Windows Defender is certainly one of the best free antiviruses around and can guarantee good protection from malware and other cyber threats. The integrated security system of Windows 10 also offers several handy tools to scan and block ransomware, spyware, viruses, and other cyber attacks.
Windows Defender constantly scans the system in the background. However, in some cases, it may be useful to perform a more in-depth manual scan of the system, and in this article, I will explain in detail how to perform it.
Windows Defender allows you to perform different types of scans. The procedure to start them is really very simple.
Windows Defender Scan
As previously written, starting the Windows Defender scan is pretty simple. Here’s what you need to do:
- Open Windows Defender (click on the arrow pointing up next to the clock and then click on the Windows Defender icon, alternatively, type in the search form at the bottom left “Windows Security,” then press ENTER from keyboard);
- From the menu on the left, select the item “Virus and threat protection” ;
- Click on the “Analysis Options” item.
You now have the option to choose between four types of scanning:
- Quick Scan – Allows scanning of different folders on your computer where dangers are mostly found. Examples include the “Windows” folder or “Downloads” folders. This type of analysis is swift and takes only a few minutes to complete.
- Full Scan – Runs a full system scan, then scans all files on your computer and any running programs. The scan may take a long time to complete, typically taking just over an hour.
- Custom Analysis – This allows you to choose the path to a file or folder to be scanned.
- Windows Defender Offline Anal – Restart your computer and scan without programs running. This is a beneficial scan in case a running malware interferes with the scan.
How to scan Windows Defender
If you have never run a system scan with Windows Defender or if your computer is behaving strangely, I recommend that you run a full scan. To do it:
- Select the item “Complete analysis” ;
- Click on the “Start analysis” button ;
At this point, the scan will start, and you will be able to view the progress via the progress bar shown by Windows Defender. Once the scan is complete, if all went well, you will see the message “No current threats” if instead one or more threats are detected during the scan, you will see the message “Threats detected,” and below, you will find the list of infected files.
To remove the threats, click on the “Start Action” button, and Windows Defender will automatically remove all potentially harmful files.
Quick scan of a file or folder
Windows Defender allows you to scan a file or folder quickly. Here’s how:
- Locate the file or folder you want to analyze, then right-click on it;
- Select the “ Scan with Windows Defender” item.
After clicking on the item “ Scan with Windows Defender,” the scan of the file or folder will start immediately. At the end of the operation, you will be shown the result of the analysis on the Windows Defender window.