Fixes

Windows Defender full/offline scan issues on Windows 10

While Windows Defender is a good and free tool, there are other more reliable antivirus software that come with enhanced features.

On that note, we recommend using ESET Internet Security as a very affordable, lightweight and efficient solution.

Surely you’ve heard of ESET, since they are a long-established brand in the online security industry, and now their products are even more performant thanks to the latest upgrades.

ESET Internet Security offers web browsing protection, and online banking security features, keeping ransomware and spyware attackers at bay.

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Your best shot for a more reliable antivirus protection when Windows Defender lets you down.

4. Run System Restore

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter system restore. Choose Create a restore point from the menu.
    Windows Defender quick scan stuck
  2. The System Properties window will now appear. Now click System Restore button.
    Windows Defender quick scan not working
  3. When System Restore window opens, click Next.
    Windows Defender your PC couldn't be scanned
  4. If available, check Show more restore points. Select the desired restore point from the menu and click Next.
    Windows Defender not working Windows 10
  5. Now follow the instructions on the screen to complete the restoration process.

Once your PC is restored, check if the problem still persists.

IMPORTANT: Before attempting this step make a backup copy of your files and folders that you will need because there is a possibility that after you do the system restore the files and folders might delete.


5. Check your exclusions

  1. Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Now navigate to Update & security section.
    Windows Defender quick scan not working
  3. From the menu on the left choose Windows Defender. In the right pane, select Open Windows Defender Security Center.
    Windows Defender your PC couldn't be scanned
  4. Windows Defender Security Center will now appear. Click on Virus & threat protection.
  5. Now select Virus & threat protection settings.
  6. Scroll down to the Exclusions section and click on Add or remove exclusions.
  7. Now you should see all available exclusions. Select the exclusion and click the Remove button.
    Windows Defender not working Windows 10

Remove all exclusions from Windows Defender and check if that solves the problem.

Several users reported that their entire C drive was added to the exclusion list without their knowledge. This caused the problem with Windows Defender, but you can easily fix this issue simply by removing your exclusions.


6. Perform SFC, DISM and chkdsk scans

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu.
  2. Select Command Prompt (Admin) from the list. If Command Prompt isn’t available, you can also use PowerShell (Admin).
    Windows Defender quick scan stuck
  3. When Command Prompt starts, enter sfc /scannow and press Enter.
    Windows Defender quick scan not working
  4. The SFC scan will now start. Wait for the scan to finish. Keep in mind that this scan can take up to 15 minutes.

Once the scan is finished, check if the problem still persists. If you were unable to run an SFC scan or if the problem still persists, you might want to try using DISM scan instead. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Start Command Prompt as administrator.
  2. When Command Prompt opens, enter the following command + Enter: DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
    Windows Defender your PC couldn't be scanned
  3. DISM scan will now start. Keep in mind that this scan can take up to 20 minutes to complete, so don’t interrupt it.

Once the DISM scan is finished, check if the problem still persists. If the issue is still present or if you were unable to run SFC scan before, be sure to repeat the SFC scan again. After doing that, the problem should be completely resolved.

Several users are also recommending to use chkdsk scan. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Start Command Prompt as administrator.
  2. Now enter the following command, replacing X with the letter that represents your system partition. In most cases, that would be C. Press Enter to run the command: chkdsk /f X
    Windows Defender quick scan stuck
  3. If you decide to scan your C drive, you’ll need to schedule a scan and restart your PC. To do that, press Y in Command Prompt and restart your PC.
  4. Once your PC restarts, chkdsk scan will start automatically. Wait for the scan to complete. Depending on the size of your partition, the scan can take up to 20 minutes or more.

Once the scan is completed, check if the problem still persists.


7. Install the latest updates

  1. Open the Settings app and navigate to Update & security section.
  2. Now click on Check for updates button.
    Windows Defender not working Windows 10

Windows will check for available updates and download them in the background. After installing the latest updates, check if the problem still persists.


These methods that will show you exactly what you need to do in order to fix your Windows Defender in the Windows 10 operating system.

You can also write to us in the comments section if you have any other additional issues or questions regarding this subject.

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