Windows Defender is the default antivirus software for Windows 10 and is nothing more than third-party antivirus software. In fact, when it comes to using system resources, Windows Defender is one of the best. Although the Windows Defender interface is fairly easy to use, you can also access Windows Defender from the command line. This is especially useful when creating your own scripts or scheduled tasks.

From the Windows Defender command line, you can perform all basic tasks, such as performing various types of scans, listing and restoring quarantined files, adding dynamic signatures, and removing or updating virus definitions. This article describes how to use Windows Defender from the command line.

Use Windows Defender from the command line

To use Windows Defender from the command line, you must have administrator privileges. So look for a command prompt on the Start menu and select the option “Run as administrator”. You can also right-click and select “Run as administrator”.

If you’ve used the Windows Defender interface before, you know that it has three different scans. Bow has a few quick explanations of what these different types of analyzes mean.

Fast scan: As the name suggests, Quick Scan is fast and shows only the most common places, such as registry keys and startup folders, where malware or viruses may be affected. A quick search is usually completed in a few minutes. On the command line, Quick Scan is marked with the symbol -ScanType 1.

Full review: A full scan performs a thorough scan of the entire system. The scan can take hours depending on how many files are on your system. On the command line, the entire scan is marked with the symbol -ScanType 2.

Individual analysis: With Custom Scan, you can perform a deep scan of a specific drive, folder, or file. A custom scan is indicated by a symbol on the command line -ScanType 3 and has additional switches that indicate the file or folder to be scanned.

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If you want to do a quick check, you can use the command below.

Windows Defender Command Line 02 Quick Find

If you want a complete check, just replace the above command with 1 2.

Windows Defender Command Prompt 03 Full Scan

To perform a quick scan, use the command below and replace “D: FolderPath” with a folder or file path.

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Windows Defender command line 04 Custom scan

Windows Defender also has another type of Scan that scans the system boot sector for infections. The boot sector virus infects the master boot record, which in turn infects the entire system when you boot the system. You can scan the boot sector using the command below.

To cancel the scan, just press the hot key Ctrl + VS.

Windows Defender Command Prompt 05 Boot Sector Scan

When Windows Defender detects a threat, it quarantines it so that it does not infect your system. However, false positives can occur, and if you suspect that Windows Defender has quarantined a legitimate file, you can restore it fairly easily. First, use the command below to list all quarantined files.

Identify the file from the list and name its name. Then run the command below and replace “FileName” with the name of the file to be restored. If the command is executed successfully, the file is restored to its original location.

Usually, Windows Defender automatically updates to the latest antivirus configuration. However, to make sure that Windows Defender is up to date, run the command below.

Windows Defender 06 command line update Windows Defender

That’s it. As you can see, the command line options in Windows Defender are quite user-friendly and easy to use. If you are interested, check this out Microsoft Docs page for information on other commands that you can use to list, add, or delete dynamic signatures, check the execution path, track diagnostics, and more.

Comment below by sharing your thoughts and experiences about using Windows Defender from the command line.

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