Everything you need to know about Windows Defender antivirus

Since Windows 10, Windows Defender antivirus is now called Windows Security. Antivirus for Windows is now summarized in a Windows Security package and consists of several components.

Virus and threat protection, Account protection, Firewall, and network protection, App and browser management, Device protection, Device performance, and status and Family options.

These Windows security components are summarized as Windows security to best protect Windows 10 from viruses etc.

In this article, I will explain to you what the virus and threat protection functionality means and how to set it up in the best possible way to protect your device with Windows 10.

Windows Defender antivirus

Virus and threat protection in Windows

It is essential to enable virus protection in Windows 10. Not only does the built-in virus protection for Windows 10 protect against viruses, but it also provides functionality to identify and remove unwanted software.

Windows Defender Antivirus from older Windows versions like Windows 8 was not very good at detecting viruses. However, windows 10 is a lot better at it. Therefore, you can use the built-in antivirus for Windows 10 as the default virus scanner just fine.

Enable Windows Defender Antivirus for Windows 10

Right-click on the Windows start button. Click Settings on the start menu. In the settings menu, click Update and Security.

Update and Security settings

On the left side of the menu, click Windows security. Then, in the security areas menu, click Virus and threat protection.

Virus and threat protection

A window will now open with the antivirus settings for Windows 10.

In the Antivirus Settings for Windows 10, click Manage Settings from the Virus and Threat Protection Settings menu.

Manage virus and threat protection settings

Here you will see three options that involve operating the Windows Defender Antivirus protection in Windows 10.

Real-time protection

It should always be On. This is the feature that ensures whether Windows Defender Antivirus is enabled.

Cloud Protection

It is a feature that checks unknown files for viruses by checking the file identified as “potentially dangerous” against the latest online antivirus definitions from the Microsoft antivirus database.

Automatic sample submission

Suppose a file is identified that Microsoft can use to better protect other people. In that case, this option allows you to automatically submit it to Microsoft.

Enable all Windows Security components

I recommend that you enable all three options.

What if you can’t turn on real-time protection

You can do some things to enable Windows Defender Antivirus if real-time protection cannot be enabled.

Right-click on the Start button in Windows 10. Open Run and in the Run window type: services.msc

You have now opened the Windows Services. In the Windows Services options, you can manage services needed by Windows and other software.

Check if the following services exist and enable them.

  • Windows Defender Antivirus Service
  • Windows Defender Antivirus Network Inspection Service
  • Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection Service

Windows defender services

By right-clicking on the service name and choosing Start, you enable the desired service.

Windows Defender Antivirus Scanning Options

Now that you have successfully enabled Windows Defender antivirus, it is essential to check your computer for viruses.

In Windows 10, you can use some scanning options to identify virus files.

Quick Scan

The quick scan in Windows Defender Antivirus looks in all folders that viruses often use to hide in. These are temporary folders, downloads, users, and system folders.

Full Scan

This scan speaks for itself. Every folder, file, and the active process is checked for viruses. It is also recommended to perform a full scan every month.

Custom scan

If you want to check a specific file or folder for viruses, click on custom scan. If you click on this custom scan and run a scan, Windows Defender Antivirus will first ask you which location or file you want to check.

Windows Defender offline scan

With an offline scan, Windows Defender will download the latest antivirus definitions, then reboot the computer and run a quick scan in a recovery environment without the Internet.

Some viruses recover in a familiar Windows environment with an internet connection or start themselves even before Windows. The Windows Defender offline scan stops these viruses and removes viruses without an internet connection in a unique environment.

Windows Defender Antivirus threat history

If Windows Defender Antivirus detects a threat, these files are quarantined. Quarantined files are isolated and can no longer cause damage to your system.

If you believe that the file is harmless or you still want to allow it, you can retrieve the file from quarantine and return it to the location where the file was detected.

Click on the quarantined file and click restore to recover the file from the Windows Defender Antivirus detected viruses. To see more information about the file’s original location, warning level, category, and details, click View Details.

Controlled Folder Access

With the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Microsoft has introduced protection against Ransomware, namely the Controlled Folder Access protection.

How to enable Controlled Folder Access

It also means controlled folder access and blocks files that want to make changes to the folders defined in controlled folder access.

In the Windows security menu, click virus and threat protection. In the virus and threat protection settings menu, click Manage Settings.

Navigate down the menu and click Manage Controlled Folder Access. You are now in the options for Controlled Folder Access.

Manage controlled folder access

Click the power button to enable Controlled Folder Access in Windows 10.

Add a folder to Controlled Folder Access.

Then click Protected Folders to see which folders are protected by controlled folder access.

Protected folders in controlled folder access

Click Add a protected folder to protect folders from file modifications. Then, every time an executable, DLL file, etc., want to change the protected folders, you will get a notification whether you want to allow it.

Allow an application via Controlled Folder Access

If you want to allow an app to make changes to folders you have protected by Controlled Folder Access, click Allow an app via Controlled Folder Access.

Allow an app through controlled folder access

You can add application files to make unrestricted changes to the protected folder(s) in this menu.

Add an allow app in controlled folder access

Likewise, it is possible to recover data via OneDrive in a ransomware attack.

Exclude files or folders in Windows Defender Antivirus

It is possible to exclude files and folders for Windows Defender Antivirus. You prevent Windows Defender from marking the file or folder as a virus by excluding files or folders.

In the Windows security menu, click virus and threat protection. In the virus and threat protection settings menu, click Manage Settings.

Navigate down the menu and click Add or Remove Exclusions.

Add or remove exclusions in Windows defender antivirus

You are now in the options for excluding specific folders or files.

Add or exclude files or folders in defender antivirus

Click Add an exclusion to exclude a file, folder, specific file type, or process in Windows Defender Antivirus.

Virus and threat protection updates

It is important to always install Windows updates ASAP after Microsoft makes them available.

Windows update provides updates for Windows 10 and peripherals and updates for the virus scanner. The updates for the virus scanner Windows Defender Antivirus are downloaded and installed automatically. You can also manually check for new updates.

In the Windows security menu, click virus and threat protection. Then, click Check for updates in the virus and threat protection settings menu.

Check for Windows Security intelligence updates

I hope this article has helped you understand more about Windows Defender Antivirus settings for Windows 10.

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