4 Ways to Find Malware Using Windows Defender Scan

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

If you didn’t already know, Windows Defender comes packed with all the Windows versions and is as reliable and powerful as any other antivirus software on the market. In this article, we’ll look at all the different Windows Defender options.

Note: Windows Defender was renamed to Windows Security in Windows 10.

4 Ways to Scan for Malware Using Windows Defender

Windows Defender scans your device for viruses, spyware, ransomware, rootkits, and other types of malware. But you can perform a scan manually whenever you want. It offers four ways to scan your computer.

Scan for Malware Using Windows Defender

Well, if you are wondering how to run a scan with Windows Defender, it is pretty simple. Follow the below-mentioned methods to eliminate malware from your computer.

1. Run Windows Defender Quick Scan

The first scanning option that Windows Defender offers is Quick Scan. And as the name suggests, this scan option sprints through the Windows systems where threats are commonly found. This includes the Windows Startup folder, registry keys, download folder, etc. Here’s how to quickly scan using Windows Defender. Follow the steps below.

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

Press the Windows key

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

Click on Virus & threat protection.

Step 3: Click on Scan options.

click on Scan options

Step 4: Choose Quick scan and hit Scan now.

Choose Quick Scan

And there you go. The Quick Scan will instantly start scanning your system and will usually take a minute or two to scan your system.

This scanning option comes in handy if you want to scan your computer. However, what if you want Windows Defender to do a deep scan of your computer and look for malware? There’s an option too. Follow-along.

2. Windows Defender Full Scan Using PowerShell

It is highly recommended that you scan your computer at least once a week. This Full Scan option in Windows Defender goes deep into your system files and programs to look for malware. Here’s how to find the full scan in Windows Defender.

Step 1: Press the Windows key, type PowerShell, and click on “Run as administrator.”


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

start-mpscan -scantype fullscan

Type the following command

That’s it! Sit back and relax. Depending on the amount and type of data that needs to be scanned, the full scan takes quite some time to complete.

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

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

There are two ways to operationalize custom scanning: one is through Windows Security settings, and the other is through File Explorer. We will be using the latter option to run a custom scan. Here’s how to do it.

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

Open File Explorer

Step 2: Find and select the file/folder you want to scan and right-click on the file and select ‘Show more options.’

Note: You can select multiple files using the CTRL/Shift key.

Find and select the file/folder

Step 3: Now, select ‘Scan with Microsoft Defender.’

select Scan with Microsoft Defender

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

4.Windows Defender Offline Scan

Malware is getting smarter every day, and so is Windows Defender. Some malware is tough to find, let alone remove from your computer. So, for malware like this, you have Windows Defender Offline Scan, which uses up-to-date threat definitions to remove tricky unremovable viruses.

This scan mode will restart your computer and take about 15 minutes or so to complete the scan.

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

Press the Windows key

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

Click on Virus & threat protection.

Step 3: Now, click on Scan options.

click on Scan options

Step 4: Choose Microsoft Defender Antivirus (offline Scan) and hit the Scan now button.

Choose Microsoft Defender Antivirus

With this, your PC will restart, and Windows Defender Offline will load and perform a quick scan of your PC in the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE). Upon completion of the scan, your computer will automatically restart.

FAQs About Windows Defender

1. Is Windows Defender enough today?

There is no doubt that Microsoft Defender is an excellent choice for any type of user since it functions actively in searching for malware on your computer.

2. How does Microsoft Defender work?

The Microsoft Defender checks files and apps you download and install, as well as files that are already on your system, for malware that could harm your device.

Detect and Discard Malware From Your PC

Microsoft has made the Windows Security settings so easy that anyone and everyone can find malware using Windows Defender scan. Now that you have learned how to use Windows Defender Scan, it would be good to know some Defender tips and tricks to up your game.

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