4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

Windows Defender is Microsoft’s security application that scans and safeguards your computer from malicious agents. You can obtain detailed information about scans and detections made by Windows Defender on the Protection History page. Usually, the Protection History log is cleared automatically every 30 days, but you can manually speed up the process if desired.

4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

Clearing the Protection History frees up space on your computer and resolves issues with Windows Security not opening. This guide outlines four ways to clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11. Let’s explore these methods.

1. Clear Windows Defender Protection History Using File Explorer

Like other applications, Windows Defender saves the Protection History log on your computer as a file. To access and delete the log on Windows 11, use File Explorer. Follow these steps:

1. Press Windows + E to open File Explorer. Select the Windows OS drive (usually C) from the list.

2. Go to the View option, click Show, and choose Hidden items.

4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

Step 3: Navigate to the following location or copy-paste it in the address bar of File Explorer:

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C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Scans\History

Step 4: Open the Services folder.

4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

Step 5: Press Control + A to select everything, and then Shift + Delete to permanently remove all history files.

4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

Removing the Windows Defender’s Protection History for the first time will free up storage space on your computer.

2 . Clear Windows Defender Protection History Using the Group Policy Editor

The Group Policy Editor is a Windows utility for managing and editing important Windows policies. However, it is not available in Windows 11 Home Edition. If you’re using this edition, skip this solution.

To clear the Protection History log, follow these instructions:

Step 1: Press Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog box.

Step 2: Type gpedit.msc in the search bar and click OK.

4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

Step 3: In the Group Policy Editor, go to the following location in the left sidebar: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Microsoft Defender Antivirus > Scan.

4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

Step 4: In the right pane, double-click on ‘Turn on removal of items from scan history folder.’

4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

Step 5: Choose Enabled. Also, assign a number of days after which the history gets cleared automatically. The default is 30 days.

4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

Step 6: Click Apply and OK.

3. Clear Windows Defender Protection History Using Event Viewer

Windows stores messages from system features in Event Viewer. To clear Windows Defender Protection History, follow these steps:

1. Press the Windows key to open the Start Menu.

2. Type “Event Viewer” in the search bar and choose Open.

4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

Step 2: Click the drop-down arrow before Applications and Services logs in the left sidebar.

4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

Step 3: Click the drop-down arrow next to the Microsoft folder on the left sidebar.

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4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

Step 4: Click the drop-down arrow before the Windows folder in the left sidebar.

4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

Step 5: Find and double-click the Windows Defender folder from the left sidebar.

4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

Step 6: Right-click on the Operational log and choose Clear log.

4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

Step 7: Choose ‘Save and Clear’ in the confirmation box.

4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

4. Clear Windows Defender Protection History Using Windows PowerShell

Windows PowerShell is a command-line tool for managing programs, solving system issues, and more. You can also use it to clear Windows Defender Protection History log on Windows 11. Here’s how:

Step 1: Open the Start Menu, type “Windows PowerShell” in the search bar, and choose Run as administrator.

4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

Step 2: In the PowerShell window, type the command and press Enter. Replace Days with the number of days after which you want the Protection History log to be cleared automatically. For example, we’ve chosen 5 days. Set-MpPreference -ScanPurgeItemsAfterDelay Days

4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

How to Fix Protection History Crashing Issue

Protection History crashing on Windows 11? Unable to view History? Follow these solutions to fix the issue.

1. Disable Real-Time Protection Temporarily

To fix the Protection History crashing issue, disable Real-time protection temporarily in Windows Security app. Follow these steps:

1. Open the Start Menu, type “Windows Security,” and press Enter.

4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

Step 2: Choose Virus & threat protection from the left sidebar.

4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

Step 3: Click Manage settings.

4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

Step 4: Disable the toggle for Real-time protection and Cloud-delivered protection.

4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

Step 5: Press Windows + E keys to open File Explorer and go to the location or copy-paste the following address: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Scans\History

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4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

Step 6: Open Windows Security app and enable Real-time protection and Cloud-delivered protection.

4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

2. Reset Windows Security

If you’re still facing the problem, you can reset the Windows Security app as the last resort. Reset the app by following these steps:

1. Press Windows + I to open the Settings app.

2. Choose Apps from the left sidebar.

4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

Step 3: Select Installed apps.

4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

Step 4: Click the three dots next to Windows Security and choose Advanced options.

4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

Step 5: Click the Reset button.

4 Best Ways to Clear Windows Defender Protection History on Windows 11

Keep Protection History Clean

To maintain optimal system performance, regularly clear temporary system files and Windows Defender Protection History logs. You can clear Windows Defender Protection History using either of the mentioned methods.

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