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Preparing for installation

There are a few steps we recommend that you take in preparation for product installation:

After purchasing ESET Mail Security, download the .msi installation package from ESET’s website.

Ensure that the server you plan to install ESET Mail Security meets system requirements.

Log in to the server using an Administrator account.

If you are going to do an upgrade from an existing installation of ESET Mail Security, we recommend that you backup its current configuration using the Export settings feature.

Remove /uninstall any third-party antivirus software from your system, if applicable. We recommend that you use the ESET AV Remover. See this Knowledgebase article for a list of third-party antivirus software that can be removed using the ESET AV Remover.

If you are installing ESET Mail Security on Windows Server 2016, Microsoft recommends uninstalling Windows Defender (Microsoft Defender Antivirus) Features and withdrawing from Windows Defender ATP enrollment to prevent problems caused by having multiple antivirus products installed on a machine.

If you are installing ESET Mail Security on Windows Server 2019 or Windows Server 2022, Microsoft recommends disabling Microsoft Defender Antivirus manually to prevent problems caused by having multiple antivirus products installed on a machine.


If Windows Defender Features are present on your Windows Server 2016, 2019 or 2022 during installation of ESET Mail Security, these features are turned off by ESET Mail Security to prevent collisions of real-time protection between multiple antivirus products. Also, Windows Defender Features are turned off by ESET Mail Security with every system start-up / restart.

There is an exception to this — if you are doing a component installation without Real-time file system protection component, Windows Defender Features on Windows Server 2016 are not being turned off.

For comprehensive view, see matrix of ESET Mail Security features and Microsoft Exchange Server versions and their roles.

You can check the number of mailboxes by running the Mailbox Count tool, see our Knowledgebase article for details. After your ESET Mail Security is installed, it will display current mailbox count at the bottom of the Monitoring window.

You can run ESET Mail Security installer in two installation modes:

Main program window - The recommended installation is with the Installation Wizard.

Silent/Unattended installation - In addition to the Installation Wizard, you can install ESET Mail Security silently via command line.

Upgrading to the latest version - If you use an earlier ESET Mail Security version, you can choose a suitable upgrade method.

After you have successfully installed or upgraded your ESET Mail Security, further activities are:

Product activation

The available activation scenarios in the activation window may vary depending on the country and the means of distribution.

Post-installation tasks

See the list of recommended tasks you can perform after a successful installation of ESET Mail Security.

Configuring general settings

You can fine-tune your ESET Mail Security by modifying the advanced settings for each feature.