Evaluate Microsoft Defender Antivirus

Applies to:


  • Windows

Use this guide to determine how well Microsoft Defender Antivirus protects you from viruses, malware, and potentially unwanted applications. It explains the important next-generation protection features of Microsoft Defender Antivirus available for both small and large enterprises, and how they increase malware detection and protection across your network.

You can choose to configure and evaluate each setting independently, or all at once. We have grouped similar settings based upon typical evaluation scenarios, and include instructions for using PowerShell to enable the settings.

The guide is available:

You can also download a PowerShell that will enable all the settings described in the guide automatically. You can obtain the script alongside the PDF download above, or individually from PowerShell Gallery:


The guide is currently intended for single-machine evaluation of Microsoft Defender Antivirus. Enabling all of the settings in this guide may not be suitable for real-world deployment.

For the latest recommendations for real-world deployment and monitoring of Microsoft Defender Antivirus across a network, see Deploy Microsoft Defender Antivirus.


If you're looking for Antivirus related information for other platforms, see:


Do you want to learn more? Engage with the Microsoft Security community in our Tech Community: Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Tech Community.