How to Schedule Windows Defender Antivirus Scans on Windows 10

This article describes steps one can take to schedule a Windows Defender Antivirus scan in Windows 10.

Windows Defender Antivirus scans your computer regularly to keep your device safe from viruses and malware. The scan takes place while your computer is not being used or when it’s idle so as not to interfere with your work.

If you want Windows Defender to scan at a specific time, this brief tutorial is going to show you how to schedule that. When scheduled, Windows Defender will always run during the time you defined andĀ scan at a time and frequency that you choose.

This brief tutorial is going to show students and new users how to schedule Windows Defender Antivirus scan at specific times instead of randomly scanning your PC. This will mean less interference with your work.

Schedule Windows Defender Scan

To schedule the Windows Defender Antivirus program to only scan your computer at the time and frequency you choose, click Start => then search for Schedule tasks

Select Schedule tasks from the result listed on the menu.

When Schedule Tasks opens, in the left pane, expand Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows, and then scroll down and double-click (or press) the Windows Defender folder.

In the top center pane, double-click (or press twice) Windows Defender Scheduled Scan.

This should open the task properties. In the Windows Defender Scheduled Scan Properties (Local Computer) window, select the Triggers tab, go to the bottom of the window, and then tap or click New.

On the task setting pane, specify how often you want the scans to run and when you’d like them to start. This should always run at the exact time you define here.

But your computer must be powered on and running for this to work.

If your computer is shutdown, this task will fail to run

The trigger above runs daily at 12AM and stops the task if it runs for more than 2 hours. You can configure more advanced settings like repeating every 1 or 4 or 8 hours. You can also delay the task randomly. but the basic settings should work fine.

That’s it!

Congratulations! You’ve successfully scheduled the Windows Defender Antivirus task.