There are several ways to check if your system is protected by Windows Defender. Depending on the version of Windows you have installed, the method of confirming Defender is active may vary. Below are the most common methods for verifying whether Windows Defender is enabled and running on a Windows computer.
1. Checking using Control Panel: You can open Windows Control Panel, find Security and Maintenance section, and click on the link labelled “Security” to open Windows Security Center. If Windows Defender is running and up-to-date, it will be listed under the heading “Virus Protection” in the Security Center.
2. Checking with the Task Manager: Type Task Manager into the Windows search bar and open the program. Select the Services tab and scroll down the list until you find the “Windows Defender Service”. If the service is running, it will have the status of “Running” and will be highlighted in green.
3. Checking using PowerShell: In the Windows search bar, type “PowerShell” and right click to open an elevated version of the program. Once open, type the command “Get-MpComputerStatus” and press enter. If the command returns as “Protected” then Windows Defender is running and up-to-date.
4. Checking from the Start Menu: Right click on the Start button, then select Settings. From there, select Update & Security and then choose Windows Security. The Security Dashboard should be displayed, which lists information about the current security status of the computer, including whether Windows Defender is active.
You should also note that, depending on the version of Windows installed, other antivirus programs may be installed and running on your computer. It is important to check which program is currently providing protection, as most antivirus programs are incompatible with each other.
Once you have confirmed that Windows Defender is active and running on your computer, it is recommended that you periodically scan your system using the built-in Windows Defender scanner to ensure your device is secure. You can run a quick scan by opening the Windows Security app, clicking Virus & threat protection, then selecting Quick scan. It is also recommended to set up a regular schedule for full system scans to ensure any malicious software is detected and eliminated.