How can I add an exception to Windows Defender?

Adding exceptions to Windows Defender is a simple process that can be completed in a few easy steps.

Step 1: Access Windows Defender

To start, you will need to open the Windows Defender Security Center. This can be done by searching for “Windows Defender” using Cortana in the Start Menu. Alternatively, you can go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Defender. Once you have reached this page, click on the shield icon next to Open Windows Defender.

Step 2: Add Exceptions

Once you are in the Windows Defender Security Center, select the “Virus & Threat Protection” option. Now, select the “Virus & Threat Protection Settings” option. Scroll down until you see the “Exclusions” option and select it.

Once in the Exclusion section, you will have four options to choose from: File, Folder, Process and Extension. Depending on what your goal is with the exception, choose one of these options. This will open up a pop-up window where you can enter the information about the exception.


This option is used to add files or folders that should be excluded from being scanned by Windows Defender. You can enter a full file path to a specific file or folder, or you can click on the browse button to select a file or folder.


The Process option is used to exclude a program or application from being scanned. This can be done by typing the .exe file name or clicking on the browse button and selecting the application from the list.


This option is used to exclude a certain type of file. For example, if you don’t want Windows Defender to scan .txt files, you would enter the .txt extension under this option.

Step 3: Apply Changes

Once you have added the appropriate exceptions, click on the “Add” button at the bottom of the window. This will save your changes and apply them to the system.

Step 4: Restart

In order to make sure your changes have taken effect, restart your computer. This is the best way to ensure that Windows Defender is using the exceptions you just added.

And that’s it! You have now added an exception to Windows Defender. You can repeat this process to add more exceptions, or remove existing ones, as needed.