From the main page of the Microsoft Security Essentials client application you can see the status of your computer's anti-virus security and perform a manual scan. From the other tabs on this screen you can manually ask for virus definition updates and check the history of anti-virus activity performed by the application.
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Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.