Privacy and Security Manually Scan with Microsoft Defender Antivirus in Windows 11


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Microsoft Defender Antivirus is an antivirus software that is included in Windows 11 and can help protect your device from viruses, malware, and other threats.

Real-time protection consists of always-on scanning with file and process behavior monitoring and heuristics. When real-time protection is on, Microsoft Defender Antivirus detects malware and potentially unwanted software that attempts to install itself or run on your device, and prompts you to take action on malware detections.

Sometimes you may need to manually scan with Microsoft Defender Antivirus.

This tutorial will show you different ways to manually scan files, folders, and drives on demand with Microsoft Defender Antivirus in Windows 10 and Windows 11.


Contents

  • Option One: Scan with Microsoft Defender Antivirus using Context Menu
  • Option Two: Scan with Microsoft Defender Antivirus in Windows Security
  • Option Three: Scan with Microsoft Defender Antivirus in Command Prompt
  • Option Four: Scan with Microsoft Defender Antivirus in PowerShell




Option One

Scan with Microsoft Defender Antivirus using Context Menu


1 Select one or more files, folders, or drives you want to scan on your desktop or in File Explorer (Win+E).

2 Right click on the selected items, click/tap on Show more options, and click/tap on Scan with Microsoft Defender.... (see screenshots below)

Scan_with_Microsoft_Defender_context_menu-1.png
Scan_with_Microsoft_Defender_context_menu-2.png

3 Windows Security will now automatically open showing you the scan results. (see screenshots below)

Scan_with_Microsoft_Defender_scan_results-1.png
Scan_with_Microsoft_Defender_scan_results-2.png

4 If threats were found, you will be able to select an action for the threat(s), and click/tap on Start actions to perform them. (see screenshots below)

You can click/tap on the See details link to see more details on a threat.

Scan_with_Microsoft_Defender_scan_results-4.png


Scan_with_Microsoft_Defender_scan_results-3.png




Option Two

Scan with Microsoft Defender Antivirus in Windows Security


1 Open Windows Security.

2 Click/tap on Virus & threat protection. (see screenshot below)

Scan_with_Microsoft_Defender_Windows_Security-1.png

3 Click/tap on the Scan options link under Current threats. (see screenshot below)

Scan_with_Microsoft_Defender_Windows_Security-2.png

4 Select (dot) Quick scan, Full scan, Custom scan, or Microsoft Defender Offline scan for the type of scan you want to run, and click/tap on Scan now. (see screenshot below)

Scan_with_Microsoft_Defender_Windows_Security-3.png

5 If you selected Custom scan, navigate to and select a folder or drive you want to scan, and click/tap on Select Folder. (see screenshot below)

Scan_with_Microsoft_Defender_Windows_Security-4.png

6 If threats were found, you will be able to select an action for the threat(s), and click/tap on Start actions to perform them. (see screenshots below)

You can click/tap on the See details link to see more details on a threat.

Scan_with_Microsoft_Defender_scan_results-4.png


Scan_with_Microsoft_Defender_scan_results-3.png




Option Three

Scan with Microsoft Defender Antivirus in Command Prompt


To see more usage options for the MpCmdRun.exe command, see: Use the command line to manage Microsoft Defender Antivirus


1 Open Windows Terminal. and select Command Prompt.

2 Copy and paste the command below you want to use into Windows Terminal, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

(Update and Quick scan)
"%ProgramFiles%\Windows Defender\MpCmdRun.exe" -SignatureUpdate & "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Defender\MpCmdRun.exe" -Scan -ScanType 1

OR​

(Quick scan)
"%ProgramFiles%\Windows Defender\MpCmdRun.exe" -Scan -ScanType 1

OR​

(Full scan)
"%ProgramFiles%\Windows Defender\MpCmdRun.exe" -Scan -ScanType 2

OR​

(Custom scan)
"%ProgramFiles%\Windows Defender\MpCmdRun.exe" -Scan -ScanType 3 -File "Full Path"

Substitute Full Path in the command above with the full path of the file, folder, or drive you want to scan.

For example: "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Defender\MpCmdRun.exe" -Scan -ScanType 3 -File "C:\Users\Brink\Downloads"



Scan_with_Microsoft_Defender_command.png

3 If threats were found, you will get a notification from Windows Security to click/tap on to see and take actions.

Windows_Security_notification.png





Option Four

Scan with Microsoft Defender Antivirus in PowerShell


To see more usage options for the Start-MpScan command, see: Start-MpScan (Defender)


1 Open Windows Terminal. and select Windows PowerShell.

2 Copy and paste the command below you want to use into Windows Terminal, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

(Update and Quick scan)
Update-MpSignature; Start-MpScan -ScanType QuickScan

OR​

(Quick scan)
Start-MpScan -ScanType QuickScan

OR​

(Full scan)
Start-MpScan -ScanType FullScan

OR​

(Custom scan)
Start-MpScan -ScanType CustomScan -ScanPath "Full Path"

Substitute Full Path in the command above with the full path of the file, folder, or drive you want to scan.

For example: Start-MpScan -ScanType CustomScan -ScanPath "C:\Users\Brink\Downloads"



Scan_with_Microsoft_Defender_PowerShell.png

3 If threats were found, you will get a notification from Windows Security to click/tap on to see and take actions.

Windows_Security_notification.png



That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

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