Windows Defender is the default antivirus software that comes pre-installed on your Windows system. Though there are a lot of third-party antivirus solutions available for the Windows Platform, Windows Defender does the job pretty well, and unlike the other antivirus solutions, it isn’t a resource hog.
That being said, even when you are using the best antivirus solutions, you can get infected with a persistent virus or malware that deeply integrates with your system. These types of infections cannot be removed using normal methods. To deal with this, Microsoft introduced Windows Defender Offline. Here is how you can use it to get rid of those nasty viruses and malware.
Using Windows Defender Offline
To use Windows Defender Offline, first download the app depending on your system architecture using the download links below. Once downloaded, launch the app and click on the “Next” button to continue.
- 32-bit link: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=234123
- 64-bit link: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=234124
Here in this screen, read and agree to the terms and conditions by clicking on the “I Agree” button.
Since we are going to create a bootable Windows Defender USB drive, insert a blank USB flash drive (1GB or more), and then select the second radio button: “On a USB flash drive that is not password protected.”
Now, the application may show you a warning message telling you that it will format the USB drive. Simply click on the “Next” button to continue.
As soon as you’ve done that, the software will automatically download all the required files and will create the bootable USB drive.
Once you are done creating the bootable USB drive, click on the “Finish” button to complete the procedure.
Now, plug in the newly created USB drive, restart your system and then boot into it. If you are unable to boot from the USB drive, then make sure that boot priority is set correctly in your BIOS.
After booting from the USB drive, you will be greeted with the typical Windows Defender user interface. Also, it will automatically start scanning your installation for any infections. By default, Windows Defender initiates the quick scan.
In my case, I’ve infected the system myself just to see if it can actually detect and clean the infection. Once the scan has been completed, it will show you the results, and if there are infections you can see them by clicking on the “Show details” link under the “Clean PC” button. To clean the infection, click on the “Clean PC” button.
Note: if you don’t find any infections on the first try, then try scanning your system with “Full” or “Custom” settings under the “Scan options” category.
As soon as you click on the “Clean PC” button, Windows Defender will clear the infections.
Once you are done with the cleaning, close the Windows Defender window to restart and log into your regular Windows system.
As you can see, Windows Defender Offline is helpful if your system got infected with a really nasty and persistent virus or malware that is embedded into the system and hard to clean with regular methods.
Do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences in the comments form below about using Window Defender Offline.