Your Antivirus protection has expired. What next?

The discussion around anti-malware programs generates much heat than light. This makes it necessary for us to have at least some brief idea about the virus-fighting software and shun any wrong notions we have about them if any. First, when you buy a new computer, it will come pre-loaded with security software supplied by the manufacturer. In most cases, this is usually a McAfee or a Symantec product.

This practice of pre-installing software on new Windows computers is followed by software providers as a way to lure people into buying their products. Moreover, the manufacturers also get money out of this.

antivirus protection expired

Your antivirus protection has expired

One of the most common types of software that comes pre-installed on computers is security software. Typically this protection is free for a limited period. It generally extends up to 30, 60, 90 or even a 180 day trial period. Once expired, the customer is requested to purchase a subscription that keeps the security software up-to-date. In such cases, you typically see pop-up messages as Your Antivirus protection has expired, or Trial license has expired or License validity period has expired, or Antivirus protection expired.

More often than not, the typical home user forgets to renew the license. If for any reason, the customer declines to purchase the security software, it continues to operate, but with reduced capability, i.e., it does not receive definition updates for new threats that are discovered. One might feel that running expired software continues to provide at least some’ level of protection. But this is NOT TRUE!

A study by Microsoft reveals some uneasy facts. It states the infection rates on PCs with expired antimalware, were nearly the same as PCs with no protection. It’s something like you have a door with no lock to your house whereas, with no antivirus, you’ve got no door at all. You’re exposed either way!

An expired state occurs when a trial version of an antimalware product has reached the end of the trial. The product may continue to inform you that you need to pay for the software to continue receiving updates, but it stops downloading updates that really or completely protect your PC. The software may remind you regularly in the form of notifications – but quite a few tend to ignore them or do not bother to renew the license.

Your Antivirus protection has expired

The vast majority of cases where computers were reporting expired antivirus software were on non-domain joined systems, a configuration that consumer systems typically have. Of the non-domain systems analyzed, 9.3% were running expired antivirus software, reports Microsoft.

In such cases, you need to do either of the two things, without wasting any time!

Renew the license if you are satisfied with your existing security software, or you should uninstall it and install a new one. You may buy a new paid software, or you may use a free AntiVirus software or a free Internet Security Suite. Microsoft also provides free security software called Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials for end-users running Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1, Windows 7 and Windows Vista.

Read this post if your Windows Defender is turned off or not working.

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Posted by on , in Category Security with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

11 Comments

  1. Lojix Net

    There are some great suggestions in this article. Making sure your Windows computer has up-to-date virus protection is vital for minimizing the very real and prevalent virus threats found in all corners of the Internet. Just because you can’t see them, doesn’t mean they’re not there. In fact, the absence of obvious ‘tell-tale’ signs may mean a virus is doing it’s job very well… and it’s not something you want to learn the hard way.

    There is some really great FREE anti-virus software out there and sparing the technical explanation, ‘free’ does not always mean ‘lower quality’ in the competitive world of internet security.
    A great source of information and way to evaluate your PC security options is with the industry-trusted, independent testing organisation http://www.av-comparatives.org/ – Hope this helps others to continue with virus-free, happy computing!

  2. Ah well

    For those who want a free anti-virus, I recommend Avast. Simply because of its features. It has webprotection, mailprotection and of course realtime protection plus it has some neat opt-in or out features and you can always change these features through programs and features ->change, in the control panel.

  3. ReadandShare

    I have been using Microsoft’s free firewall and antivirus for years now, and honestly, I cannot ever remember getting any viruses / malware — even after going to some rather ‘naughty’ sites — for testing purpose! Microsoft’s own set up is the least intrusive of all — and I have tried Norton, McAfee, Avast, AVG, etc.

    Now, I know that Windows Defender has gotten a bad rap these last few years, for catching fewer baddies than others. As I wrote above, my set up has blocked NOTHING in years and years. So what gives??

    1. I am the luckiest person in the world?
    2. There are actually malware in my PC but Windows is too incompetent to flag them?

    3. There are lots of media hype out there?

    I believe it’s Scenario #3. I periodically scan my computer with Malwarebytes and it has found absolutely nothing either! Sure, there are baddies out there, but I truly believe there’re lots more media hype!

    My two cents — for home/personal use — there’s no need to waste money and no need to burden your system with third party add on’s. Just use what comes with Windows — plus the user common sense precaution.

  4. Lojix Net

    It’s great that you have not had the unfortunate experience of malicious software on your PC and it would be impossible to state as to how you have managed to avoid that situation without knowing your usage habits and system configuration. Possibly a more productive way to look at it would be questioning what has kept you protected during any such encounters.

    1. I tend to agree that your case has little to do with luck.

    2. There could very well be convert malware on your system, although you mention scanning regularly with Malwarebytes which has found absolutely nothing. Malwarebytes provides fairly good reason to trust that the PC is clean and I would recommend trusting its judgment.

    3.I also agree that there is lots of “media hype out there”… but I would argue that the hype is not unfounded.

    Your situation says to me that even a ‘proven lower-performing’ security option is better than no protection. With regards to Windows Defender (and Windows Firewall), it has received a bashing that may have been more justified in the early days rather than in more recent times. When properly configured, Windows Firewall can perform as good as any other system based firewall and Windows Defender is a great layer of protection. You might also use the default UAC settings which is a very strong defence that many users switch off because they feel it is too annoying.

    There are likely many ‘fail-safe’ reasons you have navigated your way through common malware encounters, and its a credit to the systems which have adequately done their job for you. If you are convinced that the prevalence of malware/viruses is all just “media hype” I would recommend having a look at http://www.exploit-db.com/ – Which is a catalog of recorded exploits/vaulnerabilities and then if you head over to http://www.symantec.com/security_response/landing/threats.jsp – you can find a healthy list of malware found in the wild. Bear in mind these are only what is listed, and viewing both sources by date will give you an idea of the substantial risk of a chance encounter.

  5. jorge correa

    I would say that 99% of all new computers come with an installed antivirus and with limited days. Of course that’s how the company’s get you to buy their software and who could blame them. They’ve got to make a living also. Most will just hope on and buy the software and others will look for FREE ANTIVIRUS software and that is exactly what i did. There is a bunch of FREE alternatives and all pretty much do the same job, prevent your machine for being infected. But there are a few which belong to a select group which can compete with PAID VERSIONS and really have nothing to envy. Which one you might ask? Lets start by mentioning a few, Avira, Panda and Avast. All 3 are completely FREE and also have premium and pro versions where you would need to spend some $$$, but you can easily get by with their FREE versions. None of them are perfect, neither the paid versions nor the FREE ones so, Why pay for it? I personally have Avira Free as my antivirus and it works just fine. What you get with the paid version is a couple of extra options and a few features but the FREE version will do the same job, protect your machine. Isn’t that what we want? Make no mistake, any of the 3 FREE antivirus, Avira, Panda and Avast will do an excellent job it’s just a matter of what your necessities are and what you like. So just get any of these 3 a try and be assured that you will be protected. Another thing, always do periodically back-ups and Microsoft Updates which will always be your life saver. Just don’t forget that the BEST ANTIVIRUS is your COMMON SENSE….. enjoy… and a MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL …. HO HO HO …..

  6. If your antivirus protection has expired, then you can also use another antivirus protection. Various antivirus protection software’s are available online such AVG, Avast, Norton, Quick Heal and many more.

  7. Shiny Erikipati

    how i buy new paid software..?

  8. Shiny Erikipati

    may be now if i not buy or install new software what happend..?

  9. Ali Ajwad

    I have McAfee and has expired. Changing date to an older date in the system and can update the software. I wonder is this alright to do. Please advice

  10. It would probably be against its terms of use. I suggest you buy a new license for it. Or else uninstall it and use the built-in free Windows Defender.

  11. Don Baxley

    What a joke site this is. It is part of McAfee. LOL. All PC s have anti virus. Just remover McAfee and go to security settings and and activate the anti virus McAfee is over riding.

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