Enable Scan Archive Files with Windows Defender in Windows 10

You can enable scanning of archive files with Windows Defender in Windows 10 for better security and protection. Windows Defender will scan the contents of compressed (archive) files when a scan is scheduled or when the user starts the scanning process manually. Windows Defender is the built-in security solution in Windows 10 and is enabled by default. It protects your PC against viruses, malware, spyware and other unwanted apps.


To enable scanning of archives with Windows Defender in Windows 10, you need to do the following.
  1. Open an elevated PowerShell prompt.
  2. Type or copy-paste the following command to disable scanning of archive files:
    Set-MpPreference -DisableArchiveScanning 0

Windows Defender Enable Archive ScanThat's it!

Once you press the Enter key, Windows Defender will be able to scan compressed (archive) files such as .zip, *.rar or .cab files in Windows 10 for threats and viruses.

To undo the change you have made, open a new elevated PowerShell instance again and type the command:

Set-MpPreference -DisableArchiveScanning 1

Windows Defender Disable Archive Scan

The same can be done with a Registry tweak.

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. Go to the following Registry key:
     HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Scan

    Tip: How to jump to the desired Registry key with one click. If you don't have such a key, then create it.Create a new key under Windows DefenderCreate the Scan key under Windows Defender

  3. Here, create a new 32-bit DWORD value named DisableArchiveScanning. Note: Even if you are running 64-bit Windows you must still create a 32-bit DWORD value.Create a new DWORD value under Windows Defender Key
    Leave its value data as 0 to enable scanning of archive files.Windows Defender Enable Archive Scan With Tweak
  4. Restart Windows 10.

To undo the change, delete the value "DisableArchiveScanning" that you created.

To save your time and avoid Registry editing, you can download ready-to-use Registry files.

Download Registry Files

The undo tweak is also included.

Windows Defender provides only baseline antivirus protection. In Windows 10, Microsoft have made it harder to disable, so the user can't turn it off using the GUI. If you decide to disable it, you need to follow the article Disable or enable Windows Defender 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.

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