How to Install Microsoft Security Essentials on Server 2012/2012R2.

Last updated on May 13th, 2020

As you already know, Microsoft Security Essentials (aka "Windows Defender" in latest OS versions) is a free full-featured anti-malware solution that is capable of detecting and stopping potentially malicious software and viruses, and its included in Windows 8, 8.1, Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 edition.

In Server 2012 and 2012 R2 editions, the Windows Defender is available only on Server Core installations (without the user interface). But, fortunately, there is a way to bypass this "limitation", and to protect your Server 2012 or 2012R2 (with the GUI interface) from viruses, by installing the previous version of the Windows Defender, the Microsoft Security Essentials.

This tutorial contains instructions to install Microsoft Security Essentials Antimalware protection, in Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012.

How to Setup Microsoft Security Essentials on Server 2012 or Server 2012 R2.

To install Microsoft Security Essentials on Server 2012/2012R2:

1. Proceed and download the Security Essentials for Windows 7, from this link.
2. Then copy the downloaded file (mseinstall.exe), to the root folder of drive C:\
Right-click at the downloaded "mseinstall" file and choose Properties.

How to Install Windows Defender on Server 2012-2012R2 GUI.


3. At Compatibly tab, select Run this program in compatibly mode for Windows 7 and click OK.

Setup Securoty Essentials on Server 2012 R2


4. Then copy the "mseinstall.exe" file to the root folder of drive C:\
Now open command prompt and navigate to the root folder of drive C:, by typing "cd\" (without quotes).
6. In command prompt, type (copy/paste) the following command and press Enter:

  • mseinstall.exe /disableoslimit



7. The installation should start. Click Next and follow the onscreen prompts to install Security Essentials on your Server.

install microsoft security essentials server 2012


8. When the installation is completed, you 're done! *



* Notes: 
1. If you want to use another antivirus solution and you cannot uninstall Security Essentials, because the uninstall fails with error "0x8004FF04 – MSE cannot be installed on this computer", then read this tutorial.
2. If the Virus Definitions doesn't updated automatically, then you can download the latest definition updates for Microsoft Security Essentials and install them manually.

That’s it! Let me know if this guide has helped you by leaving your comment about your experience. Please like and share this guide to help others.

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