Get Classic Windows Defender in Windows 10 Creators Update

As you may already know, Windows 10 Creators Update comes with a new security dashboard app called "Windows Defender Security Center". It includes a number of options to control the security and health of your operating system. It includes the user interface to manage Windows Defender, but you can still access the classic Windows Defender desktop app.


Here is how Windows Defender Security Center looks like:

Windows Defender Security Center

The app unifies many useful security options you might want to track and control. The user interface of the Windows Defender Security Center app comes with a toolbar on the left and the main area which occupies the rest of window area. For example, the Virus & threat protection page replaces the classic Windows Defender app.

Virus Threat Protection 1

The classic user interface of Windows Defender is still available. You can access it and use it if you like it more than Windows Defender Security Center. It is also useful when you completely disable Windows Defender Security Center. Here is how to open the classic UI.

Windows Defender UI

To get Classic Windows Defender in Windows 10 Creators Update,

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Navigate to the folder c:\Program Files\Windows Defender\.Windows Defender Folder
  3. Double-click the file MSASCui.exe to launch the familiar user interface:Classic Windows Defender Creators Update

If you are going to use it frequently, I recommend you to create a shortcut to launch the app.

Here is how.

Right click the empty space on your Desktop and select New - Shortcut in the context menu.

Use the full path to the MSASCui.exe file, meaning you must use c:\Program Files\Windows Defender\MSASCui.exe as the shortcut target.

Classic Defender Shortcut Target

Name the shortcut as you wish. "Classic Windows Defender" or "Windows Defender (Classic)" are good names.Classic Defender Shortcut Name

Besides having a familiar look, the classic Windows Defender supports a number of useful command line options.

MSASCui.exe -FullScan - performs a full scan. See Windows Defender Full Scan in Windows 10.

MSASCui.exe -QuickScan - performs a quick scan. See Create a shortcut for Windows Defender Quick Scan in Windows 10

That's it.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

7 thoughts on “Get Classic Windows Defender in Windows 10 Creators Update”

  1. I used your tweak to remove Windows Defender Security Center and I just viewed this tweak on how to make a shortcut to Window Defender Classic. However I still miss the Windows Defender icon in the System Tray. So I went one step further. I copied MSASCui.exe and MSASCuiL.exe from C:\Program Files\Windows Defender in my Windows 10 14393 build and placed them in my Windows 15063 and 16176 builds. Of course Windows TrustedInstaller was not happy but it can be done. Replacing these files comes with an added bonus in addition to getting the tray icon back and that is the icon can be left clicked, right clicked, or double clicked to open the classic version of Windows Defender.

  2. There does seem to be a bug with this. The Defender interface takes long to load and it seems like it is freezing for a while.

    Are others seeing the same?

  3. Just to say that on my PC, going to the file location and running msascui.exe, it takes a very long time to actually open.
    Interestingly the ‘old’ UI says ‘PC status: Protected’ whereas the new version says ‘Your device is being protected’.

  4. It works for the most part, but I’m completely unable to view the history. As soon as I select “Quarantined items, Allowed items, or All detected items” and click “View details” it gives me an error that reads “Error loading type library/DLL.”
    Is there any way to fix this?? Being able to view the history easily is one of my main reasons for wanting the old version back.

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