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Microsoft Security Essentials Pre-Release Program

Our favorite Antivirus utility for Windows is Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE). If you are an enthusiast and want to have the latest version and updates for MSE, join the Pre-Release Program.

The MSE Pre-release Program lets you access and test new builds of MSE before they are released to the general public. You’re also able to test the new builds out and provide feedback to Microsoft.

Here’s a few excerpts from the Microsoft Connect site about the Pre-Release Program.

As part of the Microsoft Security Essentials Pre-release program, you will have the opportunity to explore and test new builds of Microsoft Security Essentials before they are publically available and provide feedback to Microsoft. Your feedback helps Microsoft to make its software and services the best that they can be. As a member of the Pre-release program, you are expected to keep the software, information, and community discussions on this site confidential and refrain from posting confidential information from this site on any public space, including the Microsoft Security Essentials Forums.

As a member of this Pre-release program, Microsoft Security Essentials updates will automatically be installed on your computer through Microsoft Updates. We will not be publishing these builds on this site. To help us improve the software, you will be enrolled in the Microsoft Error Reporting, Customer Experience Improvement Program, and Microsoft Active Protection Service.

Before installing the MSE Pre-Release version of Security Essentials, you’ll need to uninstall the current version if already installed. If you try to install it without removing the current version you have installed, you’ll get the following message.

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Click the Uninstall These Programs link.

Error Uninstall MSE

Programs and Features opens. Scroll down to Microsoft Security Essentials, Right click and select Uninstall.

Uninstall MSE

Instead of using Programs and Features, I prefer to use Revo Uninstaller Pro. This way I’m able to get rid of left over files the traditional uninstaller leaves behind. For more, check out my article on how I completely uninstall software.

Revo Uninstaller

After you have MSE or other Antivirus program uninstalled, go to the Microsoft Connect Pre-release program to sign up.

Read over the welcome message and click Download Microsoft Security Essentials Pre-release Program.

Sign up and Download

Then download the 32 or 64 – bit version of MSE for your system.

64 or 32bit

Now install the Pre-release version of MSE. Installation is the same as the current version, and the UI is the same.

Install Wizard

During the installation, decide if you want to join the Customer Experience Improvement Program or not. I usually join it, but the choice is yours, and you don’t have to join it to use the Pre-release version. If you have any concerns, check out Microsoft’s Privacy Statement.

Customer Experience Improvement Program

After installation is complete, MSE will update right away to get the latest virus definition files.

Update MSE Pre-release

That’s it. The UI is the same and the MSE launch icon lives in the Notification Area of your Taskbar.


The Pre-release program is for the software enthusiast who wants the latest builds of MSE and to be involved in it’s development.

While there is no difference in the UI compared to the publicly available version, it’s groovy to know I’m getting the latest builds. I‘ve installed it on three Windows computers on my home network, and haven’t had any conflicts. Everything works the way I’d expect it to, and it’s fun to be part of the Pre-release community.

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2 Responses to Microsoft Security Essentials Pre-Release Program

  1. Chris June 1, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

    What is “Microsoft Active Protection Service”.

    • Brian Burgess June 5, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

      The Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP) is a program for security software providers. Members of MAPP receive security vulnerability information from the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) in advance of Microsoft’s monthly security updates.
      When MAPP partners receive vulnerability information early, they can provide updated protections to customers via their security software or devices, such as antivirus, network-based intrusion detection systems, or host-based intrusion prevention systems.

      Via MS Site:

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