- Looking for the best antivirus for Windows 7? Now that Microsoft no longer supports it, you'll need other means to protect it.
- When extended support expires, you can no longer rely on security or reliability fixes for Windows 7, thus it's critical to safeguard it.
- Some antivirus products include a plethora of valuable extras, such as an upgraded firewall, VPN, spam filter, and ransomware protection.
- Some open-source antivirus solutions will continue to support Windows 7, so select the one that best suits your needs.
Windows 7 is no longer one of the most popular desktop operating systems in the world. That’s no surprise when taking into account the fact that this OS was launched more than 10 years ago.
Following repeated waves of malware attacks, users should make sure that they’re running the best antivirus. Windows 7 has its own built-in security module, but it doesn’t provide complete protection.
While you might continue to use your Windows 7 PC, without ongoing software and security upgrades, it will be more vulnerable to viruses and malware.
Furthermore, you may believe there are no risks, keep in mind that even supported Windows operating systems are vulnerable to zero-day attacks.
When hackers decide to attack Windows 7, as they will most certainly do, there will be no security fixes available. Using Windows 7 securely necessitates greater vigilance than usual.
Secure your devices with award-winning cybersecurity technology.
Best security tool for intense browsing activity.
Keep secure with groundbreaking AI detection and prevention technology.
Browse the web securely for up to 3 devices across Windows, Mac, iOS or Android systems.
Prevent data breaches and malware infections with user-friendly controls.
Does Windows 7 have antivirus?
Windows 7 has the Microsoft Security Essential security utility which is a forerunner for what Windows Defender is today. The utility is able to detect and block viruses and malware but is very outdated.
Microsoft stopped offering support for Windows 7 in January 2020. This means that they no longer release updates for the operating system.
That makes Microsoft Security Essential an outdated antivirus that can no longer provide what is required to keep your system fully secured. It is recommended you use a third-party antivirus that’s compatible with Windows 7 and still releases new, updated versions.
Do I need antivirus on Windows 7?
As a quick reminder, many security experts suggested that Windows 7 facilitated the spread of the WannaCry ransomware.
Running a reliable antivirus software tool on your Windows 7 computer is essential since Microsoft officially ended support for this OS version.
This means that Windows 7 no longer receives security updates and we expect the number of Windows 7-targeted attacks to grow.
Although Windows 7 contains spyware protection, you can defend yourself against viruses by downloading Microsoft Security Essentials for free.
Remember that, as the name implies, it only provides basic security; if you feel unsafe with your Windows 7 PC, it’s always a good idea to try software that is trustworthy and has your back while you go online.
If you want to prevent hackers from infecting your Windows 7 PC with malware, install one of the antivirus software picks listed below.
What are the best Windows 7 antivirus solutions to use?
Microsoft’s decision to drop the support for Windows 7 left users with a major security concern. The Windows native applications are no longer updated, hence not prepared for today’s cybersecurity threats.
The most important thing to consider is compatibility. Not only should you get an antivirus that works on Windows 7, but you must also think about your hardware requirements.
Chances are that you run Windows 7 on an older machine, which means you have fewer resources, so an antivirus with a smaller file and less resource usage is recommended.
Also, make sure you get an up-to-date antivirus. Whilst there are plenty of old AV versions available for download that are certainly compatible with Windows 7, these are not very useful in blocking current threats.
We considered all these criteria and comprised the following list of the best antiviruses for Windows 7 that can help you secure your device today.
- Eset Internet Security
- Bitdefender Total Security
- Vipre Antivirus Plus
- Panda Security Free
- Total AV
- Norton 360
- Avast Free Antivirus
- Avira Free Antivirus
- AVG Internet Security
- Kaspersky Total Security
While all these utilities are very good options, they vary in terms of features. Some of them are more focused on anti-phishing and privacy, others employ advanced machine learning to detect day one threats.
It really depends on your needs and how you use your computer and the Internet. Check our overview below to make an informed decision.
ESET Internet Security – most comprehensive set of features
ESET tops our list of antivirus tools for your Windows 7 device. It protects against any type of malware, including viruses, ransomware, worms, and spyware.
Once installed, the solution is lightweight, unintrusive, and efficient, which will make it a great asset for your device.
With ESET, your online operations are safe and the tool’s permanent background activity ensures won’t interfere with any of the ongoing system processes.
You can use any of the software’s three variants on your Windows 7 computer: Essential, Advanced, or Ultimate. Keep in mind that there are limited functions due to the end of support from Microsoft for Windows 7.
Let’s see ESET Internet Security’s main features:
- Regular detection engine
- Updates for the latest threats
- Proactive detection module
- ESET technical support
Additionally, this antivirus will provide security of sensitive information used for banking or other financial needs. With great anti-phishing or fraud tools, you lock your personal data in a few clicks.
There is also a firewall and network inspector tool created to detect harmful software or viruses that get into your PC.
ESET Internet Security
Antivirus software will save you a lot of security headaches especially since your Windows 7 device is exposed to threats now more than ever.
Bitdefender Total Security – lightweight and quick installation
Bitdefender is a powerful antivirus for Windows 7 that will keep hackers at bay. This tool makes the Internet safe for you, blocking virtually all threats.
Bitdefender offers on-demand and on-access scanning to detect and remove all malware, including viruses, worms and Trojans, ransomware, zero-day exploits, rootkits, and spyware.
The antivirus also uses advanced behavioral detection techniques that monitor your active apps, closing the door on malware.
Let’s see the main features of Bitdefender Total Security:
- Device Optimizer.
- Privacy Firewall.
- Parental Control.
- Protection against malware, spyware, and adware.
- Multi-Layer Ransomware Protection.
Your financial data, including passwords or credit card numbers, is safe with Bitdefender. The anti-fraud filtering system detects and blocks suspicious websites that may try to scam you.
No less important, Bitdefender offers several antivirus packages, each suitable for specific categories of users.
Note: You need at least Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 to use Bitdefender on your device. Bitdefender offers support for Windows 7 until the 14th of January, 2023.
Bitdefender Total Security
Bitdefender offers complete protection even for Windows 7 PCs. Claim the best deal right away!
Vipre Antivirus Plus – fast responding
Vipre antivirus is your best alternative to slow or unresponsive antivirus solutions. The technology it uses ensures fast detection against new, emerging, and advanced cyber-threats.
VIPRE Antivirus Plus is also quite effective at stopping malware and preventing infected executable files from being installed and launched. VIPRE is also capable of blocking harmful URLs that might lead to your machine getting infected with malware.
Today, antivirus software’s antiphishing features are equally critical, and VIPRE Antivirus Plus has gone to considerable lengths to improve its phishing detection and prevention from previous versions that were almost great.
More exactly, it outperformed the great majority of other similar products on the market. VIPRE can assist safeguard your email communication as well as your social network profiles in addition to these core functions.
The program includes all the necessary tools to keep your Windows 7 system apps in top shape.
Just take a closer look at its key features:
- Cloud-enabled security
- Application patching to update all apps
- Dark Web Scanner
- Ransomware protection
- Two-way firewall
- URL malware blocking
Not to mention that if you’re based in the US, Vipre has been awarded for the excellent support and customer service it offers.
Vipre Antivirus Plus
Your Windows 7 deserves the best protection and you can get it with this fast and reliable tool.
Panda Security Free – best free option
Panda Antivirus is a free antivirus tool that will bring added value to protect your PC from digital threats or harmful malware.
With this Windows 7 compatible antivirus, you take advantage of real-time malware detection and virus prevention for your computer.
You can easily install this antivirus and use its user-friendly interface to avoid system damages or malfunctions caused by dangerous malware.
The software is light on resources and operates on the cloud so you won’t be interrupted by different updates or processes.
You have access to the following key features of Panda Security Free:
- Real-time protection
- Lightweight on CPU
- Clear user interface
- Real-time Antispyware
- Process Monitor
Moreover, it can secure your computer from malware infection through USB drives. So every time you insert a USB drive the antivirus will run a full scan.
Panda Rescue Kit also presents a recovery system for your PC, helping you boot and clean an infected computer that won’t start.
There are other helpful functionalities like the Gaming mode or Android device protection to get all-around security for every single device.
Panda Security Free
This antivirus delivers strong anti-malware tools to safeguard your PC from difficult online threats.
Total AV – advanced anti-malware
The following solution is a highly trusted antivirus due to valuable anti-malware tools and real-time monitoring for Windows 7 PCs.
If you need unbreakable security for your device, best use this malware protection tool to monitor digital threats in real-time to avoid serious system troubles.
This antivirus solution delivers strong protection against advanced malware and checks different installs or executables before affecting your PC.
You have access to the following key features of Total AV:
- Website filtering
- Remote firewall
- Real-time protection
Total AV is the right answer for browsing safety with the WebShield feature that prevents scams and phishing attacks to access your personal data.
You can also block annoying ads or pop-up messages that cover your screen and constantly require information.
It’s also worth knowing that it’s possible to schedule smart scams anytime and detect harmful malware before infecting your computer.
This thorough antivirus delivers effective anti-malware, browsing, and virus detection tools, so give it a try.
Norton 360 – best for online vulnerabilities
If you are using Windows 7 service pack 1 or later, Norton 360 will continue to provide enhanced protection. Windows 7 service pack 0 will be in maintenance mode.
Maintenance mode indicates that the Norton security software installed on Windows 7 SP0 will continue to receive certain services, such as malware definition updates, but that other services, such as new product features, will be discontinued.
If you have Windows service pack 1 or higher, you will be able to make use of all of Norton 360’s features.
You have access to the following key features of Norton 360:
- Malware protection
- Protection in e-mail, downloads
- Online reputation protection
- Non-intrusive scans
- Bootable Recovery Tool
While having safeguards accessible in Windows 7 is crucial, it is equally necessary to back up that security with dependable help from antivirus software such as Norton 360.
LiveUpdate will continue to provide the most recent malware definitions to your Norton protection software, as well as vulnerability updates and compatibility fixes.
Lightweight antivirus and security software that protects your Windows 7 PC from viruses, malware, spyware, and ransomware.
Avast Free Antivirus – powerful ransomware shield
Avast Free Antivirus’s dedicated antivirus fully protects your Windows 7 computer and has a very low impact on your PC’s performance.
The antivirus offers the complete protection with advanced features that will detect and block malware the moment it attempts to enter your computer.
Avast Free Antivirus features a very clean and easy-to-use interface. Even if you haven’t used this tool before, you’ll quickly get used to it.
You have access to the following key features of Avast Free Antivirus:
- Detects any type of malware
- Web filtering and anti-phishing
- Real-time protection
- Software updater
- Ransomware shield
With all-around security tools, it’s possible to block advanced cyber threats and dangerous ransomware attacks that can badly damage your PC.
You can as well stay away from malicious websites and guard personal data from phishing attempts on various sites.
The company offers several antivirus solutions for Windows 7, including a free version.
Avast Free Antivirus
Protecting Windows 7 is not easy anymore, now that support has ended. Use Avast Free Antivirus to help out with your security needs!
Avira Free Antivirus – small footprint on PC performance
Avira uses state-of-the-art algorithms to protect you from viruses, worms, Trojans, ransomware, spyware, adware, and rootkits.
In this manner, your PC is protected in real-time both against known and unknown threats.
Avira offers near-perfect detection rates and an intuitive interface. The tool won’t slow down your PC in any way.
The company offers four versatile packages combining online protection, firewall management, performance tools, and a VPN.
Plus, you benefit from blocking trackers tools capable to prevent ad networks to store your personal information online.
You have access to the following key features of Avira Free Antivirus:
- Real-time local protection & repair
- Real-time updates via the cloud
- Small footprint on PC performance
- Web protection & repair
- Free VPN extension
Avira is fantastic. It is quick, light, and well-rated for compatibility with Windows 7 machines. The majority of activities need human permission, although background protection is automated.
As a result, the system will not be overwhelmed at an inconvenient time, but it is also possible to be unconcerned with its status.
Avira Free Antivirus
Now that Windows 7 is no longer supported, you’ll need a product like Avira to secure your Windows 7 OS.
AVG Internet Security – best antispyware and webcam protection
AVG is a reliable solution that combines artificial intelligence and crowdsourced data from millions of users to stay one step ahead of hackers.
The tool warns you about unsafe web links, blocks dangerous email attachments and malware, and updates in real-time to keep your PC safe at all times.
Moreover, keep in mind that AVG is very silent, running in the background without slowing down your Windows 7 computer.
You have access to the following key features of AVG Internet Security:
- Malware protection
- Email Shield
- Real-time updates
- Phishing protection
- Webcam protection
- Anti-hacker security
AVG will continue to protect Windows 7 customers by issuing updated virus definitions and AVG Internet Security software updates.
While as a Windows 7 user, you will continue to benefit from the most up-to-date virus, malware, and other threat protection, please be aware that the risk of using an unsupported operating system escalates with time.
You can always transfer your account if you have an AVG Internet Security subscription but want to update your operating system or move to a different device.
If you decide to upgrade to a newer OS version, your AVG antivirus will continue working as it’s compatible with all the latest Windows versions.
AVG Internet Security
Now that Windows 7 is no longer supported, you need to consider enjoying third-party protection. Choose AVG!
Kaspersky Total Security – powerful data encryption
Kaspersky’s award-winning security solutions help you protect your data, privacy, and money. If you like this idea, don’t hesitate to give it a try.
You have access to the following key features of Kaspersky Total Security:
- Blocks viruses and crypto lockers
- Bank encryption for payments
- Protects media files
- Encrypts data with VPN (200MB/device/day)
- Webcam antispyware
- Advanced parental controls
Kaspersky Total Security, the top-tier application, includes a password manager, excellent parental controls, a reinforced browser for online transactions, and revolutionary spyware prevention.
While its malware scanner did allow a few possible dangers past, it’s a step ahead of the competition with rapid speeds that have just a little influence on the performance of your computer.
The sole disadvantage is that unrestricted access to Kaspersky’s Secure Connection VPN service costs an additional fee per year.
The company offers three main antivirus solutions:
🛡️ Kaspersky Antivirus — the perfect choice for protecting the data stored on your computer
🛡️ Kaspersky Internet Security — the perfect solution to keep your computer safe while browsing
🛡️ Kaspersky Total Security — the cross-platform antivirus that protects your family against all malware attacks
If you’re not sure which antivirus variant to get, you can try the three solutions listed above for free for 30 days.
Kaspersky Total Security
Kaspersky is older than Windows 7. Rely on it for complete protection now that the OS is no longer supported!
These are the best Windows 7 antivirus solutions that you can install on your PC.
As you can see, most of these tools come in three different versions: a free version, an Internet security edition, and a total security version.
What is the best virus protection for Windows 7?
Install the antivirus that best suits your needs. For example, if you need an antivirus with a built-in VPN, you can select Avira’s Total Security antivirus.
If you’re concerned about keeping your PC secure while browsing the Internet, then you should go for an Internet security-focused solution.
Also, we recommend buying an antivirus solution, instead of using a free version. As a matter of fact, free antivirus solutions generally offer limited protection against malware, leaving many areas vulnerable to threats.
Money spent on a reliable antivirus is money invested in securing your data.
Speaking of protecting your data, you can also install a great VPN software compatible with your antivirus to block third parties from tracking your online activity.
Can Windows 7 still be used safely?
Using an operating system that is not supported anymore is definitely challenging. Making Windows 7 secure is still possible, but a lot more time-consuming than it would be for operating systems that still get upgrades.
Microsoft still releases security patches for older operating systems, including Windows 7, but these are generally not enough to ensure overall protection.
The main problem is that your applications are not written to comply with today’s requirements. Not only that, but third-party application manufacturers are slowly dropping Windows 7 as well.
This means that it is way more difficult to get a basic application like a web browser or a productivity suite. You will have to make some research and find apps that are up-to-date and compatible with Windows 7.
What are the risks of staying with Windows 7?
Your PC is more vulnerable to cyber attacks when you use an outdated OS and consequently outdated software.
Windows 7 is not prepared to detect threats that did not even exist when its last service pack was released.
This leaves plenty of opportunities for hackers that can more easily access your OS, and damage and steal your data.
How do I secure my computer Windows 7?
To secure your operating system, it’s important to make sure you get updated software from secured, official sources.
This does not include only antiviruses. All your applications should come with Windows 7 compatible versions that still get frequent updates that make them less vulnerable to attackers.
Consider getting a secure browser for Windows 7, as well as a VPN that will help you protect your data. A network monitor can also help you make sure there’s no suspicious device connected to your Wi-Fi.
This has been our rundown for best antivirus software for Windows 7. We hoped our insights helped you learn more about the operating system’s security requirements and helped you pick your best bet.
Which ones of this software do you think are the best for the job? Do you have any other recommendations for similar software? Let us know in the comments.
Frequently Asked Questions
Windows 7 turned into an irresistible target for hackers, so make sure to use one of these great offline antivirus solutions for PC.
Using Windows 7 means forgetting all about security updates and protection against cyberattacks. Therefore, don’t hesitate to check out this list of great Windows 7 antivirus solutions.
If you’re determined not to spend money on an antivirus, take a look at this dedicated guide that includes the best free antivirus solutions to try out.