Windows Defender is an antimalware and antispyware software product by Microsoft for Windows 8 and above. It attempts to detect and remove virus, malware, and other defective threats that tend to attack your Windows device.
Formerly, Windows 7 and below versions had only Microsoft Security Essentials as built-in antivirus, and Windows Defender merely used to act as a spyware removal software. Microsoft used to provide it as free downloadable software for Windows 7, XP and Vista. With the launch of Windows 8, Microsoft suspended the Microsoft Security Essentials and launched Windows Defender as full effective built-in antivirus.
Though it is the built-in antivirus software for Windows 10, you have the option to choose any third-party security software as well. First released in 2004 Windows Defender was based on GIANT Antispyware, which was developed by GIANT company software, Inc.
Development of Windows Defender:
- In 2004, December 16 Microsoft announced the accession of GIANT company software, Inc. which was the original developer of GIANT Antispyware which was later developed as Windows Defender by Microsoft.
- It used to work as an antispyware software with MSE in Windows 200, XP, Server 2003, Vista and lastly in Windows 7. In the later versions, it completely replaced windows 7 MSE.
- Beta two was released on February 13, 2006, with the new program name and redesigned user interface.
- Finally, on October 24, 2006, Microsoft released it officially.
- Before Windows 8, it was limited to a spyware software. Now with the assistance of several real-time security agents, it monitors several typical areas of Windows for changes which might have been caused due to spyware.
- It included combined support for Microsoft SpyNet that allows users to report directly to the Microsoft what they scanned as spyware. Besides this also identifies the possibly harmful software and drivers and prevents its installation.
- The defender has recently added auto-update feature. This feature enables your defender to update it automatically after it finds the new update. This feature will help you to keep your PC secured and up to date.
Basic features of New Windows Defender for Windows 10:
- Tamper protection, real-time protection in service, registry, and folder modification tampering is highly improvised.
- Windows Recovery Environment offers effective anti-malware cleaning in Windows 10.
- Microsoft has implemented new technology in Windows 10, which permits Windows Defender to work closely with User Account Control (UAC) request which enhances the security of your PC even more.
- In Windows 10, Microsoft has also introduced new Secure Event Tracing.
- Microsoft has highly improvised malware detection capabilities, reporting, and rectification in Windows 10 Defender.
- Cloud Protection enabled in Windows 10 sends scanned errors report to Microsoft, which allows Microsoft to develop new anti-malware and antivirus definition to better deal with malware and threats detection and removal.
- The offline feature allows users to conduct an offline scan.
- In Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Microsoft has also updated the capability of Windows Defender, and one of them is its ability to scans your computer even after you install any other third-party antivirus software.
Basic Windows Defender Configuration
The user interface has the Home Tab, History Tab, and Update Tab. For observing PC status, and scan options, you can navigate to the Home tab. You can manually update it in the Update tab. And finally, you can view the items which are Windows identifies as threats, malware and quarantined or removed.
To open Windows Defender in Windows 10, you can follow any of this method
- From Setting App:
- Press Windows+I or Click on Start Menu and click on Settings (Gear icon).
- Click on Update & Security icon.
- On the left bar of the current Window, Choose Windows Security.
- At the bottom of the Settings click on Open Windows Defender Security Center.
Now let us look through the Configuration that you can do in Windows 10:
- Real-Time protection
- Off Limited Periodic ScanningTurn On/Off
- Cloud-based Protection
- Enhanced Notifications
- Conduct an Offline Scan
- Add Exclusions
If you do not want the Defender to scan your specific files or folders, process or file types, you can put those stuff in Exclusion List. To add any stuff in Exclusion List, Click on Add an Exclusion under Exclusion header and add your files/folders, process or file types which will be ignored during scanning. Use this option only if you are 100% sure that it is not a threat to your PC.
How to schedule a scan in Windows Defender?
Windows Defender regularly scans your computer to secure your files and documents. In addition to this, you can schedule your own scan with the following steps:
- Search for “Schedule Tasks” in the Cortana/Taskbar search box and open it.
- In the left panel of current windows, expand Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows and scroll down to look for Windows Defender folder and double click it to open.
- In the top center panel, double-click on Windows Defender Scheduled Scan.
- Now select the Triggers tab and click on the New button.
- Set time and frequency for Scheduled Scans and click on OK.
How to turn real-time protection on or off?
Sometimes this security system can block some of your software and files unnecessarily. Hence turning off temporarily might help you to solve this issue. After a certain time interval, Windows Defender automatically turns itself on, but you can enable or disable it manually. To enable/disable
- Click on Start button, then select Settings > Update & Security.
- Select Windows Defender at the left panel of the current window, then turn Real-time protection on or off under Real-Time Protection</b header.