How do I know if Windows Defender is working properly?

Windows Defender is a powerful tool that can help to protect your computer from threats, but it’s important to make sure it’s working correctly. Knowing whether or not Windows Defender is working correctly can help to ensure that your computer remains safe and secure. This article will provide step-by-step instructions on how to tell if Windows Defender is working properly and how to troubleshoot any potential issues.

1. Check the Settings

The first step in determining if Windows Defender is functioning as intended is by checking the settings. To do this, open up the Start menu and type in “Windows Defender” in the search bar. Once the Windows Defender Security Center window has opened, click on the “Settings” tab at the top of the window. You should see several different settings, such as “Real-time protection”, “Cloud-based protection”, and “Exclusions”. All of these should be enabled for best results.

2. Run a Scan

The next step is to run a scan, which will help to detect any potential threats on your computer. To do this, click on the “Virus & Threat Protection” tab in the Windows Defender Security Center window. Next, click the “Scan Options” button, and select either “Full Scan” or “Custom Scan” depending on your preferences. Wait for the scan to complete and look for any threats that have been detected. If Windows Defender finds anything, take the appropriate steps to remove the threat.

3. Check for Recent Updates

It is also important to check for recent updates to ensure that Windows Defender is running with the latest version. To do this, open the Windows Update window from the Control Panel or from the Start menu. Look for any updates that are related to Windows Defender and make sure they are installed. If an update is available, you may need to restart your computer in order for the changes to take effect.

4. Troubleshoot Problems

If you find that Windows Defender is not working properly, it’s important to troubleshoot the issue. One potential cause of the problem could be a corrupted file or program. To fix this, use the Windows System File Checker (SFC) tool to replace any corrupted files. To access this tool, open the Command Prompt window and enter the command “sfc /scannow”.

Another potential cause could be an incorrect setting. In this case, go back to the Windows Defender Settings window and make sure all the settings are as they should be. If there is an incorrect setting, you can change it to the correct one and then restart the computer for the changes to take effect.

Finally, if none of these steps resolves the issue, you may need to reinstall Windows Defender. To do this, open the Control Panel and select “Programs and Features”. Scroll down until you find Windows Defender and select the “Uninstall” option. After the uninstallation is complete, you can reinstall Windows Defender from the Microsoft website.

By following these steps, you can be sure that Windows Defender is working properly. It is important to regularly check the settings and scan your computer to keep it protected from any potential threats. If you ever experience any issues with Windows Defender, it is recommended to follow the steps provided in this article to troubleshoot the problem.