Windows Defender free for PC

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  • Developer Microsoft
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Windows Defender is an antivirus program that protects the computer against viruses, spyware, and other malware. It is equivalent to Microsoft Security Essentials and offers real-time protection against potential threats. Its execution does not slow down the PC nor impact its general performance, so this software is the way to go if you want to keep your device safe and efficient.

What is Windows Defender?

Windows Defender, sometimes referred to as Windows Defender Antivirus, is Microsoft's very own antivirus and anti-spyware solution. It is a powerful offline scanning tool that does not slow down or affect the general performance of your PC or laptop, and it comes built-in with Windows Vista and all newer versions of the famous Microsoft operating system. The software offered on this page regards Windows Defender Offline, which is a special supplement to the scanning tool that can be used without booting into Windows. It can be used when you suspect that your system has been infected with malware, but the regular Windows Defender and/or other security applications do not detect anything. 

What are the key features of Windows Defender?

  • Defense against spyware and malware: Windows Defender can recognize almost all potential spyware and malicious programs that try to infect the computer's system thanks to its advanced threat protection. Once it detects one of them, this program automatically blocks it.
  • Analysis: In order to check the integrity of the Windows system and ensure that there is no infection, this antivirus can thoroughly scan the hard drives from the simplest document folder to the bottom of the registry keys.
  • Purge: As soon as Windows Defender finishes analyzing the system, it offers the ability to purge all malicious items. This action can be easily performed with a single mouse click via the "Clean System" option.
  • Database: This utility is provided with a large database populated with many known malicious agents. Every time the computer is connected to the Internet, this base is updated to integrate the latest malware.

How to install and use Windows Defender?

On Windows 7 and 8.1

If you are a Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 user, you must install the tool on a CD, DVD, or USB flash drive to run it. You can do so as follows:

  • Download the executable file offered on this page.
  • Place an empty CD or DVD in your computer, or connect a USB flash drive with at least 250 MB of available storage space. 
  • Now run the executable file and select the desired installation source, as can be seen in the below screenshot.
© Microsoft
  • As soon as the installation process is completed, connect the bootable Windows Defender Offline media to your PC and reboot your device. Follow the on-screen steps to boot from the drive containing the media.
  • You can now go ahead and scan your PC for viruses and malware.

On Windows 10 and 11

If you are on a Windows 10/11 computer, it won't be necessary to download and install the file offered on this page, as Windows Defender Offline comes pre-installed with your version of Microsoft's operating system. Use the following steps to run the application:

  • Click on Start and then select Settings > Update & Security > Windows Security > Virus & threat protection.
  • Go to Current threats > Scan options on the screen that now appearsIn case these options are not available, you may be running an older version of Windows 10. This means you will have to select Threat history > Run a new advanced scan instead.
  • As the below image illustrates, the last step is to select Microsoft Defender Offline scan. You will then be prompted that you will be signed out of Windows. Microsoft Defender Offline will load and automatically start a scan of your PC.
© Microsoft

Is it free?

Yes, Windows Defender is downloadable for free.

Is it safe?

Windows Defender Antivirus is a legitimate and safe application developed by Microsoft. You don't 'have to worry about running into security issues while using it. 

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