With Windows Defender, you can run a quick scan of your computer or a full scan. If you suspect spyware has infected a specific area of your computer, you can customize a scan by selecting only the drives and folders that you want to check.
A quick scan checks the places on your computer's hard disk that spyware is most likely to infect. A full scan checks all files on your hard disk and all currently running programs, but it might cause your computer to run slowly until the scan is complete. We recommend that you schedule a daily quick scan. If at any time you think that spyware has infected your computer, run a full scan.
For information about scheduling scans to occur regularly, see Schedule when Windows Defender scans your computer.
Open Windows Defender by clicking the Start button . In the search box, type Defender, and then, in the list of results, click Windows Defender.
Click the arrow next to the Scan button, and then click Full scan.
You can select specific locations on your computer for Windows Defender to scan. However, if Defender detects spyware or potentially unwanted software, it will then run a quick scan so that the detected items can be removed from other areas of your computer, if needed.
Click the arrow next to the Scan button, and then click Custom scan.
Click Scan selected drives and folders, and then click Select.
Select the drives and folders that you want to scan, and then click OK.
Click Scan now to run a scan.
When scanning your computer, you can choose from five additional options:
Scan archive files. Scanning these locations might increase the time required to complete a scan, but spyware and other potentially unwanted software can install itself and attempt to hide in these locations.
Scan e‑mail. Use this option to scan the contents of e‑mail and files that are attached to e‑mail.
Scan removable drives. Use this option to scan the contents of removable drives, such as USB flash drives.
Windows Defender uses definition files to identify known threats, but it can also detect and alert you about potentially harmful or unwanted behavior by software that's not yet listed in a definition file. For more information about definition files, see Keep Windows Defender definitions up to date.
Create a restore point. Because you can set Windows Defender to automatically remove detected items, selecting this option allows you to restore system settings in case you want to use software that you didn't intend to remove.
Click Tools, and then click Options.
Click Advanced, select the check box next to each option that you want to use, and then click Save.
If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.