We recommend that you schedule a daily quick scan. A quick scan will check the areas of your computer that spyware and 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 choose to automatically remove spyware and other potentially unwanted software if it is detected during a scan.

  1. Open Windows Defender by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, and then clicking Windows Defender.

  2. Click Tools, and then click Options.

  3. Under Automatic scanning, select the Automatically scan my computer (recommended) check box, and then select the frequency, time of day, and type of scan that you want to run.

  4. To automatically remove spyware or other potentially unwanted software after a scan, select the Apply default actions to items detected during a scan check box.

  5. Under Default actions, select the action that you want to apply to each Windows Defender alert, and then click Save. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.


  • You can't select a default action for software with a severe alert rating or for software that has not yet been classified for potential risks to your privacy or your computer. Windows Defender automatically removes or alerts you to remove software with a severe alert rating. If software has not yet been classified, you must review information about the software, and then choose an action.

  • If Windows Defender alerts you about software and you choose to ignore it by selecting Ignore in the list of available actions, you are allowing the software to run on your computer. If the software acts suspiciously at a later time, Windows Defender will alert you about the software again or automatically apply actions that you have set for each type of alert. If you trust the software and do not want Windows Defender to automatically remove or quarantine it, see Add or remove items from the Windows Defender allowed list.