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How to schedule a scan in windows defender

Windows 7 provides enhanced security features to help protect your system, as well as your privacy. One of these features is Windows Defender. Windows Defender monitors your computer for malicious attacks and also gives you the ability to run an on-demand scan. To scan your computer using Windows Defender, follow these six steps.

  1. Select the Start menu button.
  2. In the Search programs and files text box, type “Windows Defender”.
  3. Select Windows Defender .
  4. You may be prompted to check for updates. If so, click Check for updates now .
    How to schedule a scan in windows defender
  5. To scan your computer, click Scan .
    How to schedule a scan in windows defender
  6. Windows Defender will scan your computer and alert you if any malicious activity is discovered.

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How to schedule a scan?

Moved from: Windows / Windows 10 / Windows settings

The issues with scheduling a scan are numerous, and are further complicated with every new version of Windows 10, so maybe we need to take some consolation in the fact that automated Defender scans offer very little added protection, and that they can easily be replaced with occasional manual Defender scans; or better yet, with occasional scans with third-party malware-removal tools.

I just got started with testing things in Version 1709, and once again, the rules have changed – but these SchTask.exe command line tasks seem to work:

Right click on the Start button and select either Command Prompt (Admin) or PowerShell Prompt (Admin) (whichever is present *).

Then copy, paste, and run this command line at the prompt. This should create a scheduled task that runs a daily Quick Scan in the Windows Defender Security Center interface:

SchTasks /create /sc DAILY /tn “Defender Quick Scan” /st 19:00 /IT /rl HIGHEST /tr “‘C:\Program Files\Windows Defender\MSASCui.exe’ -QuickScan”

This task seems to work just fine; but you’ll now get a Last Run Result of Incorrect function (0x80070001) – no matter whether you set things up with the Create Basic Task Wizard or with the above SchTasks.exe command line.

If this Last Run Result makes you nervous, then you can always create a scheduled task that runs in the Command Line Interface by running this command:

SchTasks /create /sc DAILY /tn “Defender Command Line Quick Scan” /st 19:00 /IT /rl HIGHEST /tr “‘C:\Program Files\Windows Defender\MpCmdRun.exe’ -Scan -ScanType 1”

Technical footnote: You can choose to display either the Command Prompt (Admin) or PowerShell Prompt (Admin) menu item by right-clicking on the taskbar and selecting Taskbar settings.

August 17, 2020 By Sambit Koley

If you want to scan the files on your computer using Windows Defender, but you don’t want to do it inactive hours (when you are working), this article is going to help schedule a scan in Windows Defender. Windows Defender is an efficient in-built tool of Windows 10 which scans for viruses and potential threats on your computer. But during the scan Windows Defender does consume a huge chunk of the processing power and memory of your system, making the latter slow. So, it is better to schedule the Windows Defender scan on your computer in a non-active period of time.

Schedule Windows Defender scan on your computer-

Follow these steps to schedule Windows Defender scan on your computer-

1. Search “Task Scheduler” from the search box.

2. Then, click on “Task Scheduler” to access it.

How to schedule a scan in windows defender

3. In Task Scheduler window, navigate to this location-

4. Now, on the right pane of Task Scheduler window, in the box, double click on “Windows Defender Scheduled Scan” to open Properties of it.

How to schedule a scan in windows defender

5. In Windows Defender Scheduler Scan Properties window, go to the “Triggers” tab

6. Then, you need to click on “New…“.

How to schedule a scan in windows defender

7. Now, in the New Trigger window, first, click on “Weekly” in the ‘Settings‘ tab to configure a weekly scan. You can easily choose “Monthly” option also.

8. Next, configure the ‘Start:‘ time, select the date, and then configure the timing of the scan also.

9. Now, choose a particular date on which the scan will take place.

10. Finally, click on “Enabled” and then click on “OK” to save the changes on your computer.

How to schedule a scan in windows defender

11. Coming back to the Windows Defender Scheduler Scan Properties window, go to the “Actions” tab and then click on “Edit…“.

How to schedule a scan in windows defender

12. In the Edit Actions window, you can modify the “Add arguments (optional):” according to your need.

Scan -ScheduleJob is for Quick Scan

Scan -ScheduleJob -ScanType 2 is for Full Scan

13. Simply, copy any of these arguments( in bold font) according to your need and paste it in the box beside “Add arguments (optional):“.

14. Click on “OK” to save the changes.

How to schedule a scan in windows defender

15. Again coming back to the Windows Defender Scheduler Scan Properties window, go to the “Conditions” tab.

16. In the Power Options tab, modify the settings as follows-

Check the box beside the option “Start the task only if the computer is on AC power“.

Now, if you are doing this on a laptop, we suggest you check the option “Stop if the computer switches to battery power” also to save battery power.

In case if you think you will put your computer to sleep mode, check the option “Wake the computer to run this task” which will awake Windows to perform the scan.

17. Now, click on “OK” to save the changes on your computer.

How to schedule a scan in windows defender

That’s it! You have successfully completed configuring an autonomous Windows Defender scan on your system which will scan the files on your computer for potential threats and viruses.

Sambit is a Mechanical Engineer By qualification who loves to write about Windows 10 and solutions to weirdest possible problems.

Windows Defender Antivirus scans your computer regularly to keep your device safe from viruses and malware. The scan takes place while your computer is not being used or when it’s idle so not to interfere with your work.

If you want Windows Defender scan as a specific time, this brief tutorial is going to show you how to schedule that. When scheduled, Windows Defender will always run during that time you defined and scan at a time and frequency that you choose.

This brief tutorial is going to show students and new users how to schedule Windows Defender Antivirus scan at specific times instead of randomly scanning your PC. This will mean less interference with your work.

Schedule Windows Defender Scan

To schedule Windows Defender Antivirus program to only scan your computer at the time and frequency you choose, click Start => then search for Schedule tasks

Select Schedule tasks from the result listed on the menu.

When Schedule Tasks opens, in the left pane, expand Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows, and then scroll down and double-click (or press) the Windows Defender folder.

How to schedule a scan in windows defender

In the top center pane, double-click (or press twice) Windows Defender Scheduled Scan.

This should open the task properties. In the Windows Defender Scheduled Scan Properties (Local Computer) window, select the Triggers tab, go to the bottom of the window, and then tap or click New.

How to schedule a scan in windows defender

On the task setting pane, specify how often you want the scans to run and when you’d like them to start. This should always run on exact time you define here. But your computer must be powered on and running for this to work.

If your computer is shutdown, this task will fail to run

How to schedule a scan in windows defender

The trigger above runs daily at 12AM and stops the task if it runs for more than 2 hours. You can configure more advanced settings like repeat every 1 or 4 or 8 hours. You can also delay the task randomly.. but the basic settings should work fine.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully scheduled Windows Defender Antivirus task.

How to schedule a scan in windows defender

Windows Defender automatically performs background scans during your PC’s idle moments, but doesn’t include an easy way to schedule a full scan. There is a way to do it, though.

Starting with Windows 8, Windows Defender came as a built-in antivirus app, replacing the standalone Microsoft Security Essentials that came before. Security Essentials provided an easy way to schedule a scan through the app’s interface, but that ability went away in Windows Defender. Instead, Windows Defender performs partial scans during times when your PC is idle. If you keep your PC turned off when you’re not using it—or you put it to sleep and have it set to not wake up for regular maintenance—you can still schedule a scan using the Windows Task Scheduler. And you can make that scheduled scan a one-off or regular thing.

In Windows 10, hit Start, type “task scheduler,” and then click the result or hit Enter. In Windows 8, you’ll need to type “schedule tasks” instead.

How to schedule a scan in windows defender

In the left hand navigation pane of the Task Scheduler window, drill down to the following location:

In the middle pane, in the list of tasks, double-click the “Windows Defender Scheduled Scan” task to open its properties window.

How to schedule a scan in windows defender

In the properties window, switch to the “Triggers” tab. Notice that there are no triggers by default, since Windows handles background scanning as part of its maintenance routines. Create a new trigger by clicking the “New” button.

How to schedule a scan in windows defender

In the “New Trigger” window make sure “On a schedule” is selected on the “Begin the task” drop-down menu. You can set the scan to run one time or to recur daily, weekly, or monthly. When you’ve set up the schedule you like, make sure the “Enabled” option at the bottom is checked and then click “OK.”

How to schedule a scan in windows defender

There are also a couple of other useful options on the “Conditions” tab. If you’re on a laptop, you might want select the “Start the task only if the computer is on AC power” and “Stop if the computer switches to battery power” options to prevent the task from running your battery down unexpectedly. Also, select the “Wake the computer to run this task” if you generally put your PC to sleep when not using it. With this option enabled, Windows can wake the PC, run the scan, and then put the PC back to sleep. When you’re done setting the options you want, click OK.

How to schedule a scan in windows defender

You can now exit Task Scheduler and rely on Windows Defender to run its scans according to the schedule you set.

Have you ever witnessed a slower PC even with fewer applications opened? When you open task manager and noticed that “Antimalware Service Executable” is taking up More CPU, RAM and even 90 to 100% of your disk as shown below.How to schedule a scan in windows defender

Don’t worry about it.

We have some solutions to solve this CPU hungry process. But why that process is actually running on my Windows 10 PC?How to schedule a scan in windows defender

What is Antimalware Service Executable?

Well, it is actually the Windows Defender which is inbuilt antimalware software for Windows 10. It is also known as MsMpEng.exe. The only reason Antimalware Service Executable service running in the background is to scan your Windows 10 PC for any malware and spyware. It just works like every antivirus software. It will provide security but this scan will also take a lot of CPU resources to do the scan which will slow down your PC.

You can even notice when we expand Antimalware Service Executable in the task manager as shown below.

How do I Fix Antimalware Service Executable taking High CPU on Windows 10?

There are 3 ways to solve this issue which will reduce the consumption of resources on your PC.

#1. Change Windows Defender Scheduled Scan

  1. First, open task scheduler by Windows+R and type “taskschd.msc” and hit enter.How to schedule a scan in windows defender
  2. In Task Scheduler, just double-click on Microsoft ->Windows.How to schedule a scan in windows defender
  3. Now, just scroll down and you will notice Windows Defender. just on it, which will open its options.How to schedule a scan in windows defender
  4. Double-click on Windows Defender Scheduled Scan option Shown in Windows Defender tab.
  5. Now, you will be presented with various tabs and options. In General tab, you need to uncheck “Run with highest privileges” option to reduce its priority.How to schedule a scan in windows defender
  6. Next, move to conditions tab and uncheck all the options and hit OK to save changes.How to schedule a scan in windows defender
  7. Restart your PC and you can now see that Antimalware Service Executable windows 10 is using less CPU, Memory and disk usage.

#2. Add MsMpEng.exe to Windows Defender Exclusion List

This is a quite simplest method to disable the high usage of that service but has a lot of steps.

  1. First, open Windows Defender Security Center by searching in Windows Search bar or open settings ->Update & Security ->Windows Defender and click on Open Windows Defender Security Center.
  2. Once opened Windows Defender, Click on Virus & threat protection.How to schedule a scan in windows defender
  3. Now, click on Virus & threat protection settings.How to schedule a scan in windows defender
  4. Next, scroll down until you find Exclusions and click on Add or remove exclusions.How to schedule a scan in windows defender
  5. In exclusions page, click on ‘+‘near to Add an exclusion and select process option from the drop-down.How to schedule a scan in windows defender
  6. You need to enter the name of the process in the text box provided. Just enter “MsMpEng.exe” and click on Add button.How to schedule a scan in windows defender
  7. That’s it, now you have added the Antimalware Service Executable to the exclusion list and it will take fewer resources on your Windows 10 PC. Just restart your computer to notice changes.

#3. Disable Windows Defender (not recommended)

This is the recommended way, as it will completely turn-off antivirus and malware protection for your PC. I don’t recommend to try this option unless you have an alternative antivirus or anti-malware software running on your PC.

  1. First, you need to open Registry editor by pressing Win + R and type “regedit” and hit Enter or click OK.How to schedule a scan in windows defender
  2. Now, once you are in Registry editor, Browse through HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE ->SOFTWARE ->Policies ->Microsoft ->Windows Defender Antivirus.
  3. In Windows Defender Antivirus, you need to add new value by right-clicking on empty space on the right side and click on New to select DWORD (32-bit) Value.How to schedule a scan in windows defender
  4. Just rename the created key to DisableAntiSpyware.How to schedule a scan in windows defender
  5. Now, double-click on the newly created key and change the value data to 1 from 0 and click on OK.How to schedule a scan in windows defender
  6. Just, restart your computer to see the changes. That’s it, you have permanently disabled Windows Defender and if you want to enable it back then just follow the same steps and change value data to 0.

After you followed any or all of the methods mentioned. You will able to avoid the Antimalware service executable from taking all your PC resources. You can get the similar result as below image after following the above methods.How to schedule a scan in windows defender

Hope, you liked this tutorial. If you have any issues after following these methods the comment down in comments sections. I will try my best to solve your issue.

Note item 15 under Frequently Asked Questions and General Concerns.

Hope this helps.

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The Automatic Maintenance scan is supposed to stop with any user activity and then restart with the next idle state, so it theoretically shouldn’t have any impact at all. My scans consistently worked that way for months, but then the other day the scan refused to yield and virtually incapacitated the system for the whole time that it ran – so there’s got to be a bug somewhere. There’s a rather confusing “Run maintenance tasks” troubleshooter in the Action Center “Troubleshooting” toolkit that you can try, but it doesn’t seem to do much more than check the system clock.

If no one has a fix for the underlying issue yet, you can just reschedule the scan for a time when you’re not using the computer in “Change maintenance settings”. A few other people have reported this same problem, so after the bad behavior I decided to see what would happen if I disabled the Windows Defender Scheduled Scan task. No complaints after 4 days; but if the new Defender behaves like MSE, it will probably start nagging me in a few more days.

Windows Defender Antivirus scans your computer regularly to keep your device safe from viruses and malware. The scan takes place while your computer is not being used or when it’s idle so not to interfere with your work.

If you want Windows Defender scan as a specific time, this brief tutorial is going to show you how to schedule that. When scheduled, Windows Defender will always run during that time you defined and scan at a time and frequency that you choose.

This brief tutorial is going to show students and new users how to schedule Windows Defender Antivirus scan at specific times instead of randomly scanning your PC. This will mean less interference with your work.

Schedule Windows Defender Scan

To schedule Windows Defender Antivirus program to only scan your computer at the time and frequency you choose, click Start => then search for Schedule tasks

Select Schedule tasks from the result listed on the menu.

When Schedule Tasks opens, in the left pane, expand Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows, and then scroll down and double-click (or press) the Windows Defender folder.

How to schedule a scan in windows defender

In the top center pane, double-click (or press twice) Windows Defender Scheduled Scan.

This should open the task properties. In the Windows Defender Scheduled Scan Properties (Local Computer) window, select the Triggers tab, go to the bottom of the window, and then tap or click New.

How to schedule a scan in windows defender

On the task setting pane, specify how often you want the scans to run and when you’d like them to start. This should always run on exact time you define here. But your computer must be powered on and running for this to work.

If your computer is shutdown, this task will fail to run

How to schedule a scan in windows defender

The trigger above runs daily at 12AM and stops the task if it runs for more than 2 hours. You can configure more advanced settings like repeat every 1 or 4 or 8 hours. You can also delay the task randomly.. but the basic settings should work fine.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully scheduled Windows Defender Antivirus task.

How to schedule a scan in windows defender

Windows malware is still a big problem. That’s why Microsoft ships an antivirus named Microsoft Defender with Windows 10. It scans for malware in the background, but you can also perform a full-system scan with Defender.

First, open the Start menu and type “Windows Security.” Click on the “Windows Security” app icon that pops up.

How to schedule a scan in windows defender

In the sidebar, click “Virus & Threat Protection.”

It’s possible to do a quick scan from here by clicking the “Quick Scan” button. If you haven’t scanned recently, you might want to consider doing a deeper scan. In the area below the “Current Threats” heading, click “Scan Options.”

How to schedule a scan in windows defender

In the “Scan Options” menu, you will see a list of four different types of scans you can perform on your computer using Microsoft Defender.

  • Quick Scan: Scans folders in your system where threats are usually found, such as the Downloads and Windows folders. This usually only takes a few minutes to complete.
  • Full Scan: This scans every file on your computer and all running programs as well. The scan may take longer than an hour to complete.
  • Custom Scan: If you choose this option, Windows Security will ask you for a specific file or folder location that you’d like to scan.
  • Microsoft Defender Offline Scan: This option restarts your machine and scans system files and programs while they are not running, which is useful if a piece of malware is currently running and potentially interfering with the scan.

If you haven’t tried Defender before or if your computer is acting funny and you’re worried about an obvious threat, it’s best to start with a Full scan. Select the radio button beside “Full Scan” and click the “Scan Now” button.

How to schedule a scan in windows defender

A full-system scan will begin, and Windows Security will show a progress indicator bar.

How to schedule a scan in windows defender

When the scan is complete, you’ll see the results. If everything was okay, you’ll see a message that says “No Current Threats.”

How to schedule a scan in windows defender

However, if the scan did find some malware, you will see a message that says “Threats Found” and a list of the infected files just below.

To remove the threats, click the “Start Actions” button.

How to schedule a scan in windows defender

After clicking “Start Actions,” Microsoft Defender will remove the threats automatically. If you’d like to see details on what threats were removed, look beneath the scan results and click “Protection History.”

Also, if Defender found a threat during a Quick or Full scan, it may be wise to choose “Microsoft Defender Offline Scan” on the Scan Options screen and run it immediately afterward just in case. Hopefully, everything will come out normal. Good luck, and stay safe!