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How To Install & Update Bitdefender Free Anti Virus.

Bitdefender Free Anti Virus offers more protection for your computer than the standard Windows Security app. It uses the same anti virus engine as it’s paid for brethren, but without all the extras that you get with those.

In this guide, I’ll download, install and update Bitdefender Free AV.

Download & Install Bitdefender Free Anti Virus.

To download Bitdefender Free antivirus, you can click the link below or simply Google for it.


Click the Download button and then launch the setup procedure.

Bitdefender Free AV webpage. The download button is indicated.
On the Bitdefender web page, click the Free Download For Windows button.
Bitdefender setup exe is indicated in Google Chrome.
If you’re using Google Chrome, the setup program will be here in the bottom left corner.
Bitdefender setup exe is indicated in Microsoft Edge.
But if you’re using Microsoft Edge, it’ll be in the top right corner.

Have You Uninstalled Your Previous Anti Virus?

You can’t have more than one anti virus program installed on your computer at any one time. So before you start installing Bitdefender, or any other AV for that matter, be sure that you’ve uninstalled whatever you were using previously.
To uninstall a program, right click the Start button and then left click Installed Apps (Windows 11) or Apps and Features (Windows 10).
Uninstall any and all anti virus programs from your system except Windows Security (Defender).
If you’re having problems removing an old AV program click here How To Uninstall Anti-Virus Programs That Won’t Uninstall.

Installing Bitdefender.

After launching the setup, you’ll see a couple of screens showing the progress of the download. Once all the necessary files have been downloaded, you’ll need to accept the Bitdefender terms and conditions and then click the Install button.

Bitdefender download progress indicator.
Not much to until all the files have downloaded.
Terms and conditions accepted and Install button highlighted.
You have to accept the terms and conditions, then click the Install button.

When Bitdefender has finished setting itself up on your computer, it’ll want to do an initial virus scan. You have the option to skip the scan if you’re in a hurry, but I’d suggest you let it run. Click the Start Device Assessment button.

After the initial scan completes, you need to create an account in order to activate Bitdefender. Click the Create Bitdefender Account button.

"Start Device Assessment" button indicated.
Click the Start Device Assessment button.
System being analysed progress screen.
Computer is being scanned for malware.
Analysis complete. Create Bitdefender Account button is indicated.
Create a Bitdefender account to activate the program.

After creating your account, Bitdefender will send you a couple of emails. The first one is a “verify your account” type email. Find the email and then click the Verify Account button. The second will be a “Welcome to Bitdefender” type of message.

Don’t Skip Creating An Account.

Creating yet another online account is a real chore and quite simply, many of us don’t want it. However, Bitdefender won’t work without an account. You have to have one.
On the plus side, it is fairly painless. They ask for your name, email address and a password to protect your new account. That’s all. They don’t require any other personal details, nor do they ask for any type of payment details.

After creating your account, you’ll automatically be signed in.

The final step in setting up Bitdefender Free Anti Virus is to select your “security level”.

To stay with the free protection, click the Continue button.

After clicking the Continue button, you’ll often have to restart your computer to finish the setup.

Continue button is highlighted.
You can choose whether to stay with free protection or start a trial of the paid for version of Bitdefender.

How To Update Bitdefender Free Anti Virus.

The one thing that’s missing from Bitdefender Free AV (in my opinion) is an update button within the software interface.

If there is one, then I certainly can’t find it.

After installing any anti virus program, you should always run a manual update to make sure that you’re using the very latest version of the software.

No way to update manually in the user interface.
No update button.

To Manually Update Bitdefender.

As is common with virtually every anti virus, Bitdefender will automatically update itself, but it’s well worth checking manually.

Left click the “Hidden Icons” arrowhead on your taskbar. Find the Bitdefender icon and then right click on it. On the menu that opens, left click Update Now.

Hidden icons arrowhead and Bitdefender icon highlighted.
Open the hidden icons menu on your taskbar and then right click on the Bitdefender icon.
Update Now option marked.
Then left click the Update Now option.


I like Bitdefender Free Anti Virus. I’ve started using it in preference to Avast free. Whilst they both have their strengths and weaknesses, on the whole, they both do a great job for free.

The main difference between the two, for me, is that Bitdefender is much quieter. It’s less pushy about trying to sell you the paid for versions. Whereas Avast has become exceptionally insistent in this respect, to the point of distraction.

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