Help protect my PC with Windows Defender Offline

Windows Defender Offline is a powerful offline scanning tool that runs from a trusted environment, without starting your operating system. This topic describes using Windows Defender Offline in Windows 10 and Windows 7.

When should I use Windows Defender Offline?

Run Windows Defender Offline if:

  • Windows Defender detects rootkits or other highly persistent malware on your PC and alerts you to use Windows Defender Offline. You might see a message saying that malware was found on your device, or a message in Windows Defender that looks like this:

Windows Defender Offline alert

  • You suspect your PC has malware that might be hiding on your PC, but your security software doesn’t detect anything. In this case, you can start a Windows Defender Offline scan from Windows Defender Settings. Go to Settings  > Update & security > Windows Defender > Select Scan Offline.

The Windows Defender Offline scan takes about 15 minutes to run, and then your PC will restart.

Windows Defender Offline start scan

Where can I find scan results?

To see the Windows Defender Offline scan results:

  • Select the Start  button, then select Settings  > Update & security > Windows Defender.
  • On the History tab, select All detected items, then select View details. Any items detected by Windows Defender Offline will be listed as Offline in Detection source.
Windows Defender Offline scan results

Using Windows Defender Offline on Windows 7

If you're using Windows Defender Offline on Windows 7, you need to follow four basic steps:

  1. Download Windows Defender Offline and create a CD, DVD, or USB flash drive.
  2. Restart your PC using the Windows Defender Offline media.
  3. Scan your PC for malicious and other potentially unwanted software.
  4. Remove any malware that is found from your PC.
Windows Defender Offline will walk you through the details of these four steps when you're using the tool. If you've been prompted in Microsoft Security Essentials or Windows Defender to download and run Windows Defender Offline, it's important that you do so, to make sure that your data and your PC isn't compromised.

To get started, find a blank CD, DVD, or USB flash drive with at least 250 MB of free space and then download and run the tool—the tool will help you create the removable media.

Download the 32-bit version 

Download the 64-bit version

If you're not sure which version to download, see Is my PC running the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows?


Article ID: 17466 - Last Review: Nov 14, 2016 - Revision: 42