Offline Mode Makes Windows Defender Even Smarter


Windows Defender offlinemodeIf you use Windows 10, there's a good chance that you're using Windows Defender as your antivirus solution. It's bundled with the OS for free, and it's perfectly acceptable for most users. It may not be the best on the market, but it's certainly adequate unless you spend a lot of time viewing high-risk web sites or attempting to download illegal files.

For an in-depth scan, you can also choose to run Windows Defender in "offline mode" occasionally. The term is misleading. It's nothing to do with being connected to the internet. It means that Defender runs before Windows has fully loaded, meaning that it can access and scan your core operating system files which otherwise it would not be able to access.

To try it out, open Windows Defender and then click on its gear icon to launch its settings screen. You'll see an option there which says "scan offline", which you need to click. Your PC will then restart, perform an offline scan, and then boot back into Windows. If any problems were found Defender will notify you.

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I believe the above procedure is available only on the Anniversary edition of
Windows 10. I am running Windows 10 Professional and have delayed that upgrade.

I didn't know Windows Defender had this feature. Quite useful. Thank you Rob.

My PCs are not new, so performance is important to me.
I don't like things running in the background (EG a full scan without my permission).
I was busily working away, and Defender popped up a message regarding the contents of some zip file (not freshly created zip file).
That was the end of Windows defender for me.

That really needed to be said.

So simple yet I would never have thought of this if it was not pointed out. Thanks