There are several ways to check if Windows Defender is running on your computer.
1) Checking Windows Defender Through the Control Panel
The easiest way to check if Windows Defender is running is to open the Control Panel and look for the following icon:
Windows Security Center. It should be located under the Security category. Click it and then click Open Action Center at the bottom of the screen. You should see either Windows Defender is on or Windows Defender is off. If not, click Change Settings and make sure that the Turn on real-time protection checkbox is checked.
2) Checking Windows Defender Through Local Group Policy Editor
If you want more detailed information about Windows Defender, you can open the Local Group Policy Editor by typing gpedit.msc in the Run box and going to the following path:
Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Defender
In this location, you will be able to see the various settings related to Windows Defender, including whether it is enabled or disabled.
3) Checking Windows Defender Through Task Manager
Another way to check if Windows Defender is running is to open Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc). In the Processes tab, scroll down and look for the process named MsMpEng.exe. This is the process used by Windows Defender. If you see it running, then Windows Defender is active.
4) Checking Windows Defender Through Command Prompt
If you prefer using command line tools to check if Windows Defender is running, you can open the Command Prompt (cmd) and type the command sc query Windefend to get a list of all the services related to Windows Defender. Look for the SERVICE_NAME field with the value msmpeng and make sure that the current state is RUNNING.
5) Checking Windows Defender Through Registry
Finally, you can also check if Windows Defender is running by looking in the registry. Open the Registry Editor (regedit) and go to the following key:
In this location, you should have 2 subkeys:
• DisableAntiSpyware (DWORD 32-bit value) – If this one is set to 0, Windows Defender is turned on.
• OOBEEnabled (DWORD 32-bit value) – If this one is set to 1, it means that the first time setup of Windows Defender has been completed.
If both of these registry keys have the previously mentioned values, Windows Defender should be running without any issues.
To conclude, there are several ways you can check if Windows Defender is running on your computer. The most common ones are to check it through the Control Panel, Local Group Policy Editor, Task Manager, Command Prompt, and Registry.