How to Scan Your Computer with Windows Security Center?

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Reading time: 5 Minutes

People often think computer security is something too technical for them to handle. True, when you get into the nitty-gritty, computer security can be tough, but the most important stuff is usually simple.

Microsoft usually provides updates that not only fix bugs, but also patch security holes. So, keeping your PC up-to-date can protect you against unknown vulnerabilities.

But that is not all. You should also scan for and remove viruses from your Windows PC. Here is the thing: malicious attackers always try different avenues to get into your system. Luckily, Windows comes with built-in security tools.

What Windows Security Center Can Do for Your Computer?

Security Center is a useful built-in reporting tool that helps you to secure your computer system. It regularly checks for issues and alert users about them – for instance, when there are pending Windows updates, no antivirus is installed, and many more.

While Windows Security Center can keep your computer safe, some users have reported facing challenges while trying to run Windows Defender. For the most part, they can’t scan the computer when virus threats appear.

So, What Could Prevent the Security Center Service from Starting?

The Windows Security Center service may misbehave for many reasons, but here are the common ones:

  • Security Center is not activated, or it is configured incorrectly.
  • A virus or malware infection is preventing the service from working normally.

In the next section of this post, we will look at how to resolve this problem, and then discuss how to scan the computer with Windows Security Center.

Solution 1: Remove Virus from Your Windows PC

If malware might have disabled your Windows Security, we recommend that you run a full scan of your system using an anti-malware program. If the program detects any spyware, virus, and other malicious programs, clean them up and restart your computer. To ensure that there are no traces of virus infections, run the anti-malware tool again until it comes out clean.

Unless you are using a reputable, on-demand anti-malware program, traces of malicious items could remain on your system. One of the premium tools you can use to scan your system and completely erase all traces of malicious programs is Outbyte Anti-Malware. This tool will check all vulnerable parts of your computer, including the registry, browser extensions, Home Page settings, and Task Scheduler.

Solution 2: Enable Security Center

As we mentioned earlier, incorrect configuration of the Security Center service can create problems when you want to scan your system. Follow the steps below to configure the Security Center service the correct way:

  1. Press the Windows + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run dialog box, and then type services.msc into it and click OK.
  2. Wait for the Service window to pop up, then look for Security Center and double-click on it.
  3. Navigate to the General tab, then click Startup type > Automatic (Delayed Start).
  4. Next, change the Service status to launch on clicking the Start button.
  5. Now, click OK to activate the settings.
  6. After that, restart your PC and check whether the issue is resolved.

Solutions 3: Use the Command Prompt

We recommend this approach because you won’t have to touch the registry editor. Here is how it goes:

  1. Type cmd in the taskbar and hit Enter.
  2. From the list of results, right-click on Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator.
  3. Now, execute the following command:

REG DELETE “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender” /v DisableAntiSpyware.

  1. If you are prompted to confirm your action, type Yes and press Enter.
  2. Wait for the command to execute, then exit the Command Prompt window and restart your computer.

Other tricks you can use to resolve the issue are repairing the WMI repository and running the sfc/scannow command.

How to Scan Computer with Windows Security Center?

If you don’t have an active antivirus program, Windows Security Center will kick in to keep your computer safe. It will scan files and folders in your computer and notify you immediately if there is a threat. So, if you want to keep your PC protected, scan your computer with Windows Security Center:

Run a Full Scan

  1. Go to Settings and choose Update & Security > Windows Defender.
  2. When the Windows Defender dialog box opens, tap on Open Windows Defender Security Center (or Windows Security if you are using the current version of Windows 10/11).
  3. Wait for a window to pop up, then click on the Virus & threat protection button in the left-side pane.
  4. Now, hit the Quick Scan button for Windows Defender to scan your computer.
  5. If you want to explore other options, click on Advanced Scan, then choose among a custom scan, a full scan, and an offline scan. Windows Defender will scan your computer according to your choice and reports vulnerabilities.

Scan Specific Folders

  1. To scan specific folders or files, identify the targeted items, right-click on them, and then choose Scan with Windows Defender.
  2. Alternatively, you can go to Start, then choose Settings > Update & Security.
  3. Navigate to the Windows Security option and select Virus & threat protection > Scan options > Custom scan.
  4. Click Scan now and choose the folders or files you want to scan. Windows Security will scan for and remove virus from your Windows PC.

Schedule a Scan in Windows Security

Typically, Windows Security regularly scans your computer to ensure it remains safe. However, some users may prefer to set their own schedule. If that is the case, follow these instructions:

  1. Type Task Scheduler in the taskbar and hit Enter.
  2. From the list of results, select Task Scheduler.
  3. Once the Task Scheduler opens, click on the Task Scheduler Library in the left pane, and then choose Microsoft > Windows.
  4. Next, scroll down to look for the Windows Defender folder, then double-click on it.
  5. In the top-center pane, open Windows Defender Scheduled Scan.
  6. Navigate to the Triggers tab, and then click on New.
  7. Now, set your time and frequency, and then activate the settings by clicking OK.

Turn on Windows Defender Antivirus

Another setting you may want to configure in Windows Security is turning real-time protection on or off. Here is how to do it:

  1. Go to Start and choose Settings > Update & Security > Windows Security.
  2. Next, select Virus & threat protection > Manage settings (or Virus & threat protection settings if you are running a previous version of Windows 10/11).
  3. Now, set Real-time protection to On.
  4. Your Windows Defender Antivirus will be active. You may need to uninstall your existing antivirus software if you are running Windows 10/11 for Enterprise.

There you have it. If you are running an earlier version of Windows, it is most likely that you are using Microsoft Security Essentials. If that is the case, consider moving to Windows Security. It will scan your computer when virus threats appear.

Download Outbyte AntivirusOutbyteIf you’re running into errors and your system is suspiciously slow, your computer needs some maintenance work. Download Outbyte PC Repair for Windows or Outbyte Antivirus for Windows to resolve common computer performance issues.Fix computer troubles by downloading the compatible tool for your device.See more information about Outbyte and uninstall instructions. Please review EULA and Privacy Policy.
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