4 quick ways to scan for viruses with Windows 10 and 11 antivirus

One of the essential tasks to maintain the computer is perform regular virus scans. Thanks to them we can check that our PC is free of threats or, if a virus, malware or spyware has been hidden, we can detect and delete it before it’s too late and puts us in danger. Windows comes with its own free antivirus installed by default, Windows Defender. This gives us basic protection against all these threats. But, in addition to relying on its automatic protection, it is also necessary to carry out manual analyzes ourselves in search of all kinds of threats.

We can find several ways to manually scan our computer for viruses, Trojans and other threats that may be hidden on the PC. Next, we are going to look at 4 different ways to launch a manual virus scan.

Scan for viruses manually with Windows Defender

This is the basic and essential way to scan for viruses and other computer threats on your computer. To do this, the first thing we must do is open Windows Defender in the computer. And we can do this either by double-clicking on the shield icon that appears on the taskbar, or by searching for “Windows Security” in the Windows search engine.

Within it we go to the “Antivirus and threat protection” section, and we can see the different analyzes that we can launch.

Windows Defender Scan PC - 2

If we click on “Quick Scan”, the antivirus will perform a quick malware search in the most common routes where it is usually installed. But, if we click on “Examination options” we will be able to choose the type of analysis we want to perform, for example, a complete analysis, an offline one (with Windows turned off), and even choose which routes we want to analyze.

Windows Defender Scan PC - 3

From the file explorer

Like other antiviruses, Windows Defender integrates within the file explorer to allow us to quickly scan files or folders with just a right-click. This is very useful when we want to analyze individual files or folders on the system, but we don’t want to complicate ourselves within the configuration options that we have seen before.

To do this, we just have to click with the right mouse button on the file, or the folder, in question. Here we will see an entry called «Scan with Microsoft Defender“, which, clicking on it, will launch Windows Defender and allow us to search for viruses in that file, or in the folder, that we have selected.

Windows Defender Scan with Context Menu

In addition to being able to select complete files and folders, we will also be able to use this trick to analyze a complete hard drive, or pen drive, connected to the computer. Of course, if we use Windows 11 we will have to show the extended context menu, since it does not appear in the optimized context menu.

Using the right mouse button

Another even faster trick to scan our PC for viruses, malware or Trojans is to do it from the Windows Defender icon. This icon, which usually appears on the Windows taskbar, allows us to access a quick scan of the entire system with a couple of clicks.

Windows Defender Right Click Scan

We just have to click with the right mouse button on it to see the menu of options and select the one that we indicate.

Run this PowerShell command

Finally, we will also be able to use the Windows console to search for malware and other threats. To do this, what we will do is search for “PowerShell” in the Windows search engine (or Windows Terminal, if we prefer) and open it with administrator permissions. The latter is very important.

Once the console is open, we just have to execute the following command in the terminal to execute this analysis on demand:

start-mpscan -scantype fullscan

This command launches a complete scan of the PC, so it will search all the directories on it. And it will take several minutes, and up to an hour, to complete.

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