How To Scan A Particular Folder or File with Windows Defender in Windows 10

The Windows 10 Build 10586, also called November Update or Threshold 2 released in November 2016, is a major update since its official release, with a lot of new features, bug fixes and performance improvements across the whole operating system. Bringing back the option “Scan with Windows Defender” is one of these new/comeback features that will come handy.

Windows 10 - Scan with Windows Defender from Context Menu.png

It’s basically a quick scan option from right-click Context Menu. Right-click on a file or folder that you want to scan to see if they are clean and ok to open, and choose “Scan with Windows Defender“.

Then, as expected, Windows Defender opens up with a custom scan running to scan through the specified folder/file. The result will be up shortly after as the scan process usually runs pretty quick.

Windows 10 - Windows Defender custom scan result.png

I believe this feature was used to exist way back when Windows Defender was first released on Visa but somehow got removed later on when Microsoft Essentials came to play. It’s nice to see it come back.

If you are in Windows 8.1, you can follow this post to get the same Scan with Windows Defender option in Context Menu in Windows 8.1 as well. It runs a bit differently in a Command Prompt window when launched, but the result should be the same to detect whether the scanned file/folder is virus infected.

You may also ask why to bother if the Real-time protection is turned on in Windows Defender. Good point. I guess one of the reasons why it’s handy is that you can scan through files on a USB drive to see if they are clean before accessing them since the real-time scan only kicks in when a file is accessed or modified.

As a bonus tip, you can also run the following PowerShell cmdlet to manually scan any specified folder such as the entire C:.

Start-MpScan -ScanType QuickScan -ScanPath “C:”

PowerShell - Run Quick Scan using Defender

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 01/28/2016

Posted in: Windows 10
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