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Getting Windows Defender to automatically scan on a schedule - fixedByVonnie

Getting Windows Defender to automatically scan on a schedule

Who likes Windows Defender?

I don’t see any hands up – but I hear booing, jeering, lampooning and sneering.

And I concur with your dissent – why? Because Windows Defender categorically sucks.

Listen, I’m not going to sit here and bullscrap you about how great the program is.  In fact, according to an April 2014 report from independent research institute AV-Test.org, Windows Defender scored a zero out of 6 on the protection score.

Zero!  That’s abysmal if you ask me but if you still want to use it in the meantime until you get a real antivirus solution, I’ll show you how to get Windows Defender to automatically scan on a schedule.  With a protection score of zero it won’t give you any piece of mind but at least you’ll feel like your protecting your system.  Haha

So how do we get Windows Defender to defend you on a regular basis?

Neophytes and experts alike will scratch their heads on this one; namely, because there’s no Schedule a Scan button in Windows Defender.

That’s right – the last I checked (July 2014) it doesn’t exist.  I honestly have no idea why it doesn’t exist but it’s pretty important.

Perhaps Microsoft sent a corporate, grandiloquent, email to its security team calling the Schedule a Scan button arrant nonsense.

I can envision such an email now – watch as the little thought cloud materializes over my head:

Hello there,

In an effort to synergize our corporate imperatives to align our values with our vision for endpoint protection, we’ve decided to focus our efforts by supplanting the Schedule a Scan button with Scan Now.

Our team of software savants has ascertained that most users would prefer to have Windows Defender protect them with real-time protection and don’t want to be importuned with scheduling scans.

Furthermore, we are continually improving our product and have the utmost confidence that our customers will acclaim us for our prudent decision to remove this button.

Regards, Satya Nadella

No Satya!  No no no no!

Rule number one: talk like a human being (fine, I concede that my prose is a bit magniloquent too but I’m just a weirdo who loves to read the dictionary in his spare time, what’s Satya’s excuse?).

Rule number two: people actually do care about scheduling scans and that’s why I had to craft this article. It’s for all my scheduling peeps out there.

I speak for the people! People repeat the following mantra after me:

I have a right to schedule scans!

I have a right to schedule scans!

Let’s get going –

Scheduling scans in Windows Defender

Scheduling scans in Windows Defender is like trying to get a date with the girl of your dreams: it’s tough but if you have the right moves you might get what you want.

Okay, that analogy doesn’t really work – actually – it’s atrocious – but the bottom line is that you can click on every tab in Windows Defender and sift through the labyrinth of options looking for a “schedule your scans section” but you won’t find it.

Instead we need to use the Microsoft Task Scheduler to schedule Defender scans.

In Windows and Windows 8.1, press the Windows Key + w then type and enter the following phrase:

schedule tasks

Scheduling tasks in Windows 8.1

Alight, now we’re rockin’.

The Task Scheduler will fly onto the screen like a graceful dove.

In the left pane you’ll see thousands of tasks in the Task Scheduler library.

Click through the following rabbit hole:

Task Scheduler > Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > Windows Defender.

In the right pane you’ll see a quartet of tasks – we just want the one named Windows Defender Scheduled Scan.

Double click that guy.

Scheduling Scans in Windows Defender

Shuffle over to the Triggers tab then click the New button in the bottom left corner of the Window.

Windows Defender Scheduled Scan Properties: Triggers

Great, now in the top left section of the New Trigger dialog box you want to make sure Begin the task is set to On a schedule and the repeat is set to Daily, Weekly or Monthly.

Set your Start time in the right section, tell it how often you want it to recur and then click OK.

Windows 8.1 Schedule a Task

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Posted in Windows, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 Tagged with: , ,