What Is Windows Defender? How to Identify Your Windows Defender Version?

Check Windows Defender Version

What Is Windows Defender?

Windows Defender is a robust, free, built-in solution that is developed by Microsoft chiefly to grant the device with various threat apparatuses of malware and cyber-attacks complete protection.

Later on, formerly as the initial spyware filter for Windows XP in 2005, it was upgraded to a complete anti-virus program that was later integrated into the following Windows versions.

Recommended: How to Use Windows Defender to Scan for Malware?

The essence of Windows Defender lies in the fact that it is the foundation on which the Windows Security package depends in order to deliver a wide range of features and functions that ensure the security of users` devices and data.

Virus removal and prevention have been picked up as its key missions with different types of malware in circulation, like viruses, spyware, ransomware, rootkits, and so on, that threaten to undermine the security and the integrity of systems.

How to Identify your Windows Defender Version?

Check Windows Defender Version in Windows 10:

  1. Access Windows Security settings by opening the Settings app.
  2. Navigate to the “Windows Security” section.
  3. Locate and click on the “About” option.
  4. Look for the Windows Defender Antivirus version to identify the installed version.

Identify Your Windows Defender Version in Windows 11:

  1. Access the Windows Security settings through the Settings app.
  1. Within the Windows Security app, find and click on the “About” section.
  2. Look for the version information, including the Windows Defender Antivirus version.

Check Windows Defender Version in Windows Server 2019:

  1. Access the Windows Security settings through either the Control Panel or the Start menu.
  2. Navigate to the “About” section within the Windows Security settings.
  3. Scroll down to the “Windows Defender Antivirus” subsection to find the version number.

Check Windows Defender Version Using PowerShell:

  1. Open PowerShell as an administrator.
  2. Run the command: Get-AppPackage -Name Microsoft.WindowsDefender to retrieve version information.

Check Windows Defender Version Using CMD:

  1. Open Command Prompt as an administrator.
  2. Run the command: wmic datafile where name=’C:\\Program Files\\Windows Defender\\MpClient.dll’ get Version to display the version number.

Check Windows Defender Version in Windows Server 2016:

  1. Access the Windows Security settings through the Control Panel or the Start menu.
  2. Navigate to the “About” section within the Windows Security settings.
  3. Look for the version information, including the Windows Defender Antivirus version.

Importance of Keeping Windows Defender Up-to-Date

It is important to keep the Windows Defender’s latest version up to date in order to provide the PC with long-term stability and protection. Here’s a detailed look at why staying current with Windows Defender updates is of utmost importance:

1. Protection Against Evolving Threats

Every day, cyber threats worsen, as we witness the use of new viruses and malware strains as well as the development of more sophisticated exploits by cybercriminals. Windows Defender is updated regularly.

This automatically keeps the system’s defense mechanisms up-to-date, which in turn means that it is armed with the latest threat definitions and security patches that can tackle the ever-changing threats effectively.

2. Patch Security Vulnerabilities

Similar to any software, Windows Defender will inherently have security flaws that could be abused by the evildoers to compromise your computers.

Update frequency usually brings in the new features, bug fixes and security zones, thus preventing the computer or electronic device from being exploited and accessed unauthorized.

3. Enhanced Detection and Removal Capabilities

The regular updates of Windows Defender involved upgrading its power to detect and remove malware.

These improvements could be in the area of heuristic analysis, behavior detection algorithms, and real-time scanning methods, allowing Windows Defender to take more successful actions against the new malware threats.

4. Compatibility with New Threats and Technologies

It is doubly important that the security software, like Windows Defender, is able to respond to the new dangers and technologies by changing and developing.

Updates guarantee that Windows Defender is, in conjunction with popular software programs, file formats, and hardware devices, properly performing against numerous security threats that may exist.

5. Compliance Requirements

Today, the branch of industry and business world has to deal with different sets of compliance regulations and standards that require present-day software to provide both data and system safety.

With up-to-date Windows Defender installed on your company’s devices, you can be confident that your organization meets the standards of both industry and regulations, which help avert possible penalties and legal consequences.

6. Improved Performance and Stability

As time goes by, Windows Defender receives updates that contain performance improvements and bug fixes, so your computer works faster and without issues since the software is stable.

Hence, this way, it becomes easy for the system to function smoothly and with the desired speeds, and this is minus the disturbances that can arise due to security-related problems and performance bottlenecks.

7. Peace of Mind

When you know that all of your devices are fully protected by the latest security solutions, you can feel safe and enjoy using your computer for browsing, work, or leisure without worrying about the risk of cyber threats to your system.

Continuous updates to Windows Defender guarantee your system’s safety and harmony. We will make sure that your system is always up to date and protected from potential security threats anytime.

How to Keep Windows Defender Updated?

Ensuring the continuous updates of Windows Defender is the key to secure your Windows operating system.

While Windows Defender is also a part of the Windows system, it tends to act as a core pillar against viruses, malware, and other security infringements. Here’s a detailed guide on how to keep Windows Defender updated:

1. Enable Automatic Updates

Most of the time, updates for Windows Defender come with regular Windows Update releases, and it happens to be the one that’s in charge of delivering any security patches, feature updates, and driver updates on your PC.

It is essential to guarantee that the Windows Update is enabled to receive the updates by itself. Here’s how to do it:

  • Pressing the Windows key on your keyboard will open up the Start Menu.
  • Type in the input bar “Windows Update” and press “Enter” or select “Windows Update settings” from the list of search results.
  • Opening the “Windows Update” settings window, click on the “Advanced options” button label.

While selecting “Automatic (recommended)” from the menu is also good, under “Choose how updates are installed,” make sure that the option “Automatic (recommended)” is selected. So this removes the need for constant manual updates of Windows.

2. Check for Updates Manually

You’ll have automatic updates enabled by default. However, it’s still recommended to check for updates manually now and then to make sure that your system’s operating system is updated to the newest version. You can manually check for updates as follows:

  • Press the Windows key, write in the search field for “Windows Security” and choose “Windows Security” app from the search results.
  • The Windows Security application will be opened. On the side menu, choose “Virus & Threat Protection“.
  • To enable the automatic updates, as shown in “Virus and threat protection” > “Virus and threat protection updates,” click on “Check for updates” to start the process.

3. Update Definitions and Engine

“Windows Defender uses two approaches to identify and eliminate the threats: the definitions of viruses and malware as well as the engine of scanning.” It is critical that the scanning engine and the dictionaries are the latest to keep up with changes in natural languages across time and cultures. Here’s how to do it:

  • Go to the security application as described earlier.
  • For a “Virus & threat protection” option, then, you should choose the “Protection updates” in the sidebar from the left hand side.
  • Click the corresponding “Check for updates” button to download and install the most recent virus and threat protection schedule updates.

4. Install Windows Updates

We call Windows Defender updates along with other regular Windows updates as well. Consequently, one should run all Windows updates as it is one of the crucial things to do so that Windows Defender will be in the current versions. Here’s how to install Windows updates:

  • Take the interesting route that you outlined in Step 1.
  • On “Click for Update” and allow Windows to surf the net for updates that may be available.
  • Updates will be found if you click “Download” and “Install” which will install these updates on your system in case they are found.

How do I know if Windows Defender is Up to Date?

To verify if Windows Defender is up to date, you can follow these steps:

  • Open Windows Security: In the Start menu, click on “Start,” then type “Windows Security,” and press Enter to open the app of Windows Security.
  • Navigate to Virus & Threat Protection: In the Security app, Windows Security, click the “Virus & Threats Protection” to the left.
  • Check Protection Updates: On both the Mac and the Windows web pages, you will find it under the “Virus & Threat Protection” section and then a “Protection updates” status.
  • Being it is current, the program will be showing the message “Your device is up to date” or “Your device is protected.”
  • Update Windows Defender: If you do not remember when Windows Defender was last updated, click on the “Check for updates” option. Any updates that may be available for Windows Defender will be installed by clicking it.
  • Monitor Update Progress: First, we will eliminate the need for users to run manual Windows updates as they will be installed automatically in the background.

You can check the update’s progress by tapping the “Scan” option in the last row and then selecting “Protection updates.” There, you will see the status of the update and the upgrades that are due but have not yet been installed.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

It is crucial for a user to be able to identify the common issues with Windows Defender and resolve them so that the computer is kept safe from viruses and other security problems.

Here are some common issues you may encounter with Windows Defender and how to troubleshoot them:

1. Update Failures

In the other case, when Windows updates the latest malware through the Defender, it will protect your system.

In order to diagnose an update failure, check your internet connection first to ensure that it is stable and has no network problems that could lead to Windows Defender not downloading updates.

Apart from that, restarting the computer and manually checking for updates under the Windows Security settings will be a good option.

Should the problem continue, you may need Windows Update components or apply a Windows update troubleshooter that will identify and correct any issues that cause the update process.

2. Performance Issues

Low scanning speed or high CPU usage, which are signs of performance problems in Windows Defender, are two more examples of this.

To solve performance issues, first of all, verify if your device meets the minimum hardware requirements for which the operating system can accommodate Windows Defender.

Alternatively, you can schedule the scans during your system as off-hours so as to minimize any negative impacts on the system’s performance.

Also, ensure there are no conflicting software or background processes running behind the shades that can interfere with the operation of Windows Defender. They may be disabled or uninstalled if needed.

3. False Positives

False positives happen when an antivirus program, Windows Defender, thinks it is malware when it is actually really a clean file or program.

The way to spot untrue berths is to head out with the file or the program in question and make sure that they are safe by doing a comprehensive scanning of antiviruses using reliable third-party software.

If the file is shown to be free of any threats and not considered a false positive, then you can ignore it during the scanning and detection processes done by Windows Defender to prevent any further false alarms.

The added file or program can be excluded from their settings by going to the exclusion list.

4. Installation or Activation Issues

If your system does not meet the minimum requirements to run Windows Defender, or you are having issues with the installation or activation of the software follow the steps as previously mentioned. Do not forget to update any pending version of Windows.

It is always recommended to test compatibility before installing or activating Windows Defender.

In the situation of activation failure, confirmation that your system’s date and time settings are up-to-date is required, as the incorrect date and time settings may sometimes override activation.

Another solution is to have you try the Windows Defender troubleshooter so that the process of activation may be identified and fixed.

5. Compatibility Problems

It is possible that Windows Defender may fail to properly operate with some software or hardware consequent to which these problems can appear in stability or performance.

To address the system and firmware compatibility issues, make sure that you maintain up-to-date and compatible drivers and firmware with Windows Defender.

Also, you may try doing a clean boot – temporarily disabling or removing any third-party security software or firewall programs that might be interfering with Windows Defender. In case of a problem occurring, please get a hold of [email protected] for more help.


Today, you need to guard your valuable digital files and data from cyber threats since the cybersecurity space is developing at a rapid pace.

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Janki Mehta

Janki Mehta

Janki Mehta is a Cyber-Security Enthusiast who constantly updates herself with new advancements in the Web/Cyber Security niche. Along with theoretical knowledge, she also implements her practical expertise in day-to-day tasks and helps others to protect themselves from threats.