How To Scan A File or Folder With Windows Defender or Windows Security

Do you want to scan an individual file with the built-in security system in Windows? If yes, this post will guide you to scan a file or folder with Windows Defender or Windows Security.

Multiple Ways To Scan A File or FolderWith Windows Defender or Windows Security

Multiple Ways To Scan A File or FolderWith Windows Defender or Windows Security

You can scan any item you download in your system for malware in different ways. If you want on-spot checks, there is a manual scan available. However, Windows Defender runs in the background continuously. Below are some ways you can scan an item with Windows Defender.

  1. Directly with Windows Security
  2. From the File Explorer
  3. Via Command Prompt

Let’s understand these methods in detail.

1. Scanning An Item With Windows Defender Antivirus In Windows Security

To scan an item with Windows Defender in Windows security, follow the steps given below:

  • Go to Windows settings and select Privacy and security from the left pane.
  • You’ll see an option to open Windows Security in the top center. Click on that to open Windows Security.
  • In Windows security, select Virus and threat protection.
  • In Virus and threat protection, look for Scan options and click on them to see various scan options available. Scan Options In Windows Defender
  • In the scan options, scroll down to select custom scan and click on scan now. Custom Scan In Windows Defender
  • A window will now open, select the file(s) or folder(s) you want to scan, and the Windows Defender will start scanning them.

The process will take anywhere from a few seconds to minutes, depending on the file size and your computer’s specifications.

2. Scanning An Item With Windows Defender In Windows Explorer

To scan any file or folder in Windows Explorer, follow these steps:

  • Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the file or folder you wish to scan; if you want to scan a folder, don’t open it.
  • Right-click on the file or folder you want to scan and select scan with Microsoft Defender from the context menu.Scanning an item with Windows defender in Windows explorer
  • A Windows security window will open, and you will be able to see the scan’s progress and the list of threats (if any) once the scan is complete.

While these two methods work flawlessly, some users can encounter issues in these, sometimes due to underlying bugs, other issues, or maybe they have a geeky bone. In that case, you can also use the Command Prompt or Windows Terminal to perform a custom scan in Windows Defender.

3. Scanning An Item With Windows Defender In Command Prompt or Windows Terminal

Follow these steps to perform a custom scan with Windows Defender in the command prompt or Windows Terminal.

  • Open File Explorer and go to the following path:
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Platform
  • If there is more than one folder, go inside the folder with the highest number.
  • Copy the path and open Windows Terminal or Command Prompt with admin permission.
  • Then type and enter the following:
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Platform\4.18.2111.5-0

MSMP Engine Windows Security Folder

  • After pasting the code, open Windows Explorer and navigate to the file or folder you wish to scan ad copy its path from the address bar situated at the top.
  •  Now, paste the following code, but replace C:\Users\<username>\Documents\ShareX\Tools with the path you copied in step 3 and hit enter.
MpCmdRun -Scan -ScanType 3 -File C:\Users\ojasv\Documents\ShareX\Tools
  • Running a custom Scan via Windows Terminal or Command PromptWindows Defender will now perform a scan on the respective folder or file, and you will see the scan details in the command prompt.

I hope the post was easy to follow and you were able to scan an item or folder using Windows Security or Windows Defender. Keep the option that allows Windows Security to scan any item instantly as you download it on your PC.

Why Should You Use Windows Defender or Windows Security?

The primary reason for using Windows Defender is that it is simple and does the job efficiently. Windows Defender or Windows Security is an integrated security tool that starts helping right from the time you install and set up Windows.

Why install an outside program or pay for it when you have a real-time security system inbuilt into your PC? To keep your device safe and secure, Windows automatically updates Windows Security. So you need not worry about keeping your device protected from viruses.

While we aren’t disregarding it, no other good anti-virus software can save your computer from almost any threats. Windows Defender will do just fine if you are cautious while using your computer.

Should I Use Windows Defender And No Other Anti-Virus?

Well, you can do this since Windows Defender has countless advantages over any other anti-virus. It can also enhance your PC’s performance. However, paid Anti-virus software comes with many security features like complete browsing protection, real-time protection, and better and updated databases.

Is Windows Defender The Best Anti Virus For Windows PC?

You cannot call it the best anti-virus since it lacks many features that can be important to users, but other than that, Windows Defender is a highly trusted and dependable Anti-virus.


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