How do I customize which files Windows Defender scans?

Windows Defender, Microsoft’s antivirus and antimalware protection program, is designed to scan all files on a computer for potential security threats. It can also be configured to customize which files it scans and how it scans them.

To customize the files Windows Defender scans, start by opening the Windows Defender Security Center. This can be done by typing “Windows Defender” in the search box on the taskbar, or by going to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Defender.

Once the Windows Defender Security Center is open, click on “Virus & threat protection” and then select “Virus & threat protection settings”.

In the Virus & threat protection settings page, locate the “Exclusions” section and click on “Add or remove exclusions”.

This will bring up a list of currently excluded files, folders and file types that Windows Defender will not scan. To add new items to the list, click on the “Add an exclusion” button and select either “Folder”, “File” or “File type”. After you have chosen the type of item, browse to find the folder, file or file type you wish to exclude from the scan. Once you have added all the items you wish to exclude, click “Save changes”.

You can also customize how Windows Defender scans your system by adjusting the scan frequency. To do this, go back to the Virus & threat protection settings page, select the “Schedule scan” section and expand it. Here you can choose to scan your system “Daily”, “Weekly” or “Monthly”, as well as specify what time of day you would like the scan to begin.

Windows Defender also offers a number of advanced scan options that let you customize how deep Windows Defender looks for potential threats. To access these options, go back to the Virus & threat protection settings page and select “Advanced scan options”.

Here you can select different scan types including quick, full, custom and offline scans. Each scan type has additional settings such as scanning archive files, scanning memory, scanning the registry, scanning removable drives and scanning other locations. You can also specify which threat levels you want Windows Defender to look for and if you want to scan executable files, scripts or any other type of file.

Customizing which files Windows Defender scans and how it scans those files is an important part of keeping your system secure. By customizing these settings, you can ensure that Windows Defender is focusing on the files that are most likely to contain malicious software and not wasting time on files that are unlikely to be problematic.