Help protect my device with Windows Security

Notes: 

  • If you're running Windows 10 in S mode, some of the features of the Windows Security interface will be a little different. Windows 10 in S mode is streamlined for tighter security, so the Virus & threat protection area has fewer options than those described here. This is because the built-in security of Windows 10 in S mode automatically prevents viruses and other threats from running on your device. In addition, devices running Windows 10 in S mode receive security updates automatically.

  • In previous versions of Windows 10, Windows Security is called Windows Defender Security Center.

If you have Windows 10, you’ll get the latest antivirus protection with Windows Security. When you start up Windows 10 for the first time, Windows Security is on and actively helping to protect your PC by scanning for malware (malicious software), viruses, and security threats. Windows Security uses real-time protection to scan everything you download or run on your PC.

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

If you have an earlier version of Windows and are using Microsoft Security Essentials, it’s a good idea to move to Windows Security.

Schedule a scan in Windows Security

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

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type Task Scheduler and then select Task Scheduler in the list of results.

  2. In the left pane of Task Scheduler, 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.

    Scheduling a Windows Security scan in Task Scheduler


Turn Windows Security real-time protection on or off

  1. Select the Start  button, then select Settings  > Update & Security > Windows Security > Virus & threat protection.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • In the current version of Windows 10: Under Virus & threat protection settings, select Manage settings, and then switch the Real-time protection setting to On or Off.

    • In previous versions of Windows 10: Select Virus & threat protection settings, and then switch the Real-time protection setting to On or Off.

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