Bitdefender excels at malware detection and protection, but if it appears to stop scanning your PC for threats or Bitdefender Central refuses to show up, the antivirus can’t do its job properly.
If your Bitdefender antivirus isn’t working, it can lead to dangerous software sneaking its way onto your device. Nobody wants ransomware, spyware or even adware lurking around, so getting your antivirus working again should be a priority.
The good news is fixing Bitdefender is simple, as sometimes all it takes is an update. This article will help you get Bitdefender working again, along with a way to test if the antivirus is working.
Update your antivirus
Is your Bitdefender antivirus up to date? If it isn’t, you’ll want to update it.
Antivirus software these days are efficient enough to stay updated and notify users if they require a refresh. You will usually get a notification about your software needing an update. While it can be a pain to click “Update” and restart your device for the update to take effect, it’s certainly worth doing.
While protection programs are designed to detect malware signatures automatically and use behaviour-based detection to thwart any malicious software it sniffs out, even these systems need an update from time to time. This makes sure that any new threats that have surfaced can’t get by any older systems set in place as hackers continue to find ways to sneak past a system’s protection.
All the best protection software will notify you that an update is needed if you open the app. Otherwise, you can update that software manually.
You can update Bitdefender by right-clicking the Bitdefender icon in the taskbar and selecting Update Now. It’s as easy as that.
Test your antivirus
If Bitdefender can’t detect or protect you from the simplest of malware, what’s the point in installing it? Well, that’s why we review different software to make sure it’s all up to scratch, but there’s another way to test if your security is working: get malware.
It’s never something you want to have on your device, but the EICAR test file will put your worries at ease. It was developed by the European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research (EICAR) to test products. And before you ask, “But isn’t using test malware still risky?” No. Not in the EICAR test file’s case.
The EICAR test file isn’t actual malware. It mimics the behaviour of malware that the security software can pick up. Providers acknowledge this as a general standard for testing, so your antivirus software will detect it like any other malware once it is detected.
So, to make sure your protection is working, try to download the EICAR test file via the website and see if Bitdefender detects it. If it doesn’t, then you’ll want to try other means.
Upgrade your antivirus software
More likely than not, the protection software on your device is the program that came with your device when you purchased it. You may have forgotten it was there or installed free software a while back. They may not be up to standard anymore, or your device may not click with them.
If that’s the case, consider upgrading your Bitdefender subscription package. Bitdefender offers several different security solutions for different budgets, including Bitdefender Antivirus Plus for one Windows device that provides real-time protection against viruses and malware, prevents phishing scams while online, and a VPN with a 200MB per day limit.
There’s also the Bitdefender Premium Security package that comes with the software’s Total Security platform, which includes threat detection, ransomware protection, and more; an unlimited VPN; and a password manager.
Check out our thoughts on Bitdefender and its different subscription plans.
- Bitdefender review: All-in-one premium security
Use different antivirus software
If nothing appears to be working, it’s high time you change your protection software, preferably one of the best antivirus software.
Many free malware removal apps will dispatch malicious software on your device, but it’s a good idea to ensure these tools are trustworthy.
The best antivirus apps come with a suite of security features that can eliminate viruses, malware, ransomware, spyware or any malicious software that burrows into your device. Some software, such as Norton 360, offers security subscriptions specifically for multiple device platforms, like iOS on iPhone, macOS for Mac, Android and Windows. This makes it a more cost-effective option for those needing specific device protection.
- Norton 360 Platinum review: Security multiplied
- AVG Antivirus review: Free protection for the win
- Avast One review: Strong protection for free!
- Malwarebytes review: Premium is the way to go
How to remove antivirus software
Whether you’ve previously been attacked by malware that’s disrupted your Bitdefender security software or your antivirus experienced a little hiccup, sometimes the best thing to do is to uninstall and reinstall the software.
Like with any PC, you can uninstall an app or program by heading into settings. Some software, such as Bitdefender or Norton, have to option to reinstall the app. However, if the option isn’t available, just install the package from your provider’s website again.
There are several ways to uninstall the Bitdefender antivirus program. To do so, follow the steps below.
Uninstall with Control Panel
1. On your Windows PC, type in “Control Panel” in the search field located on the Task Bar.
2. Click on the Control Panel app.
3. A window will pop up. Under Programs, click on Uninstall a program.
4. A list of installed programs will show up. Right-click Norton 360, or double-click and select “Yes”.
5. Follow the steps the Norton 360 service provides to uninstall.
6. Restart your device.
Uninstall in Safe Mode
Sometimes, an antivirus won’t be able to uninstall because it is running in Windows. If you’re unable to remove Norton 360, it’s best to uninstall it using Windows Safe Mode. Follow the steps below to use Safe Mode.
1. On your Windows PC, type in “Change advanced start-up options” in the search field located on the Task Bar.
2. A Settings window will pop up. Under Recovery options, click on Restart now next to Advanced startup.
3. In the next window, click Restart now.
4. A menu will appear. Click Troubleshoot.
5. Select Advanced options, then Startup Settings.
6. Click Restart.
7. Using the number keys, select Enable Safe Mode.
Use an uninstaller
If an antivirus is still unable to uninstall, the software may be corrupted or missing a file. In this case, you’ll need to download an uninstaller program from the company to remove all files. These can be found on your provider’s website. Below is a few notable antivirus companies with uninstallers.
- Bitdefender – Uninstall link
Should I use antivirus software?
The best antivirus software will detect and remove malicious programs and software affecting your device – including browser hijackers, ransomware, adware, spyware and more. Simply installing an antivirus and performing a system scan should be able to detect the source of the issue and get rid of it. What’s more, you don’t need to pay for all the security tools an antivirus service offers, as free antivirus software from providers such as Bitdefender, Avast One or AVG offers the same detection and removal features.
Still, protection software such as Malwarebytes Premium or Norton 360 Platinum offer plenty of fantastic features that will keep you guarded against threats you may not even be aware of. Plus, they even throw in VPNs, password managers and more to make navigating the internet a breeze.
If you’re wondering which service to choose, check out our best antivirus software guide and get yourself protected.