Dealing with antivirus compatibility issues in Windows 8.1

Antivirus for Windows 8.1

Even though Windows 8.1 is an update and not a full-blown new version, apparently is behaving like one. Numbers of users running the recently released preview update are experiencing a “compatibility issues” message using different antivirus solutions, including Norton from Symantec, AVG, McAfee, Kaspersky, and many others.

The problem is that Windows 8.1 should be compatible with all the hardware and software that are currently working with Windows 8 and Windows RT. However, there are times when new significant updates happen (like Windows 8.1 Preview as an example) and as a result certain pieces of hardware and software will need to get an update in order to work properly, because they might depend on certain part of the operating system that now are changed. Also keep in mind that Windows 8.1 Preview still under development, as such errors and compatibility issues are expected, at least until the final product is released.

Now the first thing you should do to deal with this situation is to visit the antivirus vendor’s website to see if they have already available a beta release of the software. Remember that you can also contact support for more assistant. 

Below I listed a few vendors that are already offering a testing version for their upcoming updates, which hopefully will stop the compatibility issue.

Note: McAfee and AVG users will need login credentials to download the software.

Finally, if you run into a compatibility issue and your antivirus vendor isn’t currently offering any kind of update. You should opt to use Windows Defender, Microsoft’s built-in antivirus solution. It is a great security software and offers almost the same quality of protection as the big brands.

Enabling the software is pretty simple, the only thing you need to do is to uninstall the current security software installed in your PC and Windows Defender will automatically kick in. Accessing the software dashboard is also easy, go to the Control Panel, do a search for antivirus, and click on Windows Defender.

If you know another antivirus software company offering a beta version of its product that will help users, please make a note in the comments below.

Mauro is a technology writer at and He’s been recognized as a Microsoft MVP, he’s also a technology enthusiast and enjoys writing content about Microsoft, Google, Apple, and other interesting technologies. Got a hat tip? Send him an email with your rants, rumors, tips and tattles.

Email @Pureinfotech
  • Eillirand

    I wholeheartedly believe this is due to lack of good developers being able to see beyond the end of their nose. I cannot count the number of times I have attempted to install an app and it comes up that the version I am using is not compatible that I need Windows 7 or greater (as an example). Last I checked version 8 is greater than 7.

    • Mauro

      In my opinion I believe it is a problem with the so many devices software companies try to support. They are just so many and that’s when code starts going south.

      In Windows 8.1 Preview, the current problem is that it is an unfinished product, which means that Microsoft code isn’t yet inline with every software vendor. Hopefully by the final release these issues will go down to a minimum.

      Also keep in my that there are many factors why errors occur, such as a bad installation of the operating system, conflict with programs that are poorly coded, and many more.


  • Guest

    I agree, a lot of the problems with Windows and not just with 8 and 8.1 relates to Microsoft insisting with the whole compatibility matrix. I understand to a degree the “If you run Windows XP, you can run Windows 8” marketing;however, it is time to drop supporting the slue of hardware devices. This is one area I think Apple wins in terms of stability; they are not trying to support hardware 5+ years old from hundreds of manufactures. It hurts code, but even in the end, I still blame developers and venders for dragging their feet. Play ball or go home.

    • Mauro

      You have great points and I agree with what you say, but the problem is that users always expect to plug any device and it just has to work. The same is true with the familiarity of the operating system, just look what happened with the Start button. I honestly, I was doing just fine without it, but because of popular demand Microsoft added it back.

      So I guess we cannot not blame programmers for everything that goes wrong. They are just trying to please everyone of us, which is impossible, so they have to compromise and Apple and Microsoft do this differently.


  • Senad Tokic

    WebRoot Secure anywhere works just fine for three days on my windows 8.1 :-D

    • Mauro

      Hi Senad Tokic,
      That’s good news, thanks for the info.