4 Ways to Find Malware Using Windows Defender Scan

4 Ways to Find Malware Using Windows Defender Scan

If you’re a Windows user stuck with expired third-party antivirus software or planning to buy antivirus software, you don’t have to. Windows comes with an antivirus software called Windows Defender. And like other antivirus software, there are scanning options to find malware using Windows Defender scan.

4 Ways to Find Malware Using Windows Defender Scan

Windows Defender, included in all Windows versions, is a powerful and reliable antivirus software. In this article, we’ll explore its various options.

Note: In Windows 10, Windows Defender was rebranded as Windows Security.

4 Ways to Scan for Malware Using Windows Defender

Windows Defender scans your device for viruses, spyware, ransomware, rootkits, and other malware. However, you can manually scan your computer whenever you prefer. It provides four scanning methods.

4 Ways to Find Malware Using Windows Defender Scan

If you want to run a scan with Windows Defender, it’s simple. Follow these methods to eliminate malware from your computer.

1. Run Windows Defender Quick Scan

The initial scanning option provided by Windows Defender is Quick Scan. This scan quickly goes through common areas where threats are usually located on Windows systems, such as the Windows Startup folder, registry keys, and download folder. To perform a quick scan using Windows Defender, follow the steps below.

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Step 1: Press the Windows key, type ‘Windows Security’, and press Enter.

4 Ways to Find Malware Using Windows Defender Scan

Step 2: Click on ‘Virus & threat protection.’

4 Ways to Find Malware Using Windows Defender Scan

Step 3: Click on Scan options.

4 Ways to Find Malware Using Windows Defender Scan

Step 4: Choose Quick scan and scan now.

4 Ways to Find Malware Using Windows Defender Scan

The Quick Scan instantly starts scanning your system and usually takes a minute or two.

This scanning option is handy if you want to scan your computer. However, if you want Windows Defender to do a deep scan and look for malware, there’s another option. Follow along.

2. Windows Defender Full Scan Using PowerShell

It is recommended to scan your computer at least once a week. The Full Scan option in Windows Defender thoroughly examines your system files and programs for malware. Here’s how to access the full scan in Windows Defender. Step 1: Press the Windows key, type PowerShell, and choose “Run as administrator.”

4 Ways to Find Malware Using Windows Defender Scan

Step 2: Type the following command to start a full malware scan and press Enter.

start-mpscan -scantype fullscan

4 Ways to Find Malware Using Windows Defender Scan

Sit back and relax. Depending on the data, the full scan takes time.

3. How to Run a Windows Defender Custom Scan From File Explorer

As its name implies, this Windows Defender scan option allows you to quickly scan a specific file or folder on your computer. Yes, you can scan a thumb drive, external hard drive, etc. without needing third-party software.

There are two ways to perform custom scanning: Windows Security settings and File Explorer. We will use the File Explorer option to run a custom scan. Here’s how:

Step 1: Press the Windows key, type File Explorer, and press Enter.

4 Ways to Find Malware Using Windows Defender Scan

Step 2: Find and select the file/folder you want to scan and right-click on the file. Then choose ‘Show more options.’ Note: You can select multiple files by holding down the CTRL/Shift key.

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4 Ways to Find Malware Using Windows Defender Scan

Step 3: Select ‘Scan with Microsoft Defender.’

4 Ways to Find Malware Using Windows Defender Scan

That’s it! The Windows Defender app will start scanning. As these are only files/folders, it should be quick to scan, provided there isn’t much.

4. Windows Defender Offline Scan

Malware is becoming smarter, and so is Windows Defender. Some malware is difficult to find, let alone remove. For such tough malware, there is Windows Defender Offline Scan, which uses updated threat definitions to eliminate tricky, unremovable viruses.

This scan mode requires a computer restart and takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.

Step 1: Press the Windows key and type Windows Security, then press Enter.

4 Ways to Find Malware Using Windows Defender Scan

To review the provided text, follow these steps:

1. Click on ‘Virus & threat protection.’

Review and click on ‘Virus & threat protection.’

4 Ways to Find Malware Using Windows Defender Scan

Step 3: Click on Scan options.

4 Ways to Find Malware Using Windows Defender Scan

Step 4: Choose Microsoft Defender Antivirus (offline scan) and click Scan now.

4 Ways to Find Malware Using Windows Defender Scan

Your PC will restart and Windows Defender Offline will load and perform a quick scan of your PC in the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE). After the scan is complete, your computer will automatically restart.

FAQs About Windows Defender

1. Is Windows Defender enough today?

Microsoft Defender is an excellent choice for any user as it actively searches for malware on your computer.

2. How does Microsoft Defender work?

Microsoft Defender checks files and apps you download and install, as well as files already on your system, for harmful malware.

Detect and Discard Malware From Your PC

Microsoft has made Windows Security settings easy for anyone to find malware using Windows Defender scan. Now that you know how to use Windows Defender Scan, it would be good to learn some Defender tips and tricks to improve your skills.

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Atish is a tech enthusiast with a Computer Science engineering degree. He started blogging in 2015 and has since published over 2000 articles on sites like Gizbot, Firstpost, PhoneArena, GSMArena, and IBTimes. At GT, he specializes in how-tos, tips, troubleshooting guides, SEO, digital marketing, and content strategy. His tech expertise is always accurate and ethical.

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