Minimum requirements for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint

Applies to:

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There are some minimum requirements for onboarding devices to the service. Learn about the licensing, hardware and software requirements, and other configuration settings to onboard devices to the service.


Licensing requirements

Defender for Endpoint Plan 1 and Plan 2 (standalone or as part of other Microsoft 365 plans) don't include server licenses. To onboard servers to those plans, you need either Microsoft Defender for Cloud or Microsoft Defender for Business servers.

For information licensing requirements for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, see Microsoft Defender for Endpoint licensing information.

For detailed licensing information, see the Product Terms site and work with your account team to learn more about the terms and conditions.

For more information on the array of features in Windows editions, see Compare Windows editions.

Browser requirements

Access to Defender for Endpoint is done through a browser, supporting the following browsers:

  • Microsoft Edge
  • Google Chrome


While other browsers might work, the mentioned browsers are the ones supported.

Hardware and software requirements

Supported Windows versions

  • Windows 11 Enterprise

  • Windows 11 Education

  • Windows 11 Pro

  • Windows 11 Pro Education

  • Windows 10 Enterprise

  • Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2016 (or later)

  • Windows 10 Enterprise IoT


    While Windows 10 IoT Enterprise is a supported OS in Microsoft Defender for Endpoint and enables OEMs/ODMs to distribute it as part of their product or solution, customers should follow the OEM/ODM's guidance around host-based installed software and supportability.

  • Windows 10 Education

  • Windows 10 Pro

  • Windows 10 Pro Education

  • Windows 8.1 Enterprise

  • Windows 8.1 Pro

  • Windows 7 SP1 Enterprise (Requires ESU for support.)

  • Windows 7 SP1 Pro (Requires ESU for support.)

  • Windows server

    • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 (Requires ESU for support)
    • Windows Server 2012 R2
    • Windows Server 2016
    • Windows Server, version 1803 or later
    • Windows Server 2019 and later
    • Windows Server 2019 core edition
    • Windows Server 2022
  • Azure Virtual Desktop

  • Windows 365

Devices on your network must be running one of these editions.

The hardware requirements for Defender for Endpoint on devices are the same as the requirements for the Windows operating system itself (that is, they are not in addition to the requirements for the operating system) for supported editions.

Cores: 2 minimum, 4 preferred Memory: 1 GB minimum, 4 preferred

For more information on supported versions of Windows 10, see Windows 10 release information.


  • Endpoints running mobile versions of Windows (such as Windows CE and Windows 10 Mobile) aren't supported.

  • Virtual Machines running Windows 10 Enterprise 2016 LTSB may encounter performance issues if run on non-Microsoft virtualization platforms.

  • For virtual environments, we recommend using Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2019 or later.

  • The standalone versions of Defender for Endpoint Plan 1 and Plan 2 do not include server licenses. To onboard servers to those plans, you'll need either Defender for Endpoint for Servers, or Defender for Servers Plan 1 or Plan 2 (as part of the Defender for Cloud offering). To learn more. see Defender for Endpoint onboarding Windows Server.

When components are up-to-date on Microsoft Windows operating systems, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint support follows the respective operating system's lifecycle. For more information, see Lifecycle FAQ. New features or capabilities are typically provided only on operating systems that haven't yet reached the end of their lifecycle. Security intelligence updates (definition and engine updates) and detection logic continues to be provided until at least:

  • The end of support date (for operating systems that don't have an Extended Security Updates (ESU) program).
  • The end of ESU date (for operating systems that have an ESU program).

Other supported operating systems


You'll need to confirm the Linux distributions and versions of Android, iOS, and macOS are compatible with Defender for Endpoint for the integration to work.

Network and data storage and configuration requirements

When you run the onboarding wizard for the first time, you must choose where your Microsoft Defender for Endpoint-related information is stored: in the European Union, the United Kingdom, or the United States datacenter.


Internet connectivity

Internet connectivity on devices is required either directly or through proxy.

For more information on additional proxy configuration settings, see Configure device proxy and Internet connectivity settings.

Microsoft Defender Antivirus configuration requirement

The Defender for Endpoint agent depends on the ability of Microsoft Defender Antivirus to scan files and provide information about them.

Configure Security intelligence updates on the Defender for Endpoint devices whether Microsoft Defender Antivirus is the active antimalware or not. For more information, see Manage Microsoft Defender Antivirus updates and apply baselines.

When Microsoft Defender Antivirus isn't the active antimalware in your organization and you use the Defender for Endpoint service, Microsoft Defender Antivirus goes on passive mode.

If your organization has turned off Microsoft Defender Antivirus through group policy or other methods, devices that are onboarded must be excluded from this group policy.

If you're onboarding servers and Microsoft Defender Antivirus isn't the active antimalware on your servers, Microsoft Defender Antivirus will either need to be configured to go on passive mode or uninstalled. The configuration is dependent on the server version. For more information, see Microsoft Defender Antivirus compatibility.


Your regular group policy doesn't apply to Tamper Protection, and changes to Microsoft Defender Antivirus settings will be ignored when Tamper Protection is on.

Microsoft Defender Antivirus Early Launch Antimalware (ELAM) driver is enabled

If you're running Microsoft Defender Antivirus as the primary antimalware product on your devices, the Defender for Endpoint agent will successfully onboard.

If you're running a third-party antimalware client and use Mobile Device Management solutions or Microsoft Configuration Manager (current branch), you need to ensure the Microsoft Defender Antivirus ELAM driver is enabled. For more information, see Ensure that Microsoft Defender Antivirus is not disabled by policy.