Windows Live OneCare currently features an integrated anti-virus program, firewall, backup and restore utility, tune-up utility with the integrated functionality of Windows Defender for malware protection. The future addition of a registry cleaner was considered but not added because "there are not significant customer advantages to this functionality". Version 2 has features such as multi-PC and home network management, printer sharing support, start-time optimizer, proactive fixes and recommendations, monthly reports, centralized backup, and online photo backup.
Windows Live OneCare is built for ease-of-use and is designed for home users. OneCare also attempts a very minimal interface to lessen user confusion and resource use. At the most basic, it adds an icon to the notification area that tells the user at a glance the status of the system's health by using three alert colors: green (good), yellow (fair), and red (at risk).
Version 1.5 of OneCare is only compatible with the 32 bit versions of Windows XP and Windows Vista. Version 2 of OneCare supports 64 bit compatibility to Vista.
Windows Live OneCare requires users to activate the product if they wish to continue using it after the free trial period (90 days). This can only be achieved by having a valid Windows Live ID so that an association can be made between the account and the subscription to OneCare which has been purchased. When the product is activated, the grey message bar at the top of the program disappears, and the subscription is fully activated for 1 year from the date of activation. Users can check the status of their subscription on the Billing page at http://billing.microsoft.com/
Windows Live OneCare does not currently require the operating system to be checked with Windows Genuine Advantage before, during or after installation. The program can simply be installed from a stub downloaded from the http://onecare.live.com/ website or as CD media.
Windows Live OneCare Protection Plus is the security component in the OneCare suite. It consists of three parts:
* A two-way firewall blocking both incoming and outgoing traffic, as opposed to that of Windows XP that blocks only incoming traffic. A two-way firewall protects against trojan or other viral infections running on the local computer.
* An anti-virus tool that uses regularly updated anti-virus definition files.
* An anti-spyware tool that uses the Windows Defender engine as a core. In version 1.0, this required the separate installation of Windows Defender and was not integrated into the OneCare interface (although it could be managed and launched from OneCare). Version 1.5 integrated the Windows Defender engine into OneCare and no longer requires separate installation.
Windows Live OneCare 1.5 also monitors Internet Explorer 7 security settings and ensures that the automatic website checking feature of the Phishing Filter is enabled.
Windows Live OneCare Performance Plus is the component that performs monthly PC tune-up related tasks, such as:
* Disk cleanup and defragmentation.
* A full virus scan using the antivirus component in the suite.
* User notification if files are in need of backing up.
* Check for Windows updates by using the Microsoft Update service.
Windows Live OneCare Backup and Restore is the component that aids in backing up important files. Files can be backed up to various recordable media, such as external hard disks, CDs, and DVDs. When restoring files, the entirety or a subset of them can also be restored to a networked computer, as long as it's running OneCare as well. The Backup and Restore component supports expected modern backup software features such as incremental backups and scheduling.