Schedule Microsoft Defender Scan in Windows 11

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This post shows students and new users how to schedule Microsoft Defender scan in Windows 11.

Microsoft Defender is a free, built-in antivirus software for Windows 11 which is part of Windows security, protecting your data and devices in real time. It scans your computer regularly to keep your device safe from viruses and malware. The scan takes place while your computer is not actively being used or when it’s idle so not to interfere with your work.

If you want Microsoft Defender scan as a specific time, post shows you how to schedule it to scan at time of your choice.

When scheduled, Microsoft Defender will always run during that time you defined and scan at a time and frequency that you choose. Microsoft Defender will scan at specific times instead of randomly scanning your PC. This will mean less interference with your work.

Also, when you’re a student and new user and you want to learn how to use Windows, the easiest place to start is Windows 11. Windows 11 is a major release of the Windows NT operating system developed by Microsoft. Windows 11 is the successor to Windows 10 and it’s expected to be released later this year.

When you’re ready to schedule Microsoft Defender, follow the steps below.

Schedule Microsoft Defender Scan

To schedule Microsoft Defender Antivirus program to only scan your computer at the time and frequency you choose, click Start => then search for Task Scheduler as shown in the image below. Select and open Task Scheduler.

Alternatively, you can use the search box on the taskbar and search for Task Scheduler. Then select to open it.

windows 11 task scheduler

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.

windows 11 windows defender schedule 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.

windows 11 windows defender triggers

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 on 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

windows 11 microsoft defender schedule scan

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 repeat every 1 or 4 or 8 hours. You can also delay the task randomly, but the basic settings should work fine.

When you’re done with your settings, click OK, and then OK to close.

That’s it!


This post showed you how to schedule Microsoft Defender to scan as specific times. If you find error above, please use the comment form below to report.

1 Comment

  1. I don’t have scans as an existing task? How would I create that task?

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