Switch to Microsoft Defender for Endpoint - Phase 3: Onboard

Applies to:

Phase 1: Prepare3.
Phase 1: Prepare
Phase 2: Set up
Phase 2: Set up
Phase 3: Onboard
Phase 3: Onboard
You are here!

Welcome to Phase 3 of switching to Defender for Endpoint. This migration phase includes the following steps:

  1. Onboard devices to Defender for Endpoint.
  2. Run a detection test.
  3. Confirm that Microsoft Defender Antivirus is in passive mode on your endpoints.
  4. Get updates for Microsoft Defender Antivirus.
  5. Uninstall your non-Microsoft solution.
  6. Make sure Defender for Endpoint is working correctly.

Onboard devices to Microsoft Defender for Endpoint

  1. Go to the Microsoft 365 Defender portal (https://security.microsoft.com) and sign in.

  2. Choose Settings > Endpoints > Onboarding (under Device management).

  3. In the Select operating system to start onboarding process list, select an operating system.

  4. Under Deployment method, select an option. Follow the links and prompts to onboard your organization's devices. Need help? See Onboarding methods (in this article).

Note

If something goes wrong while onboarding, see Troubleshoot Microsoft Defender for Endpoint onboarding issues. That article describes how to resolve onboarding issues and common errors on endpoints.

Onboarding methods

Deployment methods vary, depending on operating system and preferred methods. The following table lists resources to help you onboard to Defender for Endpoint:

Operating systems Methods
Windows 10 or later

Windows Server 2019 or later

Windows Server, version 1803 or later

Windows Server 2012 R2 and 2016[1]
Local script (up to 10 devices)

Group Policy

Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager

Microsoft Endpoint Manager/ Mobile Device Management (Intune)
VDI scripts

NOTE: A local script is suitable for a proof of concept but should not be used for production deployment. For a production deployment, we recommend using Group Policy, Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager, or Intune.
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Microsoft Monitoring Agent (MMA) or Microsoft Defender for Cloud

NOTE: Microsoft Monitoring Agent is now Azure Log Analytics agent. To learn more, see Log Analytics agent overview.
Windows 8.1 Enterprise

Windows 8.1 Pro

Windows 7 SP1 Pro

Windows 7 SP1
Microsoft Monitoring Agent (MMA)

NOTE: Microsoft Monitoring Agent is now Azure Log Analytics agent. To learn more, see Log Analytics agent overview.
macOS (see System requirements Local script

Microsoft Endpoint Manager

JAMF Pro

Mobile Device Management
Linux (see System requirements) Local script

Puppet

Ansible
iOS Microsoft Endpoint Manager
Android Microsoft Endpoint Manager

(1) Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2012 R2 will need to be onboarded using the instructions in Onboard Windows servers.

Run a detection test

To verify that your onboarded devices are properly connected to Defender for Endpoint, you can run a detection test.

Operating system Guidance
Windows 10 or later

Windows Server 2022

Windows Server 2019

Windows Server, version 1803, or later

Windows Server 2016

Windows Server 2012 R2
See Run a detection test.
macOS (see System requirements Download and use the DIY app at https://aka.ms/mdatpmacosdiy.

For more information, see Defender for Endpoint on macOS.
Linux (see System requirements) 1. Run the following command, and look for a result of 1: mdatp health --field real_time_protection_enabled.

2. Open a Terminal window, and run the following command: curl -o ~/Downloads/eicar.com.txt https://www.eicar.org/download/eicar.com.txt.

3. Run the following command to list any detected threats: mdatp threat list.

For more information, see Defender for Endpoint on Linux.

Confirm that Microsoft Defender Antivirus is in passive mode on your endpoints

Now that your endpoints have been onboarded to Defender for Endpoint, your next step is to make sure Microsoft Defender Antivirus is running in passive mode. You can use one of several methods, as described in the following table:

Method What to do
Command Prompt 1. On a Windows device, open Command Prompt.

2. Type sc query windefend, and then press Enter.

3. Review the results to confirm that Microsoft Defender Antivirus is running in passive mode. The state of WinDefend returns STOPPABLE if it is in Passive mode and NOT_STOPPABLE if it is in Active mode.
PowerShell 1. On a Windows device, open Windows PowerShell as an administrator.

2. Run following PowerShell cmdlet: Get-MpComputerStatus|select AMRunningMode.

3. Review the results. You should see Passive mode.
Windows Security app 1. On a Windows device, open the Windows Security app.

2. Select Virus & threat protection.

3. Under Who's protecting me? select Manage providers.

4. On the Security providers page, under Antivirus, look for Microsoft Defender Antivirus is turned on.
Task Manager 1. On a Windows device, open the Task Manager app.

2. Select the Details tab. Look for MsMpEng.exe in the list.

Note

You might see Windows Defender Antivirus instead of Microsoft Defender Antivirus in some versions of Windows. To learn more about passive mode and active mode, see More details about Microsoft Defender Antivirus states.

Set Microsoft Defender Antivirus on Windows Server to passive mode manually

To set Microsoft Defender Antivirus to passive mode on Windows Server, version 1803 or newer, or Windows Server 2019, or Windows Server 2022, follow these steps:

  1. Open Registry Editor, and then navigate to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Advanced Threat Protection.

  2. Edit (or create) a DWORD entry called ForceDefenderPassiveMode, and specify the following settings:

    • Set the DWORD's value to 1.

    • Under Base, select Hexadecimal.

Note

You can use other methods to set the registry key, such as the following:

Start Microsoft Defender Antivirus on Windows Server 2016

If you are using Windows Server 2016, you might have to start Microsoft Defender Antivirus manually. You can perform this task by using the PowerShell cmdlet mpcmdrun.exe -wdenable on the device.

Get updates for Microsoft Defender Antivirus

Keeping Microsoft Defender Antivirus up to date is critical to assure your devices have the latest technology and features needed to protect against new malware and attack techniques, even if Microsoft Defender Antivirus is running in passive mode. (See Microsoft Defender Antivirus compatibility.)

There are two types of updates related to keeping Microsoft Defender Antivirus up to date:

  • Security intelligence updates

  • Product updates

To get your updates, follow the guidance in Manage Microsoft Defender Antivirus updates and apply baselines.

Uninstall your non-Microsoft solution

If at this point you have:

  • Onboarded your organization's devices to Defender for Endpoint, and

  • Microsoft Defender Antivirus is installed and enabled,

Then your next step is to uninstall your non-Microsoft antivirus, antimalware, and endpoint protection solution. When you uninstall your non-Microsoft solution, Microsoft Defender Antivirus switches from passive mode to active mode. In most cases, this happens automatically.

Important

If, for some reason, Microsoft Defender Antivirus does not go into active mode after you have uninstalled your non-Microsoft antivirus/antimalware solution, see Microsoft Defender Antivirus seems to be stuck in passive mode.

To get help with uninstalling your non-Microsoft solution, contact their technical support team.

Make sure Defender for Endpoint is working correctly

Now that you have onboarded to Defender for Endpoint, and you have uninstalled your former non-Microsoft solution, your next step is to make sure that Defender for Endpoint working correctly.

  1. Go to the Microsoft 365 Defender portal (https://security.microsoft.com) and sign in.

  2. In the navigation pane, choose Endpoints > Device inventory. There, you'll be able to see protection status for devices.

To learn more, see Device inventory.

Next steps

Congratulations! You have completed your migration to Defender for Endpoint!