If you have installed the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, you can now set Windows Defender to do periodic scans for malware. This is a break from the past because before now, when you installed third-party antivirus software, your Windows Defender would be turned off and unable to do any scanning.
Even though, in my opinion, Windows Defender hasn’t been all that helpful in quickly detecting malware, I don’t think there are any negative consequences to allowing Defender to scan your system just in case your current antivirus software has missed anything.
This feature came with the Windows 10 Anniversary Date released last August. Just make sure you have installed all your updates and you should be able to find this feature.
Click the Start button in the lower-left corner and then click the Settings icon just above the Start button. Next, click “Update & security.” To the left, click “Windows Defender.” Under “Limited Periodic Scanning,” click the slider to change it to “On.”
Once you turn this on, you may get a notice from your installed antivirus that Windows Defender may interfere with its scanning and protection. I recommend you try to keep both and see if it does a better job for your computer. When you turn this on, you should also get a notification in the lower-right corner that Windows 10 Defender is now on. It also states that it will periodically perform scans, but otherwise remains off. Once the scan is complete, you will receive a summary with the results of the scan.
This scanning shouldn’t decrease the performance of your machine, but if it does, you can go back and turn it off.
For 15 years, Scott Lindsay has helped tens of thousands of people better their skills, publishing more than 400 articles about Apple and Microsoft software, the computer and the Internet. You can reach Scott for comments or questions at ScottLindsay@live.com.