Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Can You Schedule Windows Defender Scans?

  1. #1

    Posts : 3
    Windows 8 Pro 64-bit

    Can You Schedule Windows Defender Scans?

    I've read that you used to be able to go to Tools > Settings in Windows Defender and schedule periodic scans. However, in Windows 8, the Tools menu is gone! I see nothing about this in the Settings section.

    I've also tried to set this up in Task Scheduler, but I don't know the proper command and arguments for quick scan, full scan, etc.

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  2. #2

    Posts : 22,582
    64-bit Windows 10

    Hello Kayaker, and welcome to Eight Forums.

    If you like, you could use the existing Windows Defender Scheduled Scan task (middle pane) in the path below (left pane) in Task Scheduler. Double click on the Windows Defender Scheduled Scan task, and create a new Trigger for when you would like to have it run. The default is a for a quick scan.

    Task Scheduler Library\Windows\Windows Defender

    Windows Defender Scheduled Scan - Set Up in Windows 8

    If you would like to set up a new custom task in Task Scheduler. Here are the commands:

    Update and Quick Scan:
    "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Defender\MSASCui.exe" -UpdateAndQuickScan

    Update only:
    "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Defender\MSASCui.exe" -Update

    Quick Scan:
    "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Defender\MSASCui.exe" -QuickScan

    Full Scan:
    "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Defender\MSASCui.exe" -FullScan

    Hope this helps,
    Last edited by Brink; 27 Nov 2012 at 15:48. Reason: addition
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  3. #3

    Posts : 419
    Windows 8.1 x64

    Quote Originally Posted by Brink View Post
    Thanks Brink, as I was also wondering about this. Are those 3 options the only valid ones? Could I use just -Update to schedule updates automatically outside of Windows Update in cooperation with a schedule have updates and scans on a different timed schedule?
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  4. #4

    Posts : 22,582
    64-bit Windows 10

    Hello LovingWindows,

    You could, but you would need to create new separate tasks for each one to have it them on a different timed schedule.

    I added the other command above.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    Posts : 419
    Windows 8.1 x64

    Quote Originally Posted by Brink View Post
    Hello LovingWindows,

    You could, but you would need to create new separate tasks for each one to have it them on a different timed schedule.
    That is what I planned to do, something along the lines of what MBAM Pro does where I can schedule updates in realtime every X minutes and then a schedule scan once or twice per day.

    Is -Update a valid argument?

    Also I tried earlier but when trying to create a schedule task it comes up with a dialog of my username and a password field and says I can't use a blank password, but I don't use a password for my account.
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  6. #6

    Posts : 22,582
    64-bit Windows 10

    That's correct for the argument.

    You could use the tutorial below as a guideline for setting up the task, but....

    • Select Windows 8 at step 5 instead
    • Use the Program/script and argument here instead of the ones in steps 7 and 8.
    • Skip steps 13-24

    Elevated Program Shortcut without UAC Prompt - Create - Windows 7 Forums
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  7. #7

    I am Woman! Hear Me Roar!
    Posts : 1,116
    4 Windows 7 Pro Sp1- 4 Win 8 Pro, 1- xp pro sp3

    what i do not understand is why WD did not have a schedular inside the program like MSE has and like the old WD did have. This way you can set it to a schedule if you wanted or not
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  8. #8

    Posts : 85
    Windows 10 64-bit/ Windows 8.1 64-bit

    I know, and I think they should add back the simple setting of scheduling your scan from within the interface. I guess the workaround functions but it's not as quick. It no longer applies to me as my new processor can multitask like nobody's business but you also used to be able to limit the CPU usage during the scan, as well as its automatic update feature separated from Windows Update. The overall package still does the same job, it's just not as easily customisable for your needs/wants.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9

    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64

    My issue is that the latest Definition Update is only downloaded if I ask for it. I imagine it is a time zone thing. Whenever I check for updates on Windows Update it always has an updated definition I have not installed. I have not tried at 4 am though to be fair.

    It would be nice if you could check for updates every hour rather than once per day which doesn't synch with release time in the US.

    Having said that I'm still to get a virus so it must work pretty well.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10

    Posts : 12
    windows 8 X64

    I set up a scheduled scan using the tutorial. Everything appeared ok in the task scheduler library but.... sofar it hasn't worked .
    I get the following message in the Task Scheduler window .
    "The system cannot find the file specified (0x80070002)"
    What have I done wrong?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Can You Schedule Windows Defender Scans?
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