How to Use Windows Live Onecare for XP

By Ryan Bauer

  • Overview

    Windows Live OneCare is an antivirus, firewall and spyware-scanning package developed by Microsoft specifically with the security of Windows XP in mind. The trial version is free to download and install, but the full version is priced at $49.95. Included is the software itself, licensing for up to three computers powered by Windows XP or Windows Vista, and software updates that counter new virus and spyware threats that have been discovered since the software was created. Installation is simple and only takes a few minutes to complete once the software has been downloaded.
    • Step 1

      Uninstall any antivirus, antispyware or firewall programs that are on your computer. Having multiple protection programs running at once could hog too many system resources, and could even result in a crash. Run the uninstaller for each program by clicking "Start," "My Computer," "Control Panel" and then "Add or Remove Programs." Individually remove each security application by clicking on it, then selecting "Change/Remove." Windows XP may prompt you to restart when you are finished.
    • Step 2

      Visit the Windows Live OneCare home page to download the software (see Resources). Click on the button that allows you to buy the software. The website will ask you for some information, including your Windows Live username and password. This is usually an MSN or Hotmail email address. If you don't have one of these, you can sign up for a free account at either site. Once you continue beyond the information-gathering stage, you will have to enter your credit-card information to buy the software.


    • Step 3

      Once you have given the site all of the information it needs to continue, it will give you a link to download the installer. Click on it, and a moment later, the installation wizard will appear. It will ask you some basic questions about your preferences, and you will have to accept the Terms of Service agreement. Read it thoroughly before accepting it. The installation process will then begin.
    • Step 4

      The installer may or may not ask you to restart your computer, depending on what configuration changes it had to make. Once Windows loads again, Windows Live OneCare will be running in the background. It is designed to protect the system by default, so you don't have to do anything else from this point on. If you want to configure it further, you can right-click on the icon and click to select the "Options" window, which gives you several configuration settings to change.
  • Skill: Easy
  • Tip: You can download a temporary version of the software before making a purchase if you want to try it out first.

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