The first thing we are going to do is see what Windows Defender is and the benefits it can bring us. Then we will see how we can access, configure and use this antivirus. We will also see what options it would give us in case of detecting a threat, how to eliminate malware with Windows Defender and also to update it.
What is Windows Defender and benefits of using it
Windows Defender We could define it as a Microsoft protection component, for the complete protection of our computer against external threats. We find a security program that offers us an antivirus and, in addition, protects us from other threats. The objective of this software is to prevent, eliminate and quarantine any malware or harmful software that could endanger our stored data, and logically, it is also capable of protecting Microsoft’s own operating system.
One of the main advantages that it offers us is that we can eliminate malware with Windows Defender without having to install third-party software, it is completely free, something that does not happen with other alternatives such as Kaspersky or McAfee among other protection suites. Finally, Windows Defender is activated by default in Windows, so we will be protected from the beginning with a great antivirus that has nothing to envy its most direct competitors.
As for the functions that Windows Defender performs, the most important are:
- Offers protection against threats and viruses in real time.
- Account protection in which we can access the login and account configuration options.
- Have firewall and network protection, in which we can manage the firewall configuration, and what happens both in the networks and in the Internet connection.
- A cloud protection that has detection and blocking of new and emerging threats almost immediately.
- Device Security for Integrated Security Options Review, which help protect our device against malicious software attacks.
- Protection against ransomware, one of the most dangerous threats today.
As you can see, Windows Defender incorporates all the security measures that any home user with the Windows operating system needs, without having to go to paid security suites.
Access to Windows Defender, configuration and first steps
In the case of wanting to access Windows Defender, we will go to Windows start menu. There we will write «Settings »or click on the settings icon and we will see a screen like the following:
Next, we will click on «Update and security«, And then, in the options on the left we select«Windows security«.
Then we will click on the button Open Windows Security and we will access «Safety at a glance«.
Windows Defender works with icons of three different colors. Each of them, depending on the color and the symbol, will be indicating one event or another.
- The icon in green It tells us that everything is fine in that section, and that no action is required.
- If it is a exclamation point in yellow within a triangle, these are actions that should be carried out.
- The icon Red refers to actions that we must correct it to keep our equipment safe.
Next, we will click on «Antivirus and threat protection»To be able to work and eliminate malware with Windows Defender.
Here we are going to focus on the three options selected in the red boxes. Let’s start with the «Antivirus and Threat Protection Settings»Where we will see a screen like this, and that you must have configured like this:
In this section, real-time protection must be activated, unless we have third-party antivirus software, in this case Windows Defender will be deactivated so as not to cause any conflict with third-party security software.
Also, if we click on «Search for updates»We will be able to update the virus and threat database of the Windows antivirus. In addition, it is updated with Windows Update, so it could be that you had it updated.
On the other hand, you have the «Protection against ransomware«, In an attack they could encrypt your files and ask you for a ransom so that they give you a password with which to recover them. If you have a Microsoft account set up, you could save files in OneDrive with what you would have a copy of the selected files.
Once we have seen the main features and options of Windows Defender, we will see how it can be detected and what options to eliminate the threat we have available.
Detect and remove malware with Windows Defender
The best way to detect and eliminate malware with Windows Defender is usually by examining our team. One of those that we can do, and that will take us a short time, is the «Quick test»For which, we will click on its corresponding button. Then you will see how it is analyzing the main files of your team:
After finishing the Windows Defender analysis, if it has not detected any threat, it will offer you results like these:
As you can see, it has been a very quick examination and zero threats have been found on this computer. However, we have other more complete analyzes, and to see them we have to click on «Exam options«.
As you can see, four types of tests can be performed to detect or eliminate malware with Windows Defender:
- Quick test– System folders are scanned, which is generally where threats and harmful software are located.
- Comprehensive exam– All files and running programs on the hard drive are checked. This analysis can take more than an hour if we have many files on our computer.
- Custom exam: here we are going to be able to carry out an analysis by choosing the preferences we want. Thus, we can choose the drives, folders and files that we want.
- Microsoft Defender offline scan– In some cases, certain types of malicious software can be difficult to remove. With this type of examination, you can help find and remove this malicious software using more up-to-date threat definitions. We will see how the computer restarts and it will take approximately 15 minutes.
If we want to know the results of this analysis of Microsoft Defender offline:
- We will return to Antivirus and threat protection.
- Right there where the button is Quick test come a series of options among them Protection history. And there we can see what has happened.
Malware removal options and exclusions
When performing an exam, on occasion we may have to eliminate malware with Windows Defender, and something similar to this will appear:
If we click on the suspicious activity, it will let us choose between several options:
Here we have to choose between:
- Put off– Deletes the file from your computer and prevents it from being retrieved.
- Quarantine: it moves the file to quarantine for our protection, and allows to recover it in case of need.
- Allow on device– This threat is ignored and the file is whitelisted to prevent further notifications.
Then click on the button «Initiate actions»And we will see that it has resolved the threats:
However, sometimes for some reason there are false positives and we need to exclude a file in order to continue using it. You have to be very safe when adding a file here, because if it is harmful software it will harm our security.
In “Antivirus and Threat Protection” we are going to “Manage settings«:
We go down until we find «Add or remove exclusions»And press it:
Next, click on the button «Add exclusion » and we choose the files or folders that we want to include:
And at this time this file will already be excluded from the following analyzes that we carry out.
As you have seen in this tutorial, detecting and eliminating malware, viruses and Trojans with Windows Defender is really easy and fast, it does not have any difficulties and it works really well. In our opinion, Windows Defender is the best antivirus that you can have installed on your Windows operating system, however, other commercial suites such as Kaspersky incorporate additional tools that also work really well, but in our opinion, Windows Defender, which is completely free, perfectly fulfills with the needs to protect the PC from external threats.