Windows  Windows Defender automated scans featured image

Windows 10 Windows Defender automated scans featured image

Windows 10 uses Windows Defender as a free default antivirus solution. While protection is solid, Windows Defender seems to lack an option for scheduled scans. But luckily there is a hidden option for automated scans which is just missing in the interface.

Windows 10 improves many features and offers a much better experience than Windows 8. But nothing has done with Windows Defender. Microsoft´s own free antivirus app comes with the same reduced feature set it already had in Windows 8.

Windows Defender still lacks an option for automated / scheduled scans in its interface.

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There is a custom scan option which offers nothing else than picking the drives and folders for scanning. “Custom options” – a bold exaggeration.

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Turning on automated virus scans with the hidden scheduler

But not so quick! In best Microsoft style, a feature for scheduled scans is indeed there – but they just didn´t put it into Windows Defender´s interface. To use it, you have to refer to the Windows 10 Task Scheduler.

1. Open the Windows 10 Task scheduler

Type task in the search bar and click on Task Scheduler

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2. Open Scheduled Scans in the Windows Defender task section

Once the Task Scheduler opens, browse down to Microsoft -> Windows -> Windows Defender in the left-hand pane. Search the item Windows Defender Scheduled Scan in the right-hand side and double-click on it.

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3. Create a Trigger

Change to the Trigger tab and click new to create a new trigger. In the On a schedule panel you can select the time and date you want it to run. You can do a scan every day, or weekly or at specific days every week.

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That´s everything. Once you save your trigger and reboot, your automated scans should be active. Windows 10 will show your scheduled virusscan in a list. If you want you could also combine different triggers.

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