How do I exclude certain files from Windows Defender scans?

Windows Defender is a built-in anti-virus and anti-malware tool provided by Microsoft. It provides an effective way of protecting Windows systems from malicious applications and viruses, and can be configured to meet the needs of individual users.

One of the key features of Windows Defender is the ability to exclude certain files or folders from scans. This is useful if you have files or folders that contain application data that you don’t want Windows Defender to scan. It can also help to reduce the number of false positives detected by the application during a scan.

There are two ways to exclude files or folders from scans with Windows Defender. The first method is through the Windows Defender Settings App.

1. Open the Windows Defender Security Centre.

2. Select the “Virus & threat protection” option.

3. Select the “Exclusions” option on the left side of the window.

4. Click “Add or remove exclusions” and select “Add an exclusion”.

5. Select the type of exclusion you would like to add (file, folder, file type, process, etc.).

6. Select the file or folder you wish to exclude and click “Add” to save the exclusion.

The second method is to use the Windows Registry Editor. This requires more technical knowledge and should only be used if you are comfortable editing the Windows Registry.

1. Launch the Windows Registry Editor by typing “regedit” into the Windows search box.

2. Navigate to the path: “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Exclusions”

3. Right click on the “Exclusions” key and select “New > Key”

4. Name this new key the name of the file, folder or file type you want excluded.

5. Double click the new key and set the value to “1”.

6. Exit the registry editor, and restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

Once the files or folders have been excluded from scans, they will no longer be scanned by Windows Defender, unless you manually add them back in. It is important to remember that excluding certain files or folders from scans may leave them vulnerable to malicious applications, and should only be done with files and folders you trust. Additionally, if you decide to add back in any exclusions you have removed, you should consider performing a full system scan to ensure the security of your system.