Windows Defender, now known as Microsoft Defender or Windows Security, is the built-in antivirus solution on Windows 11. Like any other antivirus software on the market, Windows Defender provides real-time protection and runs periodic scans to ensure your system is free from viruses, malware, and other computer threats. When necessary, you can also force Windows Defender to run a full scan so that it scans the entire system, including all the hard drives and removable disks for threats.
Running a full scan is particularly useful in various situations such as when you suspect your system is infected with malware or if it’s been a long time since you did a comprehensive system scan. Whatever the reason, running a Windows Defender full scan ensures that your system is clean and virus/malware free.
In this tutorial, let me guide you through setting up and running a full system scan using Windows Defender.
Windows Defender full scan on Windows 11
To run a full system scan using Windows Defender on Windows 11, follow the steps given below.
Step 1: Launch Windows Security app on Windows 11.
First, click on the start icon on the taskbar to open the Start menu. After that, search and open “Windows Security” from the Start menu. Alternatively, go to “Settings > Privacy & Security > Windows Security” and click on the “Open Windows Security” button.
Step 2: Click on Virus & threat protection option.
Once the Windows Security app opens, click on the Virus & threat protection option. This option lets you manage Windows Defender scan settings and see protection history and allowed threats.
Step 3: Click on Scan Options link.
On this page, click on the Scan Options link under the Current Threats section.
Step 4: Select Full Scan and click on Run Now.
On this page, select the Full Scan option and click the “Scan now” button.
As soon as you do that, Windows Defender starts scanning your entire computer, including all the hard drives and removable disks/drives. Depending on the number of files and their size, the scan takes some time to complete. For instance, it took around 1 hour and 43 minutes to complete the full scan.
Once the scan is complete, Windows Defender will show the results as a notification. Click on the notification to check the Windows Defender full scan results.
I hope this tutorial helped you in scanning your entire system with Windows Defender.
If you are stuck or need help, send an email, and I will try to help as much as possible.
Related Windows Defender tutorials:
- Show missing Windows Defender icon on the taskbar
- Turn off Windows Defender notifications on Windows 11
- How to run Microsoft Defender offline scan (Windows Defender)
- How to schedule Windows Defender scan
- How to disable Windows Defender on Windows 11
- How to enable ransomware protection in Windows Defender
- How to enable Windows Defender tamper protection
- How to install Microsoft Defender Application Guard
- How to scan a file or folder with Windows Defender
- How to enable Windows Defender sandbox
- How to disable Windows Defender temporarily
- How to run Windows Defender from command line
- How to force Windows Defender to scan zip files
- How to exclude a file or folder in Windows Defender
- More Windows Defender tutorials and Windows security tutorials