How to Run Windows Defender

By Gregory Hamel

Windows Defender is an antispyware/adware tool that was released with Windows Vista and is also downloadable for use with Windows XP. The program is meant to help detect and block malicious programs, such as spyware, adware and trojans, and can be used to run searches to eliminate potential threats to a computer.

Step 1

Click "Start" and "Control Panel"; then double-click "Windows Defender."

Step 2

Click the "Scan" button to run a total system scan with Defender.

Step 3

Wait for the scan to complete; then click "Tools" and deselect "Options."

Step 4

Check the box labeled "Automatically scan my computer" under automatic scanning if it is not already checked, and then select times for scans using the drop-down menus. Scroll down the options menu and make sure the "Use Windows Defender" box is checked.

Step 5

Click "Save"; then close the window.

Tips & Warnings

  • Windows Defender can be disabled, which can sometimes increase system performance.Windows Defender is a part of the Vista operating system, so it cannot be uninstalled or removed under Vista.