Stay protected with Windows Security

Applies to: SecurityWindows 10

Windows 10 provides the latest antivirus protection with Windows Security. Your device will be actively protected from the moment you start Windows 10. Windows Security continually scans for malware (malicious software), viruses, and security threats. In addition to this real-time protection, updates are downloaded automatically to help keep your device safe and protect it from threats.

Windows Defender Security Center

Some features will be a little different if you're running Windows 10 in S mode. Because this mode is streamlined for tighter security, the Virus & threat protection area has fewer options. But don't worry—the built-in security of this mode automatically prevents viruses and other threats from running on your device, and you'll receive security updates automatically.

        Run a scan manually

        When you're concerned about risks to a specific file or folder, you can right-click the file or folder in File Explorer, then select Scan with Windows Defender.

        If you suspect there's malware or a virus on your device, you should immediately run a quick scan. This is much faster than running a full scan on all your files and folders.

        To run a quick scan in Windows Security:

        1. Select Virus & threat protection.
        2. Under Current threats, select Quick scan (or in previous versions of Windows 10, under Threat history, select Scan now).

        If you don't find any urgent issues, you may want to check your device more thoroughly.

        To run an advanced scan in Windows Security:

        1. Select Virus & threat protection.
        2. Under Current threats, select Scan options (or in previous versions of Windows 10, under Threat history, select Run a new advanced scan).
        3. Select one of the scan options: Full scan (check files and programs currently running on your device), Custom scan (scan specific files or folders), or Windows Defender Offline scan (run this scan if your device has been, or could potentially be, infected by a virus or malware). Learn more about Windows Defender Offline.
        4. Click Scan now.

          Learn more about running an advanced scan.

          Schedule your own scan

          Even though Windows Security is regularly scanning your device to keep it safe, you can also set when and how often the scans occur.

          To schedule a scan:

          1. Select the Start  button, type schedule tasks in the Search  box, and in the list of results, select Schedule tasks.
          2. In the left pane, expand Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows, and then scroll down and select the Windows Defender folder.
          3. In the top-center pane, select Windows Defender Scheduled Scan.
          4. In the Actions pane, select Properties.
          5. In the window that opens, select the Triggers tab, and then select New.
          6. Set your time and frequency, and then select OK.
          7. Review the schedule and select OK.

          Turn Windows Defender Antivirus real-time protection on or off

          Sometimes you may need to breifly stop running real-time protection. While real-time protection is off, files you open or download won't be scanned for threats. However, real-time protection will soon turn on automatically again to protect your device.

          To turn real-time protection off temporarily:

          1. Select the Start  button, then select Settings  > Update & Security  > Windows Security  > Virus & threat protection > Manage settings. (In previous versions of Windows 10, select Virus & threat protection > Virus & threat protection settings.)
          2. Switch the Real-time protection setting to Off and choose Yes to verify.