Does Windows Defender remove malware?

Yes, Windows Defender is capable of removing malware.

Windows Defender is the built-in antivirus and anti-malware solution from Microsoft that is included with all versions of Windows since Windows Vista. It is designed to protect computers from malicious programs and other potential threats, such as viruses, ransomware, spyware, and more.

When Windows Defender is activated, it will run periodic scans in the background looking for potential threats. If a threat is identified, it will take action to remediate the threat. This may include removing malicious files, quarantining them or other actions, depending on the threat. Windows Defender also includes advanced options such as cloud-based protection, automatic sample submission, and behavior monitoring.

The main way that Windows Defender combats malware is by using signature-based detection. This process looks for specific known malware signatures in files that are accessed or downloaded on your computer. If a file matches a signature, Windows Defender takes action to quarantine or remove the file. Signature-based detection is very effective for targeting specific long-standing threats, however, it does not always catch new types of malware as quickly as traditional virus scanning methods.

In addition to signature-based detection, Windows Defender also employs heuristic-based detection methods. This technique looks at files on your computer and attempts to identify suspicious behavior that may indicate the presence of malware. For example, if a file appears to be attempting to download other unknown files, this could be a sign of a malicious program.

Another important method Windows Defender uses to detect and remove malware is behavior monitoring. Behavior monitoring looks for suspicious activity on your computer, such as new processes running, file changes, and other indicators of an infection. Windows Defender will monitor your computer’s activity and alert you if it detects any malicious behavior.

Overall, Windows Defender is a very effective tool in combating malware. It offers a combination of signature-based detection, heuristic-based detection, and behavior monitoring to provide comprehensive protection against a wide range of threats. Additionally, the cloud-based protection feature helps ensure that the latest threats are detected quickly. In most cases, Windows Defender is more than adequate for keeping your computer safe from malware.