• Reports of Windows Security (nee Microsoft Security Essentials) crashing after installing this morning’s definition updates

    This is quite rare, in my experience, but it looks like we got a bad Windows Defender definition update this morning.

    Poster Mike Reynard on the Microsoft Answers site says:

    I’ve got an issue that’s come up today in Windows Security. On ‘virus and threat protection’ a notification shows: ‘The threat service has stopped. Restart it now.’ I have tried to do this but it does not work. Another message reads: ‘Unexpected error. Sorry, we ran into a problem. Please try again.’ This started happening after the following update: … Version: 1.313.1638.0… Released: 4/16/2020 4:53:09 AM

    I’m running the same virus definition (screenshot above), and not seeing any problems, but there’s a similar complaint lodged on the Microsoft Answers forum by KevinThomas1. @Sumit, here on AskWoody, posted about it a couple of hours ago.

    If you see a similar crash from Windows Security, could you let us know? Be sure to include your Antivirus Version value from the Windows Security About page. (Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Security > click “Open Windows Security” > at the lower left, Settings > About.)

    UPDATE: Lawrence Abrams has a full rundown on BleepingComputer, showing crashes with Antivirus version 1.313.1666.0.

    By the by: Microsoft’s branding of its antivirus software is so convoluted you need a scorecard. Several scorecards. As I understand it, Microsoft AntiSpyware became WinXP and Win7’s Microsoft Security Essentials. Then MSE became Windows Defender in Win8 (prior to that, “Windows Defender” was an antispyware program). After that, the product gained some features, shed a couple, and changed names to “Microsoft Defender” and “Windows Defender Antivirus” and “Windows Security” and “Son of Windows Microsoft Defender Security Antivirus.” Ok. I made the last one up.

    Right now, for those of us who don’t pay extra for Microsoft security, the politically correct names are “Windows Defender Security Center” for the suite of protection products and “Windows Defender Antivirus” for the antivirus component. But inside Windows, the product is known as “Windows Security” (see screenshot) and “Antivirus” is an engine in Windows Security.

    Got that?