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Using Windows Defender to Prevent Malware Problems (Windows 7)

This document applies to HP and Compaq computers with Windows 7.
Windows Defender helps protect your computer against pop-ups, slow performance, and security threats caused by spyware and other malicious software (malware). This document explains how to scan for and remove malicious software using Windows Defender.
Enabling Windows Defender in Windows 7
To enable Windows Defender, connect to the Internet and perform the following steps:
  1. Click Start , and then type defender into the Search box. Then click Windows Defender.
    Figure : Opening Windows Defender
    Opening Windows Defender through the Search box
  2. Windows Defender displays its status on the Home page. If Real-time protection is On, proceed to the next section to open Windows Defender. If Real-time protection is Off, continue with the next step to enable Windows Defender.
    Figure : Windows Defender
    Windows Defender
  3. Click Tools, and then click Options.
  4. Select Real-time protection, and then place a check next to Use real-time protection (recommended).
    Figure : Windows Defender Options
    Windows Defender Options
  5. Click Save.
Opening Windows Defender in Windows 7
Use these steps to open Windows Defender:
  1. Click Start , and then type defender into the Search box. Then click Windows Defender.
    Figure : Opening Windows Defender
    Opening Windows Defender through the Search box
  2. The top of the page lists any potentially unwanted or harmful software that Windows Defender has detected:
    • If Windows Defender does not detect any unwanted or harmful software, no action is required.
    • If Windows Defender detects potentially harmful software, Windows Defender displays more detailed information so that you can decide to remove or temporarily disable the program that was found.
    Figure : Windows Defender
    Windows Defender window
Scanning for malware with Windows Defender
You can use Windows Defender to run a quick scan of your computer or a full system scan. If you suspect malware in a specific area of your computer, use Windows Defender to run a custom scan on individual drives and folders. To run a quick scan, click Scan at the top of the page. For other scan options, click the arrow next to Scan.
Figure : Scan options
Scan options
Running a quick scan with Windows Defender
A quick scan checks the places on the hard disk drive that malware is most likely to infect.
To run a quick scan, click Scan, or click the arrow next to Scan, and then click Quick Scan.
Running a full scan with Windows Defender
A full scan checks all files on your hard disk drive and all currently running programs. A full scan might cause your computer to run slowly until the scan is complete. If you suspect that malware has infected your computer, run a full scan.
To run a full scan, click the arrow next to Scan, and then click Full Scan.
Running a custom scan with Windows Defender
By running a custom scan, you can select specific drives and folders on your computer for Windows Defender to scan. If Windows Defender detects potentially unwanted or malicious software, it then runs a quick scan so the detected items can be removed from other areas of your computer, if needed. To run a custom scan:
  1. Click the arrow next to Scan, and then click Custom Scan.
    The Scan Options window opens.
    Figure : Scan options
    Scan options window
  2. Click Select.
  3. Select the drives and folders to scan, and then click OK.
  4. Click Scan Now to begin the custom scan.
Scheduling Windows Defender to automatically scan for malware
You can schedule Windows Defender to scan for malware automatically every day or once a week. Use the following steps to schedule malware scans.
 note:
Click the following heading or the accompanying plus (+) sign to expand the information.
Removing malware with Windows Defender
After Windows Defender scans your computer, it displays the results of the scan. If Windows Defender detects no harmful software, then no action is required.
Figure : Scan results
Quick Scan results
If Windows Defender detects potentially unwanted or harmful software, ignore, quarantine, or remove each item that is detected. When you choose to quarantine software, Windows Defender moves it to another location on your computer, and then prevents the software from running until you choose to restore it or remove it from your computer.
To remove malware, select the software program and then click Remove.
Alternatively, you can remove programs that you suspect as malware through Control Panel:
Viewing quarantined items with Windows Defender
Windows Defender moves quarantine software to another location on your computer, and then prevents the software from running until you choose to restore it or remove it from your computer. From the quarantined list, you can choose to remove this software from your computer or allow this software to run. Use the following steps to view the quarantined items list.
Keeping Windows Defender up-to-date
Keeping the Windows Defender definitions up-to-date helps the program protect against the latest spyware and malware. You can set Windows Defender to automatically check for updates or you can manually check for updates at any time.
Manually check for Windows Defender updates
To check for Windows Defender updates at any time, click the arrow next to the Help icon, then click Check for updates.
Figure : Check for updates
Check for updates

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