Microsoft Security Essentials – Auto Update Without Windows Update: How to

November 11th, 2010 by Russell Leave a reply »

Here’s a quick method I devised on how to get Microsoft Security Essentials (free: to automatically update without needing to use Windows Update. Many individuals (like me!) like to read what updates MS is wanting to put on your computer before allowing them to do so. The only problem is, Security Essentials wants to always update through Windows Update, so if you have Windows Update set to notify you before downloading, you are having to accept the Security Essentials update every single day. That quickly becomes annoying. Here’s a way around it:
* Download hstart from here:
This is software that allows you to feed it console commands that it will run silently in the background for you.

* Extract either hstart.exe or hstart64.exe (depending on what version of Windows you are running) and extract it somewhere out of the way, such as C:\Windows

* Add a scheduled task that runs every 3 hours. I have found 3 hours keeps it updated enough that Windows Update won’t bother you about it.

In Task Scheduler:

Program / Script to start: C:\Windows\hstart64.exe (or hstart.exe depending on which one you extracted)
Add Arguments: /NOCONSOLE “%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Security Essentials\MpCmdRun.exe -SignatureUpdate”

Save the scheduled task, and you are done! Security Essentials will now silently update itself every 3 hours in the background, and you will never have to rely on Windows Update for these updates again!

Note: The location of MpCmdRun.exe has changed in MSE 2.0. The new location is: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Security Client\Antimalware\MpCmdRun.exe

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