Microsoft Defender Offline is a powerful offline scanning tool that runs from a trusted environment, without starting your operating system. This topic describes how to use Microsoft Defender Offline in Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7.
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When should I use Microsoft Defender Offline?
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- Security intelligence updates. Microsoft Defender Antivirus uses cloud-delivered protection (also called the Microsoft Advanced Protection Service or MAPS) and periodically downloads security intelligence updates to provide protection. The cloud-delivered protection is always on and requires an active connection to the Internet to function, while the security intelligence updates occur on a.
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Run Microsoft Defender Offline if:
Windows Security (named Windows Defender Security Center in previous versions of Windows) detects rootkits or other highly persistent malware on your PC and alerts you to use Microsoft Defender Offline. You might see a message stating that malware was found on your device, or receive a message in Windows Security notifying you that additional cleaning is required.
You suspect your PC might have malware that's hiding on it, but your security software doesn’t detect anything. In this situation, you can start a Microsoft Defender Offline scan from Windows Security settings. Here's how:
Select Start , and then select Settings > Update & Security > Windows Security > Virus & threat protection .
On the Virus & threat protection screen, do one of the following:
In an up-to-date version of Windows 10: Under Current threats, select Scan options.
In previous versions of Windows: Under Threat history, select Run a new advanced scan.
Select Microsoft Defender Offline scan, and then select Scan now.
You'll be prompted that you're about to be signed out of Windows. After you are, your PC should restart. Microsoft Defender Offline will load and perform a quick scan of your PC in the recovery environment. When the scan has finished (usually takes about 15 minutes), your PC will automatically restart.
Before you use Microsoft Defender Offline, make sure you save any open files and close all apps and programs.
You typically need administrator rights on the PC on which you plan to run Microsoft Defender Offline.
If you experience a Stop error on a blue screen when you run the offline scan, force a restart and try running a Microsoft Defender Offline scan again. If the blue-screen error happens again, contact Microsoft Support.
Where can I find scan results?
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To see the Microsoft Defender Offline scan results:
Good picture editing programs for mac. Select Start , and then select Settings > Update & Security > Windows Security > Virus & threat protection .
On the Virus & threat protection screen in Windows 10, under Current threats, select Scan options, and then select Protection history (In previous versions of Windows it may say Threat history).
Using Windows Defender Offline on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1
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Note: On older versions of Windows, Microsoft Defender Offline is still called by its old name: Windows Defender Offline
If you're running Windows Defender Offline on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, follow these four basic steps:
Download Windows Defender Offline and install it to a CD, DVD, or USB flash drive.
Restart your PC using the Windows Defender Offline media. This means having the CD, DVD, or flash drive you created in step 1 inserted in the PC when you restart it. Follow the prompts to boot from the drive containing this media.
Scan your PC for viruses and other malware.
Remove any malware that's found from your PC.
Windows Defender Offline will walk you through these four steps when you're using the tool. If you've been prompted in Microsoft Security Essentials or Windows Defender Security Center to download and run Windows Defender Offline, it's important to do so. Doing this helps make sure that your data and PC aren't compromised.
To get started, find a blank CD, DVD, or USB flash drive with at least 250 MB of free space, and then download and run the tool. You'll be guided through the steps to create the removable media.
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Note: We recommend that you download Windows Defender Offline and create the CD, DVD, or USB flash drive on a PC that isn't infected with malware—the malware can interfere with the media creation.
If you're not sure which version to download, see Is my PC running the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows?
Why it matters: Are you using the free version of CCleaner? If so, you’ll probably notice that Windows Defender is now flagging the junk file remover as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA) after Microsoft recently updated its antivirus program.
CCleaner optimizes a system by removing unused and temporary files, thereby making it faster and freeing up storage space. It also features a registry scanner for invalid references. You can download CCleaner here and see similar alternatives.
Back in 2017, Piriform, the UK-based firm behind CCleaner, was acquired by Avast for $1.3 billion, which has led to other programs being bundled in with the app, including Avast Free Antivirus, AVG Antivirus Free, Google Chrome and Google Toolbar.
It seems Microsoft has taken exception to the bundling of these programs. In a new threat entry, the Redmond firm has classified CCleaner as a PUA. “While the bundled applications themselves are legitimate, bundling of software, especially products from other providers, can result in unexpected software activity that can negatively impact user experiences,” states the notice.
“While the CCleaner installers do provide an option to opt out, some users can easily inadvertently install these bundled applications.”
Microsoft previously stated that it does not support registry cleaners, advising that such programs should not be used.
In Microsoft’s entry on how it identifies malware and potentially unwanted applications, it notes that PUAs are not malware but software must not make misleading claims about a device’s health, files, or registry entries.
Only the free version of CCleaner is being identified as a PUA as it contains the bundled software. Piriform told BleepingComputer that it is in talks with Microsoft to stop its program being flagged by Defender, which is also flagging other Piriform software such as Recuva.