How do I scan my computer with Windows Defender?

Windows Defender is a free antivirus program from Microsoft that helps protect your computer from viruses, spyware, ransomware, and other types of malicious software. It comes pre-installed with Windows 10 and Windows 8 and can be used to scan your entire system or individual files and folders.

Before you start scanning your computer with Windows Defender, it’s important to make sure that your computer is up to date with the latest security patches and updates. Outdated versions of Windows may be vulnerable to viruses and other attacks. To check and install any missing updates, open the Start menu and type “Windows Update” before pressing the enter key.

Once your computer is up to date, it’s time to begin scanning with Windows Defender. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Open Windows Defender by typing “Windows Defender” into the Windows search bar and then pressing the enter key.

2. Once Windows Defender opens, click the “Scan Now” button on the home screen.

3. When the Scan Options window appears, choose either “Quick Scan” or “Full Scan” depending on the level of examination you want Windows Defender to perform.

4. Click OK to begin the scan.

5. After the scan is complete, you will see the results on the “History” tab of the Windows Defender window.

Windows Defender also allows you to scan individual files and folders. To do this, right-click on the file or folder you want to scan and select “Scan with Windows Defender” from the context menu that appears. The scan results will be displayed in the same way they are after a full or quick scan.

It’s important to note that Windows Defender may not detect every virus or malicious file on your system. If you think your computer may be infected, you may want to consider running a full system scan with a more comprehensive third-party antivirus program.

It’s also important to note that Windows Defender runs in the background and will automatically scan files as they are accessed or downloaded. This means that the program is constantly monitoring your system for potential threats and can help prevent infections before they occur. If a malicious file is detected, Windows Defender will quarantine and delete it.

By following the steps outlined above, you can use Windows Defender to scan your computer, individual files and folders, and keep your system safe from malicious programs.