Using PC Tools Antivirus Free Edition as Security Backup

Melanie Gross
Oct 11, 2011
Updated • Dec 2, 2012
Software, Windows software

It is prudent to have backup antivirus software in the event that something goes wrong with the primary antivirus suite on your PC. Sometimes malware can lock the primary antivirus program and at other times it can simply stop working or experience technical difficulties of unknown cause. Though you do not need to run more than one antivirus program on your computer at one time, having idle disabled antivirus software installed as a fail-safe can guarantee security when things go wrong. PC Tools Antivirus is available in a free edition and offers comprehensive protection when your computer needs it.

Download PC Tools Anti-virus Free Edition from here.

The installation is fast and simple. It can be installed and fully updated in about 2 minutes. This is the 2011 version 8.0.

During setup, you will see the usual prompts to accept license terms and choosing the default folder for the application. You will be prompted to choose between two installation types. The basic protection option is the free version and the advanced protection is the paid version. Since this is just for system security backup, choose basic protection. It warns that, in doing so, “you may still be at risk.” If you wish to purchase the full edition and use it as your primary antivirus suite, you may choose to do so. The suggestion is to try it out first.

pc tools antivirus free setup

During installation, you will have to completely disable the antivirus program currently installed on your computer. Otherwise there will be a conflict between PC Tools AntiVirus and the primary security software. You will be running PC Tools immediately after installation, so security will not be down very long. PC Tools installer will recommend that you uninstall other antivirus software. Do not do that unless you are going to buy the full version and use it as a primary.

One of the features of PC Tools is a feature called Smart Updates. This is similar to automatic updates found with other security software. Once PC Tolls AntiVirus is installed, it will initiate updates and it will do so any time it is run.

pc tools update

Next, you will see the user interface. This is a sleek GUI and it is simple to navigate. All actions and settings can be controlled from this interface to customize performance. You never need to worry about updates staying current either.

pc tools antivirus

Intelli-scan is just a quick scan and only scans critical areas. This scan will run quickly. The full system scan remarkably finishes within 20 minutes, faster than most antivirus applications. Scans can be scheduled for regular times. To use this as backup security software, do not schedule scans. This is just to demonstrate that the option is available.

There is also an option for custom scanning where you can specify the files and folders to be scanned.

Overall, this is a good antivirus program that can even make a good primary security suite for your computer. To return to your primary antivirus suite, disable PC Tools AntiVirus and enable the primary security suite installed. Some security suites will not allow you to run PC Tools antivirus at all. For those that do, this is a good default security backup.

On the negative side, one could list the ads that are displayed in the free antivirus version which can be pretty annoying, and that the software best reputation when it comes to protecting the system from malware.


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  1. Albert Otojunk said on October 13, 2011 at 6:50 am

    How does one “disable” an anti-virus program if not by removing it?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 13, 2011 at 9:04 am

      Most antivirus apps have options to temporarily turn them off.

  2. Dr. S L Dhani said on October 12, 2011 at 4:40 am

    Very welcome and satisfying facility. Thanks.

  3. jasray said on October 11, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Better to run alongside primary antivirus the PC Tools Threat Fire? Then one doesn’t have to deal with enabling/disabling, etc. Just a thought.

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