning to ensure all-around protection.

ESET is able to protect against viruses, malware, spyware, phishing attacks, ransomware, script-based attacks, and network problems. It secures online payments and has parental controls and webcam protection.

Get ESET Internet Security

5. You need your privacy

Sometimes, you just want to browse the internet without having to deal with pop-up ads or tracking cookies. A third-party antivirus can help you remain anonymous on the internet.

Can Windows 11 get viruses?

Yes. Windows 11 can get infected with malware and viruses like other versions of Windows before it. There are no guarantees that your computer will never get infected with a virus or malware.

However, there are a number of new features that make it easier for Microsoft to protect users from these threats.  It’s definitely safe but it also depends on the activities you engage in.

As Microsoft ups its game in tightening the security of the OS, so are cybercriminals. You absolutely need antivirus protection when using Windows 11. If you don’t have it, then you risk being infected with malware or other threats.

There’s no one best antivirus for Windows 11 as they all differ especially based on your needs. You can check out our list of reliable antiviruses to protect yourself.

We hope you now have a clearer picture of whether you need an additional antivirus for Windows 11.

As always, we enjoy your feedback! Do not hesitate to let us know your reasons for adding a third-party antivirus if you have one or you are just using Windows Defender in the comments down below.

Still having issues? Fix them with this tool:


If the advices above haven't solved your issue, your PC may experience deeper Windows problems. We recommend downloading this PC Repair tool (rated Great on to easily address them. After installation, simply click the Start Scan button and then press on Repair All.

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