Changing MSE’s Update Interval

Microsoft’s Security Essentials product is an excellent antivirus tool. But it does have its quirks. For instance, you can only set it to scan your system daily or weekly, with no other choice in-between. But one of the biggest problems with the client is that it only updates its virus signatures every 24 hours. While that’s not a problem for most, it can be annoying for laptop users who aren’t connected to the Internet full-time, or to people that regularly visit “less than secure” types of websites (wink-wink!).

You can easily change the frequency at which MSE checks for updates. Just cut and paste the following into your favorite text editor:

"c:\Program Files\Microsoft Security Client\Antimalware\MpCmdRun.exe" -SignatureUpdate

Save the file as something like MSEUPDATE.CMD, then add it to your system as a Scheduled Task that runs minimized every x hours. MSE will then update according to your schedule.

There is a Registry hack that will allow you to do this too, but the problem with it is that any time MS updates the client, there’s a chance this setting could be overridden by the update. “My” hack is external, and therefore won’t be affected by any client updates.

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