Windows Defender is the default antivirus app shipped with Windows 10. Earlier versions of Windows like Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7 and Vista also had it but it was less efficient previously as it only scanned spyware and adware. In Windows 8 and Windows 10, Defender is based on the Microsoft Security Essentials app which offers better protection by adding full blown protection against all kinds of malware. Today, we will see how to add Windows Defender to the classic Control Panel.
Over the Windows 10 lifecycle, Microsoft has improved Defender in many ways and enhanced it with numerous features such as Advanced Threat Protection, Network Drive Scanning, Limited Periodic Scanning, Offline Scanning, the Security Center dashboard and Exploit Protection (previously offered by EMET).
Don't be confused between Windows Defender and its related user interfaces such as Windows Defender Security Center. Windows Defender remains the built-in anti-virus software which provides real-time protection against threats based on malware definition files/signatures.
Whereas Windows Defender Security Center app is only a dashboard which allows you to track the protection state of several other Windows security technologies. It can be used to configure various security options like SmartScreen. Defender Security Center is what opens now when you click its icon in the system tray.
Here is how Windows Defender Security Center looks like:
The entry points to the Windows Defender anti-malware app have been reduced, so you may want to add it to a convenient location like Control Panel to quickly access it.
You can add the Windows Defender app to the classic Control Panel in Windows 10. This can be done with a simple Registry tweak.
To add Windows Defender to the Control Panel in Windows 10, do the following.
- Download the following Registry files (inside the ZIP archive): Download Registry Files
- Extract them to any folder you like. You can place them right on the Desktop.
- Close the Control Panel if you have it running.
- Double-click the file "Add Windows Defender To Control Panel.reg" and confirm the operation.
You are done. Now, open the Control Panel and go to System and Security. The result will be as follows:
To remove the Windows Defender app from the Control Panel, use the included undo tweak.