Microsoft Security Essentials fails AV-Test antivirus certification for the second time

Oopsie! ‘Once bitten twice shy’, but that’s not exactly what people are going to think after they check out Microsoft Security Essentials’ performance in the monthly AV-Test antivirus certification. The result is what it was the previous month: FAIL! Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) failed the antivirus certification for the second consecutive month.

Microsoft Security Essentials

AV-Test conducts antivirus software testing every month, pitting 25 programs against 0-day attacks and known malware while also testing the repair capabilities of the software and its usability. For an antivirus suite to certify, it must score at least 11 out of a possible 18 points across the three tested categories; MSE scored 10 and hence couldn’t clear it.

Microsoft Security Essentials put up a dismal performance in the Protection category, protecting against only 78% of the incoming attacks (the industry average is 92%). An overall poor ‘Protection score’ added to its woes, thus declining it the needed score of 11 out of 18 in order to pass the certification.

The best antivirus suite, according to AV-Test, was Bitdefender Internet Security 2013 which scored 16.5 out of 18 followed by Kaspersky’s antivirus suite and Symantec’s Norton suite (both of them scored 16).

Though all the tests were run on Windows 7, but maybe the Microsoft Security team may want to look at these results. Food for thought, maybe?

UPDATE: Microsoft has challenged these results.

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Microsoft Student Partner | Computer Science graduate | Loves flirting with technology | Microsoft watcher | Syed Asrarullah lives on the web at @asrartheone.


  1. Arun Kumar

    MSE IS A FAIL? What, in your opinion, is the best AV out there? I was dependent on MSE but your stats may mean I’ll hv to go for another. Comodo is not an option. That is more of an adware than AV. What else? Something that does not jam my computer resources. Already, I am having a great time managing the memory manually. 😀

  2. Bitdefender sponsored anything of AV-Test?

  3. Thanks. Downloading Avast free

  4. Syed Asrarullah

    MSE failed the certification test acc to AV-Test, though I wouldn’t oblige to the ‘MSE is a FAIL’ statement universally. Microsoft recently published an extensive review of this AV-Test antivirus certification. (

    My system runs MSE and I’ve have had a satisfactory experience with it. If looking for alternatives, Kaspersky is a great option.

  5. Arun Kumar

    Thanks for that. I too using MSE as it contains Defender plus I use MRT time to time. Kaspersky again wud be heavy on resources. Comodo, once highly, respected now seems more like an adware. 

    Right now, I have to cut down on memory usage. Installed few programs to monitor my laptop and my own performance. Any given time, there are 63 process min running with 80% RAM occupied. What alternatives exist to MSE? I’ve been using Microsoft from the days of OneCare so dint bother much to look around.

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