I'm looking for a free (gratis) antivirus program for Windows XP that runs silently.

By silently, I mean that I want a program that will automatically start, update itself, and scan without bothering the user unless something is detected.

I'm running Windows XP inside Windows 7's XP Mode (Windows Virtual PC). I was using Microsoft Security Essentials, and up until the end-of-support day, it was working great. Now Security Essentials is anything but silent, nagging me several times to stop using XP every time I start up the virtual machine.

Required Features:

  • Free (gratis)
  • Runs on Windows XP
  • Updates and protects with no user interaction, and does not bother the user for anything other than a positive detection.

1 Answer 1


Avast will do this, set up appropriately. On my dad's system I turned off the audio-prompts (which annoy the heck out of me) and set it for silent/gaming mode (which prevents it launching popups). This should disable any inappropriate user interaction

  • 1
    Avast used to be a great antivirus, but now it continuously shows pop-ups advertising its products. This annoying behavior can be fixed blocking Internet connections of AvastUI.exe using your firewall.
    – Oriol
    Jun 9, 2014 at 19:12
  • As I've set it up, I hardly know its there. You need to turn off stuff manually for it to be truely silent, but its effective enough that this is the first I am hearing of ads Jun 10, 2014 at 0:05
  • Ah sorry, I didn't try silent/gaming mode, so I guess you are right. But without it, just unchecking "Show additional recommendations" and "Show social networks" isn't enough to disable ads :(
    – Oriol
    Jun 10, 2014 at 2:00
  • I've not seen a single ad so far. Nor have I gotten any complaints about it. Jun 10, 2014 at 2:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.