How do I exclude files or folders from Windows Defender scans?

Windows Defender is a powerful and reliable virus protection program included with Windows 10. It scans your computer for viruses, malware, and other malicious threats, and helps protect you from cyber attacks. However, in some cases you may want to exclude certain files or folders from the scans.

Excluding files and folders from Windows Defender scans is easy. Here’s how to do it:

1. Open Windows Defender Security Center by clicking the Start menu and typing “Windows Defender.”

2. Click Virus and threat protection.

3. Click the Exclusions icon at the bottom of the page.

4. Click the “Add an exclusion” option and then select “Folder.”

5. Enter the path of the folder that you want to exclude from scans, or click the “Browse” button to locate it.

6. Repeat this process for any additional folders that you want to exclude from scans.

7. Once you have added all the folders you want to exclude, click the “Save changes” button at the bottom of the page.

In addition to excluding folders, you can also exclude specific files, file types (such as .exe), and network locations (such as shared drives) from Windows Defender scans. To do this, follow steps 1-4 above, and then select the “File,” “File type,” or “Network location” option instead of the “Folder” option.

Remember, while excluding files and folders from scans can help speed up scans and prevent false positives, it is not recommended that you exclude system folders, as these are often targeted by malware. Excluding such folders could potentially leave you vulnerable to attack.

If you do decide to exclude files or folders from Windows Defender scans, make sure that you keep your security software updated and regularly run manual scans to check for any malicious activity.