When I boot into Windows Vista, Microsoft Security Essentials is set to run when the system starts. When I open the program, it says Microsoft Security Essentials isn't monitoring your computer because the program's service stopped. It tells me that it can't update definitions or enable real time protection unless I do it manually (every time I boot). Is there a way I can fix this so I always have real time protection and updating?


Go in to computer management, (Click the Start Orb > Right click on Computer > Click on Manage)

Next, go down to Services and Applications > Services and look for Microsoft Antimalware Service

Make sure that this is set to Automatic.

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If this is already set to Automatic, it is possible that you are simply not giving it enough time to fully start. I have seen some older machines, or even newish ones that simply have so many items set to start with the machine, it can take a good couple of minutes for the Antivirus service to start.

  • @Nironan12 - What method worked, was it due to not giving it time or was the service not set to automatic? – William Hilsum Sep 17 '10 at 21:15
  • The service wasn't set to automatic, it was on manual. – nateify Sep 18 '10 at 2:36
  • @Nironan12 Cool, glad I could help. – William Hilsum Sep 18 '10 at 10:23

In Winows XP:

  1. Open the Start menu
  2. Select Run
  3. Execute services.msc
  4. Make sure that the Microsoft AntiMalware Service is running, start it if it is not
  • What about the service? – Synetech Nov 27 '12 at 4:15

I've just had to deal with this very problem after installing Wise Care 365 and following all its suggestions for optimising my XP Pro system (recently reinstalled, and laboriously shoved though Windows Update).

I'm not sure exactly what I changed (almost certainly something in the WiseCare StartUpServices facility), but the net result was Microsoft Security Essentials wasn't working "because the app's service stopped", and clicking on the rather promising Start now button didn't apparently do anything.

After calling on my Google-fu, I ended up in Administrative Tools - > Services, where I restarted the Microsoft Antimalware service. Bingo! - Security Essentials icon immediately changed from red to green!

All was not sweetness and light though, since I had to restart the service every time the machine booted up. After further investigation I discovered that the Microsoft Antimalware service depends on Remote Procedure Call (RPC), which was set to StartUp type Manual. I don't really understand things at this level - but I'd just made a complete Paragon system backup anyway, so I changed it to Automatic. And for good measure I changed Antimalware - > Recovery -> Subsequent failures to Restart the service.

Everything works just dandy now, whether I understand it or not. A full reinstall is always daunting, but it got my house PC boot time down from 4 minutes to less than 1, so it'll be well worth the time spent.

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