How to use Windows Defender to
Scan For Malware in Folders

Windows 10 includes a built-in antivirus program, Windows Defender. This provides real-time protection as well as the ability to run scans on your computer.

You can also perform a custom scan, which allows you to specify the folder or drive that you want to scan for malware. The scan will take much less time than scanning the entire machine because you only need to scan one folder.

We have listed two ways to scan a specific folder.

Option 1: Right-click on a folder and scan it

If you wish to scan a single folder, and its sub-folders, the easiest method is to just right-click on the folder and select “Scan with Windows Defender” as show below.

Right-click and scan a folder
Right-click and scan a folder

Once you select Scan with Windows Defender…, Windows Defender will launch and scan all the files in the folder and its sub-folders.

If it finds malware, it will alert you as shown below.

Detected malware
Malware Detected!

You should now click on the Start actions button to quarantine the file and make it inaccessible.

When done, Windows Security will give you a summary as shown below.

Windows Security Summary
Windows Security Summary

You can now close Windows Security.

Option 2: Run a Custom scan with Windows Defender

The other method is to use the Windows Defender interface to perform a Custom scan of a selected folder. To do this, please follow these steps:

  1. From the Start Menu, search for Windows Security and click on the result when it appears as shown below.
    Searching for Windows Security
    Searching for Windows Security
  2. When Windows Security opens, click on the Virus & threat protection option.
    Windows Security Screen
    Windows Security Screen
  3. When the Virus & threat protection screen opens, click on the Scan options link as shown below.
    Select Scan options
    Select Scan options
  4. When the Scan options screen opens, scroll down and select Custom scan. Then click on Scan now to start a Custom scan.
    Windows Security About Page
    The Windows Security About page showing version info
  5. Windows Defender will now ask you what folder you wish to scan. In our example, we selected the C: drive to scan the entire C: drive, and only that drive, and all of its sub-folders.
    Select drive to scan
    Select drive to scan
  6. Windows Defender will now scan the enter C: drive for malware. While running, it will provide a running count of files that have been scanned and the approximate amount of time left until its finished.
    Scanning the C: drive
    Scanning the C: drive
  7. When done, it will list the amount of infections that have been detected. To clean the infections, click on the Start actions button.
    Detected threats
    Detected threats

After reviewing the summary, you can close the window.

About JNS

As a top Managed IT Services provider and an authorized Microsoft partner we are able to help businesses in delivering multi-level cybersecurity solutions supporting Zero Trust best practices.  Call us today to learn more.

How to use Windows Defender to
Scan For Malware in Folders

Windows 10 includes a built-in antivirus program, Windows Defender. This provides real-time protection as well as the ability to run scans on your computer.

You can also perform a custom scan, which allows you to specify the folder or drive that you want to scan for malware. The scan will take much less time than scanning the entire machine because you only need to scan one folder.

We have listed two ways to scan a specific folder.

Option 1: Right-click on a folder and scan it

If you wish to scan a single folder, and its sub-folders, the easiest method is to just right-click on the folder and select “Scan with Windows Defender” as show below.

Right-click and scan a folder
Right-click and scan a folder

Once you select Scan with Windows Defender…, Windows Defender will launch and scan all the files in the folder and its sub-folders.

If it finds malware, it will alert you as shown below.

Detected malware
Malware Detected!

You should now click on the Start actions button to quarantine the file and make it inaccessible.

When done, Windows Security will give you a summary as shown below.

Windows Security Summary
Windows Security Summary

You can now close Windows Security.

Option 2: Run a Custom scan with Windows Defender

The other method is to use the Windows Defender interface to perform a Custom scan of a selected folder. To do this, please follow these steps:

  1. From the Start Menu, search for Windows Security and click on the result when it appears as shown below.
    Searching for Windows Security
    Searching for Windows Security
  2. When Windows Security opens, click on the Virus & threat protection option.
    Windows Security Screen
    Windows Security Screen
  3. When the Virus & threat protection screen opens, click on the Scan options link as shown below.
    Select Scan options
    Select Scan options
  4. When the Scan options screen opens, scroll down and select Custom scan. Then click on Scan now to start a Custom scan.
    Windows Security About Page
    The Windows Security About page showing version info
  5. Windows Defender will now ask you what folder you wish to scan. In our example, we selected the C: drive to scan the entire C: drive, and only that drive, and all of its sub-folders.
    Select drive to scan
    Select drive to scan
  6. Windows Defender will now scan the enter C: drive for malware. While running, it will provide a running count of files that have been scanned and the approximate amount of time left until its finished.
    Scanning the C: drive
    Scanning the C: drive
  7. When done, it will list the amount of infections that have been detected. To clean the infections, click on the Start actions button.
    Detected threats
    Detected threats

After reviewing the summary, you can close the window.

About JNS

As a top Managed IT Services provider and an authorized Microsoft partner we are able to help businesses in delivering multi-level cybersecurity solutions supporting Zero Trust best practices.  Call us today to learn more.