Suppose you cannot download or install any antivirus software or the Microsoft Safety Scanner. In that case, it is quite possible that your Windows 11/10 computer might be infected with malware, blocking the download of any security software.
Cannot download antivirus software
A virus can prevent the download or installation of antivirus software to avoid being detected or removed from your system. It can even incapacitate your existing antivirus installation. If you face this issue, here are a few things you could try:
- Run a scan using an on-demand antivirus from a USB
- Try to download the security software in Clean Boot State or Safe Mode.
Let us see this in detail.
1] Run a scan using an on-demand antivirus from a USB
Download a standalone on-demand antivirus software to another PC and scan your PC from the USB or removable media.
- On an uninfected computer, download the antivirus software.
- Save the file to a USB flash drive or removable media.
- After the file download completes, remove the USB.
- Connect the USB to the infected system.
- Double-click the downloaded file on the removable media.
- If prompted to run the file as an administrator, click Yes.
- Read the license agreement and accept the terms.
- Click Next, and then follow the onscreen instructions to run the scan.
If the tool finds any infections, it will identify the malware that it has found and then remove that malware from your computer.
- After the tool has finished running, restart your PC.
- Update your existing dedicated installed security software, and then run a full scan using it.
2] Download the security software in Clean Boot State or Safe Mode
If you do not have any other computer, boot into Safe Mode with Networking or Clean Boot State and see if you can download the antivirus software. Once done, use it, preferably, to run a boot-time full scan.
Cannot install antivirus software on PC
If you can download an antivirus but cannot install it, remnants of your earlier antivirus software may be installed on your computer. Use an antivirus removal tool for your earlier security software to uninstall it completely. When using Windows 10 or Windows 11, make sure to disable built-in Microsoft Security software that can further restrict the installation of another antivirus software.
Is it okay not to install antivirus in Windows 11/10?
Microsoft Security is the built-in antivirus and security solution in Windows. If you follow the usual rules of being careful what you download from the internet, you don’t need another security software. Windows also offer a family safety feature, which ensures other users on the PC, especially kids, do not download anything that is not right for them. That said, we suggest evaluating another antivirus on your PC and checking if it offers something more than Windows, and then you can always choose to use it.
Read next: How to check or test if Antivirus is working properly or not.