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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 OneCare program, some of its new features, including multi-PC management, printer sharing, and central backup, and also shows you how to find information and manage common tasks.

Get detailed descriptions of Windows Live OneCare features

Step 1: Get Oriented

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

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.

A green icon means your status is Good. Protection Plus features like real-time integrated antivirus and antispyware protection, the anti-phishing filter (must have Internet Explorer 7), and the start-time optimizer are up to date, and your computer is not due for a tune-up or backup. Windows Live OneCare is running constantly, monitoring your system to prevent threats from viruses and spyware.

A yellow icon means your status is Fair. Usually this means you have an action to take, such as scheduling or running a tune-up, multi-PC central backup, or backup, or downloading a noncritical 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.

A red icon means your computer is At Risk, and Windows Live OneCare is unable to make proactive fixes or recommendations. This can happen if OneCare is unable to update Antivirus with the latest virus definitions because of a lost Internet connection, or if the Windows Live OneCare two-way managed 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.

Common Tasks and Help: Use these links to run virus or spyware scans, back up or restore your files, or change your OneCare preferences and settings for automated tasks. Need help? You'll also find a link to Instant Help here.
PC Health Meter and Actions to Take window: Here's where you can check the status of your PC, or wireless network, to see whether you have to run a tune-up or backing up your files. This area is used to notify you about any PC, or multi-PC, health-related issues that need your attention.
Protection Plus: Lets you know whether real-time antivirus and anti-phishing monitoring are on, when your virus definitions and antispyware software were last updated, and the status of your firewall. Also use the links here to run the two-way managed firewall, Microsoft Update integration, and wireless network security management.
Performance Plus: Check here to see when your last OneCare tune-up ran, and when your next one is scheduled to run. OneCare now continuously tunes up the computer by maintaining important settings at recommended levels, and finding and fixing common hardware and software problems before the user sees them. Use the links here to run an on-demand tune-up, or view a report of the most recent one.
Backup and Restore: Lets you know when you performed your most recent backup, and when your next one is scheduled. If you have an external hard drive or writable CD or DVD drive, you can use the links here to back up your files or, in the event of data loss or corruption on your PC, restore files from a previous backup. You can also task advantage of the new centralized backup feature, and store important files from up to three PCs in a single location.

Step 3: Stay Green

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

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 a while, 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 it will prompt you to run a backup shortly after the 1:00 AM tune-up is complete. If you do not have the means to make backup discs (that is, there is no writable 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.
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