Sophos Removal, Microsoft Defender Installation

Microsoft Windows Defender logo

Essential updates to the University antivirus software

As we continue to ensure that each computer on our university network is protected to the highest degree, we will be migrating from Sophos antivirus software, to Microsoft Defender.

We will continue to do our best to keep you updated and informed on all these changes. We will also provide directions for removing and installing these programs.

The following directions are for:

Should you have any questions, please contact TechServices at 978-934-4357 or email:



Starting May 2, 2022 you will be provided instructions to uninstall Sophos antivirus, in order to activate Windows Defender antivirus. If you choose not to manually uninstall Sophos, your computer will be automatically updated and restarted on May 25, 2022.

Sophos Uninstall

The following directions will walk you step-by step through the uninstall process for windows. When you have completed the steps, restart your computer to ensure the installation of Microsoft Defender on your computer.

  1. Click on the start menu at the bottom left hand corner of your screen (the windows icon)
  2. In the search field at the bottom, type in "Self Service".

( If you do not see this option in your start menu, please check in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. Click the small arrow pointing up, to make more icons become visible. If you do not see the small blue shield icon with an S on it, your computer has already been migrated to Microsoft Defender and there are no further steps to take. If you do see this icon, please contact TechServices for further instructions)

  1. Once you have opened Self Service, you will see a blue icon with a shield and an S on it. Click on the "Install" button underneath the icon. (don't worry, this does in fact uninstall Sophos despite the name)
  2. You will then see a pop-up window, with the option to click "Uninstall". Go ahead and click it now to continue with the uninstall.
  3. Sophos will begin to uninstall. This process can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes. Ensure that the small check box that says "Restart" at the bottom of the pop-up screen remains checked so that the computer will automatically restart and install Microsoft Defender.
  4. Once the uninstall has completed, click "Close".
  5. Your computer will then restart and your process will be completed.

Mac OS

Removal of Sophos Endpoint Protection Software, Installation of Microsoft Defender Endpoint Protection Software


The process listed below will be happening automatically on your Apple computer. Please call Tech Services should you have further questions or concerns.

If you do not see the Windows Defender on Mac icon (a grey background with a shield with a check mark) in the top right hand menu bar of your screen, the updates have not yet been made to your computer.

Windows Defender on Mac icon

Windows Defender on Mac icon

Again, this process is automatic and will occur shortly. We appreciate your patience.

You should see a pop-up warning you when the process will start and your computer will re-start.

This only applies to systems running macOS 10.15 (Catalina) and higher. Systems running versions less than macOS 10.15 (Catalina) will receive a future communication shortly.

The following encryption key re-distribution directions will apply to all Mac computers on campus.

After completion, you will see a notification to save anything you are working on and reboot by choosing restart from the Apple menu or call the service desk. Your computer will restart in 15 minutes.

Installation of a New Filevault Encryption Key to Ensure Data on Your Computer Remains Protected

This will prompt you to enter the password you use to log into your mac.

This process will occur on all mac systems and you will see the following 3 prompts to guide you through this process:

1. A statement that will inform you that your FileVault encryption key needs to be regenerated.

  • Click the "Next" button to continue to the next screen.

2. Enter your password that you use to log in to your mac, and click "Okay."

3. Once the FireVault key has been reissued you will see the success screen and you can click okay to complete the update.

  • After you see this last screen you should be all set!
Please contact TechServices at 978-934-3457, should you have further questions or difficulties.


If you are using a Linux system and would like to install Microsoft Defender, please contact TechServices at 978-934-4357 for assistance. linux

Why Defender?

UMass Lowell has selected Microsoft Defender for Endpoint as our next-generation antivirus/antimalware product as we continue to leverage our continuing investment in the Microsoft 365 application portfolio. In addition to reducing the university's expense on information security software, Microsoft Defender has been shown to have substantially less impact on computer performance than the previous software, Sophos InterceptX.

More information about Microsoft Defender for Endpoint can be found on Microsoft's Microsoft Defender for Endpoint webpage.