Microsoft Security Essentials preliminary scan detects malware

Andrew Wafer
by Andrew Wafer
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  • The Microsoft Security Essentials preliminary scan result tells you that your system might be infected with malware.
  • That doesn't mean that the antivirus found any malware or viruses but certain software might appear as malicious.
  • You should try to restart your device and repeat the process and see if you get the same message.
  • Installing third-party security software can also bypass this problem so you should go for it.
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An antivirus program needs to be fast, efficient, and cost-effective, and this one has them all.

Preliminary scan results show that malicious or potentially unwanted software might exist is the message displayed by Microsoft Security Essentials.

The warning shows up after a system scan and it somehow offers information about a potential security alert.

However, the message itself isn’t saying too much and it’s also quite ambiguous: is your device infected, should you be worried, or everything is fine, and you can mind your own business?

Well, the focus word from this alert is might. During the system scan, Microsoft Security Essentials didn’t find malware or viruses but certain software might appear as malicious.

Overall, the bottom idea is that you have nothing to worry about – usually third-party apps or processes might be seen by the Windows system as potentially deceptive programs.

However, when security breaches are involved is always better to be prepared for the worst.

So, here are the best ways in which you can react when you receive the Preliminary scan results show that malicious or potentially unwanted software might exist message.

How can I deal with Preliminary scan results… alerts?

1. Restart your device and re-scan the system

  1. Restart your Windows 10 system.
  2. Run Microsoft Security Essentials and initiate a new scan.
  3. Press Windows key + R to start the Run app.
  4. Type msconfig and press Enter.msconfig windows boot
  5. From System Configuration, switch to the Boot tab, choose Safe boot and check the Network option. Click Apply, then OK.
  6. After rebooting, run the scan again.

The Preliminary scan results show that malicious or potentially unwanted software might exist warning shouldn’t be displayed now.

2. Reinstall Microsoft Security Essentials

  1. Press Windows key + S, type control panel, and select Control Panel from results.
  2. Click on Programs and Features.
  3. Find the Microsoft Security Essentials entry and uninstall the program on your computer.

Next, download Microsoft Security Essentials from Microsoft’s official support page and follow on-screen prompts for installing the software on your Windows 10 computer.

If the steps from above aren’t resolving your problem you should uninstall Microsoft Security Essentials and reinstall the program afterward.

Of course, in the end, run a system scan and observe the results. If the warning message is still there, resume the next troubleshooting solution.

3. Install a dedicated antivirus or antimalware program

In order to be sure that your system is fully protected and that your data is safe and secured you should choose to install a different security program.

Depending on your own situation and on your own preference you can choose a paid security software.

We recommend you to use the solution below as it is a great security tool which will properly scan your computer.

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If after running a more complex scan you don’t receive any warnings, you have nothing to worry about – otherwise, just choose to remove the infected files.

Optional, if you already installed a dedicated antivirus / antimalware software, you can remove Microsoft Security Essentials from your Windows 10 device.

In that way, you won’t experience any other error messages and you can also be sure that your system is 100% protected against deceptive programs or malware attacks.

We strongly suggest checking out some of the best antiviruses with unlimited license and install the one that best suits your needs.

So, that’s how you should react when Microsoft Security Essentials is displaying alerts such as the Preliminary scan results show that malicious or potentially unwanted software might exist prompt.

If you have further questions or something to share with us related to this topic, do not hesitate to use the comments form below.

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