What is Windows Defender Offline?

Sometimes, malicious and other potentially unwanted software, including rootkits, try to install themselves on your PC. This can happen when you connect to the Internet or install some programs from a CD, DVD, or other media. Once on your PC, this software might run immediately, or it might run at unexpected times. Windows Defender Offline can help remove such hard to find malicious and potentially unwanted programs using definitions that recognize threats. Definitions are files that provide an encyclopedia of potential software threats. Because new threats appear daily, it's important to always have the most up-to-date definitions installed in Windows Defender Offline. Armed with definition files, Windows Defender Offline can detect malicious and potentially unwanted software, and then notify you of the risks.

To use Windows Defender Offline, you need to follow four basic steps:

  1. Download Windows Defender Offline and create a CD, DVD, or USB flash drive.

  2. Restart your PC using the Windows Defender Offline media.

  3. Scan your PC for malicious and other potentially unwanted software.

  4. Remove any malware that is found from your PC.

Windows Defender Offline will walk you through the details of these four steps when you're using the tool. If you've been prompted in Microsoft Security Essentials or Windows Defender to download and run Windows Defender Offline, it's important that you do so, to make sure that your data and your PC isn't compromised.

To get started, find a blank CD, DVD, or USB flash drive with at least 250 MB of free space and then download and run the tool—the tool will help you create the removable media.

Note

  • We recommend that you download Windows Defender Offline and create the CD, DVD, or USB flash drive on a PC that isn't infected with malware—the malware can interfere with the media creation.

Download the 32-bit version Download the 64-bit version

If you're not sure which version to download, see Is my PC running the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows?

To use Windows Defender Offline on a PC running Windows 8.1

If your PC is running Windows 8.1, you'll need to use Windows Defender Offline Beta. For more information and links to the download, see What is Windows Defender Offline Beta?

Read the Windows Defender Offline Privacy Statement

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