Windows 10: Microsoft Quick Start, Windows Defender

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Quick Start: Windows Defender

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Click here for all of the Quick Starts PDF.

Click here for the brochure.


Get oriented

Windows Defender helps keep your device safe from malicious or unwanted software. It’s always on, protecting you, and pretty much runs by itself. You could just stop reading now.

How do you know it’s running?How do you know it's running

In the lower-right corner of the desktop, select the Show hidden icons, and then hover over the Windows Defender icon. You’ll see a message that says PC status: Protected.


Here’s how to open itHere is how to Open it

In the search box on the taskbar, type Defender and then select Windows Defender from the list of results.




Confidence at a glanceConfidence at a glance, when was the last scan, Need more assurance

Green means all systems go!

When was the last scan?

Need more assurance?

If your PC is acting weird and it’s been a day since your last scan, run another scan whenever you want.

If you suspect a virus, try a full scan.


Updates just happenSelect the update tab, updates are automatic, when last updates id doing a scan

Select the Update tab to see what’s up

Updates are automatic

They arrive through Windows Update.

When was the last update?

If you’re going to do a scan…

Look for a newer update first.


Make sense of the present by understanding the pastwhy was something blocked, whats in quarantine, whats allowed, found, get info

Why was something blocked?

Select the History tab.

What’s in quarantine?

You’ll find malicious software here.

What’s been allowed?

Each thing you decided was OK is listed here.

Everything we found

Get info about the stuff that was found


Dig deep with Settingsif at work, turn off antivirus, better protected

If you like to get under the hood and customize, there are ways to improve the security of Windows Defender. (Or you can choose to make it less secure, but we don’t recommend it.) All the knobs you can tweak are found in the Settings app.

If you’re at work…

You might not be able to change everything.

If you’re asked to turn off your antivirus software…

You need to be 100% confident you know and trust who is asking.

You’re better protected…

When you choose to share info with us.

Read the Privacy Statement to understand how we use the info.


Dig even deeper with Settingsbe careful, fewer notices, regular scan not available

Keep scrolling the Settings page and you’ll find even more to tailor.

Be careful with this

You might have good reasons to exclude specific files from a scan, so we give you the power (just be careful, please).

Want fewer notices?

We get it. But we’ll still notify you when it’s crucial.

If a regular scan isn’t possible or is risky…

Try running a scan offline.


Got a problem you can’t fix yourself? Find help.Got a problem you cant fix yourself

Want news about the latest features?

This page can help.

Ask the community

Other people have probably had the same problem, and there are folks in our online community willing to give you a hand.

You might be asked to send a sample

This can help us identify and fix the problem.


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