Windows 7 : Using Windows Defender (part 2) - Scanning Your Computer for Spyware and Malware

3/6/2011 3:10:26 PM

3. Scanning Your Computer for Spyware and Malware

In Windows Defender, you can run a quick scan of your computer by clicking the Scan button on the toolbar. A quick scan checks the most common areas of the computer affected by spyware, including the computer’s memory and the program executable files and registry settings currently in use. Figure 9 shows an example of a quick scan being performed.

Figure 9. Scanning your computer for malware and spyware

Using the Scan Options button to the right of the Scan button on the toolbar, you have the option of performing a full scan or a custom scan, in addition to a quick scan. A full scan scans the entire operating system and every file on the hard drive. A custom scan allows you to define the specific areas you want to scan for spyware or malware on the computer.

Regardless of which type of scan you choose, you’ll see a results window, similar to the one shown in Figure 10, when the scan completes. The scan statistics show you the start time of the scan, the total elapsed time of the scan, and the number of items scanned. The scan status shows the last scan date and time, scan type, scan schedule, real-time protection status, and a definition version of the product.

By default, Windows Defender is configured to perform a quick scan daily. You should manually run a full scan monthly or weekly.

Figure 10. Viewing the scan results

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