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How to Scan File or Folder with Windows Security Defender

You can scan an individual file or folder in Windows 10 with built-in antivirus. Here are the steps to scan a file or folder with Windows Defender.

In Windows 10, Windows Security, previously known as the Windows Defender is your default antivirus and antimalware software. Out of the box, Windows Security is pretty competent and provides good protection against all kinds of malware, virus, trojan, and other threats. In addition to regular protection, Windows Security also provides real-time protection. This helps Windows Defender, actively monitor your system for any threats. If you are careful about how you are using the computer, you shouldn’t need any additional free or expensive third-party antivirus software.

Though the real-time protection is pretty good, there might be times when you need to manually scan a file or folder. If you look at the Windows Security application, you will not find any obvious options to scan just a single file or folder. That being said, it is pretty easy to force Windows Defender to scan a file or folder.

In this quick and simple article, let me show you the steps to scan a file or folder with Windows Security Defender.

Jump to:

Scan file or folder from right-click menu

To scan a file or folder from the right-click menu, follow the steps listed below.

1. First, find the file or folder you want to scan. The file or folder can be anywhere on your hard disk. In my case, the file I want to scan is on my desktop.

2. Once you have the file or folder you want to scan, right-click on it. From the right-click menu, select the “Scan with Microsoft Defender” option.


3. As soon as you select the option, Windows Defender will open itself and scan the file or folder.

Depending on the file or folder size, it can take some time to complete. If the file is particularly small, the scan will be completed almost instantly.

Once the scan is completed, you will see the scan report right under the Scan Options section. Take a look at the image below for reference. In my case, Windows Defender found zero threats.


Scan file or folder from Windows Security app

If you cannot find the right-click option to scan file or folder, you can do it directly from the Windows Security app using the Custom Scan functionality. Here’s how.

1. Open the Start menu by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard. Now, type “Windows Security” and press Enter. You can also click on the search result to open the app.


2. In the Windows Security app, click on the “Virus & threat protection” option. You can also click on the sidebar tab with the same name.


3. On the right hand side of the page, click on the “Scan Options” link. This is where you find the additional scanning options.

4. Since we want to scan a particular file or folder, select the “Custom scan” radio option. Next, click on the “Scan now” button.


5. Now, select the file or folder you want to scan and click on the “Select folder” button at the bottom of the window.


Defender will now scan the selected file or folder. Once completed, it will show the results. Depending on the folder or file size, the scan can take some time to complete. In my case, there are zero threats founds. When Windows Defender finds any virus or malware infection, it will show the threat signature and appropriate options to deal with it.


That is all. I hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible. If you like this article, check out how to schedule Windows defender scan.

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