Protect your PC with Windows Defender – Deal with malware

Windows 10 Security Guide > Protect your PC with Windows Defender

Sooner or later you will come across malware and you need to know how to deal with it. Windows Defender might deal with it automatically, but it sometimes just warns you and you need to take action. Here we see what to do.

If Windows Defender detects some form of malicious or suspicious program running in the computer, it will either deal will it automatically and move it to a secure part of the system where it can do no damage, or it will ask what you want to do.

You then have the option to allow it or quarantine it (Sometimes, although rarely, security software mistakes ordinary safe programs for malware and you have the option to override the security.)

Deal with malware using Windows Defender

1 Watch out for warnings

While using your computer and especially when downloading programs and files from the internet, you need to keep an eye out for messages in the bottom right corner of the screen. Here a potentially harmful download has been detected. Click the message to continue.

Windows Defender detects malware

These messages disappear after a few seconds and you might miss them. However, they are stored in Action Centre. Click the last icon at the right side of the taskbar to open Action Centre and see recent messages you might have missed.

2 Open Defender

When Windows Defender opens, it tells you that a potential threat has been discovered and there is an option to clean the PC. Click the Clean PC button.

Windows Defender detects malware

3 Choose an action to apply

A window opens and a list of malware is displayed. In this example there is one program. At the right side is a Recommended action column. Click the menu to select an action. Remove is the safest option and it deletes the malware from the disk.

Windows Defender detects malware

There is an option on the Recommended action menu to quarantine the malware and this is useful if you think Windows Defender might have made a mistake. It moves the file to a special place where it can do no harm and prevents it from running.

You can view quarantined items at a later time and either delete them or restore them. It basically gives you the option to undo the action.

4 Malware successfully dealt with

When Windows performs the action you selected (Remove or Quarantine is best), a message appears that shows it was successful.

Windows Defender removes malware


Check Windows Defender history

Has Windows Defender found malware? What did it do with it? Was it deleted or quarantined? The history will tell you. This is where you can view quarantined programs and either delete them or restore them.

1 View the history

Windows Defender keeps a record of the viruses and spyware that it has dealt with and these can be viewed on the History tab in the program.
Windows Defender history

Select Quarantined items to view the malware that has been blocked and stored in the safe and secure quarantine.

Select Allowed items to see a list of programs that you have decided to allow to run.

Select All detected items to see a list of everything that Windows Defender has detected.

2 Remove malware

Items in the quarantine can be selected with the tick box and then at the bottom of the window, click Remove, or better still, Remove all.
Windows Defender

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Contents: Windows 10 security


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