With online intimidations like viruses, spyware, ransomware and so on, gaining prominence for all the wrong reasons – protection of your system becomes a huge question. To actively protect your systems and files from such online threats you can use Windows 10’s very own security solution i.e. Windows Defender.
Windows Defender Antivirus, earlier known simply as Windows Defender, is a built-in anti-malware software component in the Windows operating system. This software provides real-time protection to monitor, detect, and remove malware from your system and protect your device and files. While this software keeps running in the background mostly during the idle moments of your system, you too can run Windows Defender Antivirus on your own schedule or on-demand at any time.
Windows Defender Antivirus gives you the option to start a scan manually or schedule a scan at a specific time according to your needs. In this blog, we tell you how this works, let’s take a look.
Schedule a Microsoft Defender Antivirus scan
When a user keeps their system turned off when not using, or puts it to sleep – he/she can still schedule a scan with Windows Defender Antivirus using the Windows Task Scheduler. To schedule a Defender scan manually on your device, follow these steps.
1] In Windows 10, hit the ‘Start’ button and type ‘Task Scheduler’ and click on the right result or hit ‘Enter’
2] On the left-hand navigation pane of the Task Scheduler window, go down to the following location:
Task Scheduler (Local) > Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > Windows Defender
3] Now in the middle pane, right-click on the ‘Windows Defender Scheduled Scan’ task and select ‘Properties’
4] In the Properties window, click on the ‘Triggers’ tab
5] Create a new trigger by clicking the ‘New’ button.
6] Check if ‘On a schedule’ option Is selected in the ‘Begin the task’ drop-down menu
7] Select the schedule from the ‘Settings’ option
Note: Users can set the scan to run one time or set recurring scans for a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Also, use the “Start” settings, to specify when the task should start running and the time (it is very important).
8] Now make sure the ‘Enabled’ option appearing at the bottom is checked
9] Finally, hit ‘OK’
Pro tip: There are other useful options here, like the ‘Conditions’ tab. If you are on a laptop, you might want to select the “Stop if the computer switches to battery power” and “Start the task only if the computer is on AC power” options. These options prevent the task from running when the system is expected to shut down due to low battery. In addition, the “Wake the computer to run this task” option is very useful for those who put their system to sleep when not in use. When this option is enabled, Windows independently wakes the system, runs the scan, and puts it back to sleep when done.
Once you complete these steps, the built-in antivirus will run automatically using the specified schedule. Exit Task Scheduler now and completely rely on Windows Defender to do its job on the schedule set by you.
Schedule a Windows Defender Antivirus custom scan
Sometimes the built-in task doesn’t work the way it is expected to; also, some users come across the error 0x2. In such circumstances, users can set up Windows Defender to automatically scan by setting up a custom schedule using a new task. Try the below-mentioned steps:
1] From the ‘Start Menu’ open the ‘Task Scheduler’
2] Right-click the ‘Task Scheduler Library’ and select the ‘New Folder’ option from the menu.
3] Type a custom name for the new folder. In this example, we set it as ‘MyScanTasks’
4] Now click ‘Ok’
5] Now expand the ‘Task Scheduler Library’ branch and select the antivirus task folder that you just created i.e. ‘MyScanTasks’
6] Click the ‘Action’ menu on the top of the window, and select ‘Create Task’
7] Specify the task.
8] In the ‘Name’ section, type in a descriptive name for this task. In this example, ‘My Windows Defender Antivirus scheduled task’
9] In the ‘Security options’ section, you can configure which user account can run the task
10] Check the option ‘Run with highest privileges’.
11] Now, click the ‘Action’ tab and hit the ‘New’ button
12] Add the Windows Defender Antivirus program to the task
13] Use the ‘Action’ drop-down menu and select the ‘Start a program’ option.
14] Under the ‘Settings’ section, in the ‘Program/script’ field, specify the path for the Windows Defender Antivirus program:
15] In the “Add arguments” field, lay down the type of scan you want to run:
-Scan -ScanType 2
16] Hit ‘OK’
17] Now, in the ‘Triggers’ tab, click ‘New’ and specify the time settings. The steps here are the same as the above when setting up Windows Defender to automatically scan using the built-in task.
Once you complete these steps, authenticate with your account credentials, and then the Windows Defender Antivirus will do its job automatically on the given schedule.
We hope this guide was helpful in getting you the way to schedule Windows Defender Antivirus scans. Do give it a try and keep your system safe!