Microsoft has added another weapon to its arsenal in its fight against malware: an offline version of the Windows Defender software. The software, which is in beta at the moment, scans and removes various forms of malware like its desktop counterpart. But the advantage of the Offline version is that it can be run from an external media such as a CD or USB drive, even when the OS is not running. This makes it easier to remove certain rootkits and advanced malware which otherwise is difficult to remove when the OS is running. Like the version found in Windows 8, Windows Defender comes with both anti-spyware as well as anti-virus solutions.
Here’s a step by step guide on how to setup and run Windows Defender Offline beta.
1) First, download the 32-bit or 64-bit installer of Windows Defender from here, depending on the version of Windows you have.
2) Once the download is finished, open the installer. Click Yeson the UAC window if prompted. Next, you will see the window below . Click Next.
3) Now select the media, in which you want to install the tool and click Next.
I recommend installing on a USB drive because, if you install it on a USB drive, you will be able to update the definitions later. If you use a CD/DVD, it will become obsolete pretty soon when new updates are released.
4) You will have to reformat the USB now. Make sure that you don’t have any important data in it before proceeding.
5) Finally, the installer will download the necessary files (about 215MB in size) and setup the USB drive. Click Finishonce the setup is complete.
6) To scan your computer, restart your computer with the USB drive connected. Make sure that USB booting is enabled in your BIOS. Once that is set, you can boot from your USB drive. If you have a dual boot setup, you will have to choose the OS to be scanned. Select the desired Operating System and click OK.
7) Next, you will be taken to the Windows Defender interface. As you can see from the screenshot below , it is pretty similar to the Microsoft Security Essentials UI. You can select to do either a Quick Scan, a Complete Scan or even scan specific areas. Just select the desired option and click Scan now.
To update Windows Defender Offline Tool,
just click the installer you used earlier and it will automatically download and install all available updates.