Does Windows Defender check for viruses?

Yes, Windows Defender checks for viruses.

Windows Defender is a built-in security feature in Microsoft Windows operating systems that helps protect users from malicious and unwanted software such as viruses, spyware, and ransomware. Windows Defender includes real-time protection against malicious and potentially unwanted software, and also scans your computer periodically to detect and remove malicious software and potentially unwanted software that might have been downloaded on your system.

Windows Defender has the ability to detect malware and other malicious threats by using its built-in real-time protection feature, which identifies and removes malicious files before they can damage or infect your system. The real-time protection feature monitors files as they are accessed, downloaded, or created, and blocks any malicious code or activity. It also can scan emails for malicious attachments and links, and alert you if any suspicious content is detected.

Windows Defender also includes an anti-virus component that scans your system regularly to identify and remove known viruses and other types of malicious software. It uses signature-based detection to identify and quarantine known malware and heuristic analysis to identify new threats. Signature-based detection works by comparing the downloaded files with a database of known malware signatures. Heuristic analysis scans the code of a file to determine whether it contains any suspicious behavior. Both of these methods allow Windows Defender to effectively identify and remove malicious software quickly and efficiently.

Windows Defender is also able to detect and block potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), and it can trace the source of an infection and isolate it to prevent further contamination. PUPs are programs that are not typically malicious but tend to come bundled with other software and can cause performance issues or be difficult to remove. When Windows Defender detects a PUP, it will alert you and offer to remove it from your system.

Finally, Windows Defender works in conjunction with other security tools, including Windows Firewall and Windows Update, to provide an extra layer of protection for your system. Windows Firewall helps protect you from network-based threats and prevents malicious programs from accessing your computer from another location. Windows Update helps keep your system up-to-date with the latest security patches and updates, which helps defend against the latest threats.

Overall, Windows Defender is a powerful and effective tool that helps protect you from malicious and potentially unwanted software. It offers real-time protection, can detect and remove known viruses and other malicious threats, and can even monitor PUPs and trace the source of an infection. Additionally, it works in conjunction with other security features to provide an extra layer of protection for your computer.