Microsoft Windows Live OneCare Sign In

Getting started with Windows Live OneCare

Now that you’ve installed Windows Live OneCare, let’s get started! This short tour introduces you to the Windows Live OneCare program and shows you how to find information and manage common tasks.

Get detailed descriptions of Windows Live OneCare features.

Step 1: Check out the Windows Live OneCare icon in the notification area of your Windows taskbar.

Windows Live OneCare icon in Windows notification area

This icon lets you know that Windows Live OneCare is running in the background while you go about your regular tasks. The icon has three colors to alert you to your Windows Live OneCare status.

Windows Live OneCare green iconA green icon means that your status is Good. Protection Plus features like antivirus and firewall are up-to-date, your computer is not due for a tune-up or a backup, there are no actions to take requiring your attention. Windows Live OneCare is running in the background, monitoring your system to prevent threats like viruses or spyware.

Windows Live OneCare yellow iconA yellow icon means that your status is Fair. Usually this means that you have an action to take, such as scheduling or running a tune-up or backup, or downloading a non-critical update. A yellow icon means there is no immediate threat to your system, but you should take care of the action as soon as you can to return your system to green.

Windows Live OneCare red iconA red icon means that your computer is At Risk. This can happen if, for example, Windows Live OneCare is unable to update Antivirus with the latest virus definitions due to a lost Internet connection, or if the Windows Live OneCare Firewall is turned off.

Step 2: GET GREEN. Get to know the Windows Live OneCare interface and set your protection, performance, and backup preferences.

Double-click the Windows Live OneCare icon to open the main window. Take a few moments to get to know the interface and to set up how you want Windows Live OneCare to handle tasks like backup and tune-up.

Windows Live OneCare main display window with callout numbers

Callout #1Common Tasks lists quick links to functions such as virus scanning and backup.

Callout #2Other Tasks is where you can set your preferences for automatic tasks and manage your subscription.

Callout #3The Help Center is your go-to page for answers to common "how do I...?" questions.

Callout #4Your overall PC health status is shown here. If this area is not green, Windows Live OneCare will display what actions you need to take (with links to instructions or more information) to get your PC back on track.

Callout #5You can find the current versions and status for Windows Live OneCare features here.

Callout #6And here you’ll find more links to common tasks, including checking for antivirus updates.

Step 3: STAY GREEN. Follow up on Windows Live OneCare Actions to Take and Advisories.

If Windows Live OneCare shows a yellow or red icon in the notification area, double-click the icon to open the main window. You’ll find instructions under Actions to Take to restore your status to green.

Example of a red Action to Take

Example of a yellow Action to Take

Keep your Windows Live OneCare installation up-to-date. Go to to manage your Windows Live OneCare subscription, as well as to get tips for keeping your family and your personal information safe on the Internet.

About your first tune-up and backup

After installation, Windows Live OneCare will automatically run your first tune-up at 1:00 AM. After that, regular tune-ups are set to run every four weeks at 1:00 AM. Tune-ups can take awhile, so we set the default tune-up time for the middle of the night when you probably won't be using the computer. (Remember, your computer must be turned on for the tune-up to run!) Or if you prefer, you can set your own tune-up schedule by going to View or change settings. You can also click Run Tune-up in the Windows Live OneCare main window to run one directly.

Windows Live OneCare checks whether you’ve backed up your important files, and so it will prompt you to run a backup shortly after the 1:00 AM tune-up is complete. If you do not have a means to make backup discs (that is, there is no writeable CD or DVD drive (CD-RW or DVD-RW) connected to your computer), you can change your backup settings so that Windows Live OneCare will not check for backups.

To view and change your Windows Live OneCare settings:

  1. Double-click the Windows Live OneCare icon to open the Windows Live OneCare main window.
  2. Click View or change settings under Other Tasks in the left column. The Windows Live OneCare Settings window will open.
  3. Click the Tune-up tab to view and change your tune-up settings.
  4. Click the Backup tab to view and change your backup settings.

Top of pageTop of page