Windows Defender in Windows 11/10 allows you to conduct an offline scan – also referred to as Windows Defender boot-time scan – that can help you get rid of persistent and difficult-to-remove malware and malicious software, using the latest threat definitions. Let us today see how to run an Offline Scan using Windows Defender in Windows 11/10. This Windows Defender boot-time scan is offered only when Windows Defender is enabled and is running as your main real-time security software.
Windows Defender Offline Scan
To perform a Windows Defender offline scan, use the offline scan feature. Open the Start Menu and then click Settings. Next, click on Update and security and then select Windows Defender, to open the following Windows Defender Offline settings.
Here, under Windows Defender Offline, you will see a Scan Offline button.
When you click on the button, within a few seconds, you will see the following message. You will be signed out, and your computer will restart.
Read: Where is Windows Defender logs location?
Windows Defender boot time scan
On the restart, you will see a black command prompt window flash open and shut instantaneously, and then you will see the following message for a few seconds.
The scan will then run. You may see a black screen with circular animation at times, and within 15 minutes, you will be booted to your desktop. In my case, the scan took around 5 minutes.
If any malware files are found and removed, you will be informed via a notification.
UPDATE: In Windows 11/10, you can access the Windows Defender Offline Scan setting via Windows Security too.
Click on Virus and Threat Protection link and then on the blue Advanced scan link to open the following window.
Here, you will see the option to run Windows Defender Offline scan.
This feature differs from the Windows Defender Offline Tool, which can be run from a removable media like a DVD, or USB drive and can be used to boot your PC, and then run the scan.
Read: Windows Defender Offline Scan vs Full Scan vs Quick Scan explained.