About Windows Defender
This help page is to assist those running Vista and who already have Windows Defender installed. The writer at the time of publishing this page still advises that the installation and weekly maintenance be continued using Spybot, AVG and Malwarebytes. As long as you are running these 3 anti malware programs you are as safe as you need to be. Removing any of these and installing Microsoft Windows Defender is not advised.
Microsoft Windows Defender is an anti spyware program for Windows that provides real-time protection and postinfection scanning and removal. Windows Defender succeeds Windows Antispyware, and is one of several competing packages from various vendors that protect against spyware and adware (generally lumped together and called malware).
Windows Defender is part of Windows Vista and you will find it is already installed if using this Operating System. It is also available for those running Win Xp and is free of charge.
Installing Windows Defender
- Download Windows Defender from Download.com and save it to your desktop so you dont lose it. Once installation has been completed you may delete this file.
- Once the download is complete, left click on the install file, which should be on your desktop and have an extension of msi. This will begin the installation process.
- On the Welcome screen, left click Next, and then Validate.
- At the next screen that appears, read and accept the license agreement, and then left click Next.
- At the Help Protect Windows screen, read the descriptions, and then choose the option you want. If you are unsure which option to choose, choose the recommended settings. Click Next.
- Choose Complete install, and then left click Next and then Install.
After installation is complete, you may choose to update Windows Defender and run a quick scan, or wait until later. Click Finish.
How to Live Update Windows Defender
- On the right of the toolbar is a blue question mark. On the right of this is an arrow pointing downwards. Left click on the arrow and select Check for Updates.
- Windows Defender will automatically check the updates held on your computer against those available online. If any updates are available Windows Defender will download and install them.
Scanning with Windows Defender
You have three options for scanning your computer with Windows Defender:
- Quick Scan: This runs a quick scan of the most common vulnerable areas of your computer. To run a quick scan, from the menu, either click the Scan icon, or click the arrow next to it, and then select Quick Scan.
- Full Scan: This scans all areas of your computer thoroughly. Running a full scan will take significantly longer than running a quick scan. To run a full scan, click the arrow next to the Scan icon, and then select Full Scan.
- Custom Scan: This scans only selected drives and folders. To run a custom scan:
- Click the arrow next to the Scan icon, and then select Custom Scan.
- Click the Select button next to Scan selected drives and folders.
- Tick the drives and folders you wish to scan, and then click Ok.
- Left click Scan Now.
Note: To cancel a scan at any time, click the Stop Scan button next to the Progress Meter.
Windows Defender gives you the flexibility to schedule automatic scans for spyware at daily or weekly intervals. By default, it will run a quick scan every morning at 2am.
To adjust the automatic scanning options:
- Left Click the Tools icon.
- Under "Settings", left click Options.
- Under "Automatic Scanning", check the option for Automatically Scan My Computer (recommended).
- Select a frequency, time, and type of scan.
- Ensure that, Check for updated definitions before scanning and Apply default actions to items detected during a scan, are checked.
- Under "Default actions", select the actions you want Windows Defender to take when detecting threats of certain alert levels. If you are unsure, use the default action.
- Click Save.
Using real-time protection
Real-time protection in Windows Defender is enabled by default. This ensures your computer is constantly monitored against spyware and other threats as you browse the web. To modify real-time protection options in Windows Defender:
- Left click the Tools icon.
- Select Options.
- Scroll down to Real-time protection options.
- Either enable or disable real-time protection with the Use real-time protection (recommended) option.
- If you enable real-time protection, you can modify which individual security agents you want to run. If you are unsure about which security agents to select, use the default settings.
- Left click Save.