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.

  • Symantec is working in an update and has already released beta versions for Norton 360, Norton AntiVirus, and Norton Internet Security. To download one of these product visit Norton’s website.
  • AVG is another AV vendor that is already offering a testing beta release and you can download it here.
  • McAfee users could try this beta release.

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.

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Technology writer at and Recognized as a Microsoft MVP, tech enthusiast and enjoys writing about Microsoft, Google, and Apple. Got a hat tip? Send him an email with your rants, rumors, tattles.

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