How to Fix: Windows 10 Antivirus Missing, Not Compatible

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Paula H. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I recently installed Windows 10 and looked in my tray bar and found that my antivirus has gone missing. Previous to the Windows 10 upgrade, I was using Windows 7 with Avast! antivirus (free). When I go to the Start Menu and type in 'avast', it doesn't come up with anything. I also don't see it in my Start menu when I click through my programs, either. Is my system unprotected? How can I get my antivirus working with Windows 10? "

My response:

You are not the only person to ask this question, and the problem is not limited to Avast! antivirus. Many people have emailed me to say the same thing - their antivirus program has disappeared. I did some research and came across this page from Microsoft, which reads:

" Many applications, files, and settings will migrate as part of the upgrade. However, some applications or settings may not migrate. For antimalware [and antivirus] applications, [the Windows 10 upgrade] will check to see if your [antivirus and antimalware] subscription is current (not expired) and compatible during the upgrade. If the [antivirus and antimalware] application is compatible and current, your application will be preserved during the upgrade to Windows 10. If the [antivirus and antimalware] application is incompatible, Windows will uninstall your application while preserving your settings ... If your [antivirus and antimalware] subscription is not current (expired), Windows will uninstall your application and enable Windows Defender. "

In other words, Microsoft will disable your antivirus or antimalware during the upgrade if it feels necessary, and instead replace it with its own brand of antivirus / antimalware (Windows Defender). I can also attest that my antivirus on 2 of my 4 my machines have been disabled (I also use Avast! free edition). I also know for a fact that I received an update to Avast! antivirus on my web server after the launch of Windows 10, which suggest that some last-minute compatibility issues were resolved after the fact.

As such, I suggest everyone reading this article go to their tray bar (by the clock) and look to see if your antivirus or antimalware is actively running. You can also look to see if the antivirus or antimalware programs are listed in the Start menu.

What to Do if Your Antimalware or Antivirus is missing in Windows 10

If your antimalware or antivirus is missing in Windows 10, the solution is simple. All you need to do is go download another copy of your favorite antivirus program and reinstall it - do not reinstall an old version from an old download or an old CD, as it most likely won't be compatible with Windows 10.

Note that you may be asked for a license key (if you are using a paid subscription) - so please have that handy, as it may not be automatically entered during the installation. As mentioned above, the Windows 10 upgrade will supposedly keep this information inside (presumably) the Windows Registry, so you won't have to re-enter the license during a reinstall.

If however you cannot reinstall your antimalware or antivirus in Windows 10, you can either continue using Windows 10 with Windows Defender, or you can use another antivirus program. As I stated earlier, I use Avast! (free) and it works pretty good.

Got a Computer Question or Problem? Ask Dennis!

I need more computer questions. If you have a computer question -- or even a computer problem that needs fixing -- please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can't promise I'll respond to all the messages I receive (depending on the volume), but I'll do my best.

About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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mike_suar_3829's picture

The same thing happened to me after upgrade to windows 10 from windows 7 ..
Avg Internet Security wasnt in my sistem ... with 15 days suscription remaining