Microsoft Defender is an antivirus software that comes with Windows 7 and later versions. It helps protect your computer from viruses and online threats. This guide will show you how to use and set up Microsoft Defender on Windows 10, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

What is Microsoft Defender?

Microsoft Defender is an antivirus software that comes with Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 and 11. It can protect your computer from online threats in real-time and through the cloud. On Windows 7, Microsoft Defender is only a simple anti-spyware and it is recommended to use a third-party antivirus.

Windows Defender is a free antivirus software that comes with Windows 10 and 11. It provides good protection against threats, but may have mixed results in terms of false positives and system performance impact. In Windows 10, there are three different tools called “Defender”:

  • The Microsoft Defender antivirus which provides effective protection against the most recent online threats thanks to the protection data available in the Cloud.
  • The Microsoft Defender Security Center includes Defender Antivirus under the name “Virus and Threat Protection”, the firewall of the same name and the “Smartscreen” browser protection against websites and malicious downloads. It also offers parental control tools, Microsoft account data as well as computer health reports.
  • The Microsoft Defender firewall which protects the system by monitoring incoming and outgoing connections on public and private networks . This tool allows you to block or allow applications to connect online.

Access Defender in Windows 10 and 11

This tutorial was performed on Windows 10 and 11

Open Microsoft Defender Antivirus

1. Click on the “Start” icon located at the bottom left of the desktop to open the menu.

start menu windows 10 © clubic.com

2. Begin typing “Defender” on the keyboard and click on “Windows Security”.

Defender © clubic.com

3. Microsoft Defender is not displayed explicitly in the Windows Security Center. You will need to click on “Virus & Threat Protection” to open options for Defender Antivirus.

Windows 10 Security Center © clubic.com

This menu provides access to all antivirus options, including quick system analysis and its options, event history, and authorized threats. You can also configure real-time and cloud protection, update the signature database, and manage protection against ransomware through a device that controls access to specific folders.

Open the Microsoft Defender security center

The Microsoft Defender security center groups together all the security components integrated into the operating system, including the antivirus and the firewall, also called Defender. To access the Security Center, the easiest method is to repeat steps one and two from the previous tutorial (above). It is also possible to access it via the settings:

1. Open the “Start” menu via the icon located in the lower left corner of the desktop by default.

start menu windows 10 © clubic.com

2. Click on the cog icon to open Windows settings.

Start menu settings © clubic.com

3. In the settings menu, select the “Update and Security” option.

Windows 10 settings © clubic.com

4. Once in this new menu, click on “Windows Security” in the left column.

Windows 10 Security Center © clubic.com

5. To access the Microsoft Defender Security Center, click on “Open Windows Security”.

Windows 10 Security Center © clubic.com

This menu allows you to view and configure Defender Firewall, Defender Antivirus, Microsoft Account Protection, Parental Control, Browser Control and of the SmartScreen function as well as device health reports.

Access the Microsoft Defender firewall

Windows 10 comes with a Microsoft Defender firewall that is turned on by default. It helps protect against malicious applications by securing incoming and outgoing connections. You can access the firewall through the control panel or by using this method:

1. Open the “Start” menu via the icon located in the lower left corner of the desktop by default.

start menu windows 10 © clubic.com

2. Start typing “firewall” and then click on “Microsoft Defender Firewall”

Windows 10 Firewall © clubic.com

3. The window that opens allows you to observe whether the Microsoft Defender firewall is activated or not, to access the advanced settings and to allow an application or a feature through the firewall.

Windows 10 Firewall © clubic.com

Accessing MIcrosoft Defender under Windows 8.1

If Microsoft Defender is accessible via the Control Panel, unlike Windows 10, users can access it more easily:

1. Open the Windows 8 home menu by clicking on the “Start” button located at the bottom left of the window.

Windows 8 Defender © clubic.com

2. In this menu, start typing “Defender” to open the search and click on the “Microsoft Defender” option to open the Microsoft antivirus.

Windows 8 Defender © clubic.com

3. The window that opens allows you to launch a quick, complete or personalized analysis, update the signature database, consult the history of the elements put in quarantine and configure settings.

Windows 8 Defender © clubic.com

Access Microsoft Defender under Windows 7

Although Windows 7 is no longer maintained or updated since January 2020, Microsoft Defender’s signature databases will still be updated until 2023. However, Microsoft Defender is only an anti-spyware, so it is recommended to install a third-party antivirus. If the function is available in the control panel, you can easily access Defender in Windows 7 like this:

1. Click on the “Start” icon located in the lower left corner to access the menu.

Windows 7 Defender © clubic.com

2. In the search field, start typing “Defender” to display and open the Microsoft Defender function

Windows 7 Defender © clubic.com

3. The window that opens will allow you to know if the protection is activated or not, to launch a scan (quick, complete or personalized), to consult the history and the quarantine as well as the parameters of Microsoft Defender.

Windows 7 Defender © clubic.com