Scheduling when Windows Defender scans your computer


You should schedule a daily quick scan because it will check the areas of your computer that spyware or other potentially unwanted software is most likely to infect. If you want Windows Defender to check all files and programs on your computer, run or schedule a full scan.

To enhance the security of your computer, you can have spyware and other potentially unwanted software automatically removed if they're detected during a scan.

Watch this video to learn how to schedule when Windows Defender scans your computer (1:46)
  1. Open Windows Defender by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Defender, and then, in the list of results, click Windows Defender.

  2. Click Tools, and then click Options.

  3. Under Automatic scanning, select the Automatically scan my computer (recommended) check box, select the frequency, time of day, and type of scan that you want to run, and then click Save. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  4. To automatically remove spyware or other potentially unwanted software after a scan, in the left pane, click Default actions, select the action that you want to apply to each alert item, select the Apply recommended actions check box, and then click Save. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.