News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon

We're community supported and proud of it!

  • Switching from Norton AV to Win Defender

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 10 Questions: Win10 Switching from Norton AV to Win Defender

    Viewing 4 reply threads
    • Author
      • #2365458
        AskWoody Plus

        I’ve decided to let my Norton Anti-Virus run out and switch over to Windows Defender with Free Malwarebytes after reading articles/advice posted on AskWoody that indicate Win Def with MWB is a good solution for protection.

        I have Win 10 2004 (19041.928) Home version, and use an abundance of caution on emails/browsing, etc, run timely back-ups and update Windows as per Master Patch List advice.

        Is it as simple as just turning Norton off, and Windows Defender will kick in?
        If I’ve applied all CU/SSU updates (up to last month – April) will Win Defender and AV definitions be up to date?

        Are there settings I need to be aware of? Enable? Disable?
        Should I leave Norton installed (but disabled) until I am satisfied Win Def is set up and running properly (and how do I know it is?)?

        Can someone provide answers/list of steps to switching over, please?

      • #2365463
        AskWoody Plus

        Haven’t had Norton to deal with for a few years but I would suggest you run the Norton Removal tool. Maybe even twice. I wouldn’t leave it installed but disabled.

        Defender should kick in but if not you should be able to turn it on.

      • #2365476

        You must remove Norton first. To do this you need to download the Norton removal tool since just uninstalling it will not get all the components.

        Once removed you will need to turn on windows defender since I believe Norton turns this off.

        One thing you will notice is that Windows Defender plus Malwarebytes has much less impact on your system and you will gain a few cpu cycles back for other processing.

        • #2365581
          AskWoody Plus

          By removing Norton first, am I not in an unprotected state until/if Win Def kicks in?
          Should I flip the ‘Periodic Scanning’ option on in Settings>Security>Virus and Threat Protection?

          • #2365584
            AskWoody Plus

            Yes, but for a very short time. You’ll have to reboot after removing Norton and Defender should kick in on startup.

            • #2365590
              AskWoody Plus

              Ok, I’m just running one last scan with Norton, then will remove.

              I was going to uninstall via the Control Panel>Add/Remove Programs, you mention there is a specific removal tool – is that because the standard Windows uninstall doesn’t remove all the bits and pieces?

              Any advice on where to look for remnants that might be left behind? Or to confirm it is completely gone?

              • #2365591
                AskWoody MVP

                Use the tool from the link in the first reply posted yesterday.

                Windows 10 Pro version 21H1 build 19043.1081 + Microsoft 365 (group ASAP)

              • #2365614
                AskWoody Plus

                Well, I ran the removal tool, restarted and checked Virus & Threat Protection, and Win Def did indeed start up, but I needed to manually check for it’s AV updates. Hopefully I can find some articles here on AW that discuss the Win Def/AV settings.

                Regarding the Norton removal tool – it does not do a clean install of everything, and left behind tasks in Task scheduler. I have disabled them for now. I couldn’t find any services in services.msc tho.

                The removal tool also added a scheduled task which I’ve deleted, along with deleting it’s .exe.

                I am hoping I regain some performance – time will tell.
                Thanks for the help.

      • #2365564
        AskWoody Plus

        Very smart move, imho.

        I think WD will turn itself on but check just to be sure.

        Group W (windows, current)
        - ThinkPad T570-20HA, i7-7600U, 2.8GHz, UEFI/GPT, Win10 21H1 Pro x64, 16GB, Sammy 256GB M.2 NVMe PM961. -

      • #2365881
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Win Def did indeed start up, but I needed to manually check for it’s AV updates

        Defender will auto update via Windows Update.
        If you disable WU, or set the network connection to metered the updates will stop.

        To persuade Defender to update create a scheduled task which runs:

        "C:\Program Files\Windows Defender\MpCmdRun.exe" -SignatureUpdate

        I have exported a task and attached it as a txt file below. Save the file, open it in Notepad, then edit the xxxx bits and save.
        Open Task Scheduler and import the txt file, then check the task is correct.

        To get the SID, open a Command Prompt (Win, cmd) and paste this text (remove the dashes next to the percent signs):

        wmic useraccount where name='-%username%-' get sid

        To get the PCname\username type these 2 commands into a Command Prompt to find COMPUTERNAME and USERNAME:
        set c
        set u

        cheers, Paul

        • #2365975
          AskWoody Plus

          Thanks Paul, I did wonder about auto-updates and metered connections. When I first started it, I manually checked for V&T protection updates, and it did work without me changing the connection. I will set up and test out the task you’ve provided to run the updates auto-matically.

          What I don’t like about Win Def is that it didn’t tell me it wasn’t working this morning (at least Norton alerts you to that). I just decided to check it since it is a new process, and found to my horror it needed to be restarted, it was throwing an error, so I rebooted and that seemed to get it going.

          The removal of Norton is not very clean at all. That removal tool adds the annoying reminder at start up to reinstall Norton. Not only was it attached to my account, I found it lurking in the account folders for public (all) users. And, the registry is riddled with keys referring to Norton that I’ll need to clean out.

          • #2365977
            AskWoody Plus

            Did you follow the instructions on that download page, “Remove Norton device security completely”? If not, you might try running it again.

            I usually uninstall a/v programs from within Windows or with Revo then run the a/v removal tool afterwards. Like I stated before I haven’t had to remove Norton in a couple years at least and it appears the removal tool is a little different now.

            • #2365981
              AskWoody Plus

              I did follow the instructions on the download page for complete removal. I did some googling and others have found the same ‘sneaky’ start up task that needed to be manually disabled/removed.

              Re the automatic task you provided… is there a way to make it run for all users, rather than just naming one user/account? I’ll start with it just running for my main account for now.

              Edit for additional question:
              Task Sched seems to want to import files of type .xml. Do I need to change the file extension on the .txt file to .xml?

              • #2366062
                Paul T
                AskWoody MVP

                Do I need to change the file extension on the .txt file to .xml?

                Either works. If it’s a txt file you need to change the file filter on the file browse page.

                cheers, Paul

              • #2366135
                AskWoody Plus

                Thanks – I already know how to browse/find the .txt file ;0!
                I noticed all the other tasks are .xml, and the top of the .txt file has the .xml schema so wondered if it ought to be renamed to .xml.

                What’s your advice on whether it should be in it’s own (new) folder? Or import at the top level (right in the Task scheduler folder where various start up tasks like the MS Edge update, google update, etc live? Or do you create a ‘Custom’ folder where you put all the tasks you’ve created?

              • #2367575
                Paul T
                AskWoody MVP

                I tend to put my tasks in the top level, makes them easy to find.

                cheers, Paul

    Viewing 4 reply threads

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, no politics or religion.

    Reply To: Switching from Norton AV to Win Defender

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use Advanced BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.