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Help protect my computer with Windows Defender

When you start up Windows 10 for the first time, Windows Defender is on and working to protect your PC by scanning for malicious software.

Windows Defender uses real-time protection to scan everything you download or run on your PC. Turn off real-time protection temporarily by selecting the Start  button and then selecting Update & security > Windows Defender.

If you have Windows 10, you can't get Microsoft Security Essentials. But you don't need it because you already have Windows Defender, which provides the same level of protection. Windows Defender will turn itself off if you install another antivirus app.

Windows Update downloads updates for Windows Defender automatically to help keep your PC safe and protect it from attacks.

Schedule a scan in Windows Defender

Windows Defender regularly scans your PC to help keep it safe. If you want to set your own scan schedule:

  1. Search for and open Schedule tasks.
  2. In the left pane, expand Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows and then scroll down and double-click the Windows Defender folder.
  3. In the top-center pane, double-click Windows Defender Scheduled Scan.
  4. Select the Triggers tab, and then select New.
  5. Set your time and frequency, and then select OK.

Turn Windows Defender real-time protection on or off

  1. Open Windows Defender by clicking the Start  button. In the search box, type Defender and then, in the list of results, click Windows Defender.
  2. Click Tools, and then click Options.
  3. Click Real-time protection, and then select the Use real-time protection (recommended) check box.
  4. Select the options you want, and then click Save.
    Administrator permission required
     If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

    To help protect your privacy and your computer, we recommend that you select all real-time protection options.

To turn off real-time protection, follow steps 1 through 3, and then clear the Use real-time protection (recommended) check box.


Article ID: 17464 - Last Review: Apr 27, 2016 - Revision: 18

Windows 10