Windows Defender is a built-in anti-virus solution that provides protection against malware, viruses, and other malicious software on Windows computers. It is included with all versions of Windows 10, 8, and 7, and is enabled by default. This means that it will turn on automatically when you first start your computer, and will be running in the background while you use your PC.
There are several ways to check whether Windows Defender is turned on or off. The simplest way is to open the Action Center in Windows 10. The Action Center is a one-stop-shop for managing different settings related to the Operating System and its security features. To open it, click the Notifications icon in the bottom right corner of the screen, then select the All Settings icon. From there, select Update & Security, followed by Windows Security. At the top of this page, there should be a toggle switch labeled Virus & threat protection. If the toggle is set to On, this indicates that Windows Defender is enabled.
If you’re using Windows 8 or 7, the process is slightly different. Click the Start button and then type ‘security’ into the search bar. Select the option labeled ‘Security and Maintenance’, and then click on the link labeled ‘Turn automatic updating on or off.’ On the left-hand side of the window, there should be a checkbox labeled ‘Turn on real-time protection’. If this checkbox is selected, Windows Defender is enabled.
If you’re unsure whether Windows Defender is still active, you can also check in the Task Manager. To do this, press Ctrl + Alt + Del simultaneously, then select the Task Manager from the list. Click on the ‘Processes’ tab, then scroll down until you see the process ‘MsMpEng.exe’. This process is the Windows Defender service, so if it’s listed, your antivirus is still active.
Finally, you can also use a command line tool called ‘sc’ to check the status of Windows Defender. To run this tool, press Windows Key + R to open the Run dialog box. Type ‘cmd’ and press Enter to open the Command Prompt. Then, type ‘sc query Windefend’ and press Enter. If the output reads ‘STATE: 4 RUNNING’ then Windows Defender is running correctly; if it reads anything else, it’s not.
By following these steps, you can easily check whether Windows Defender is turned on or off. While it may be running by default, it’s always a good idea to make sure that your PC’s security is up to date.