Windows Defender Definition & Meaning

Windows Defender is an anti-malware tool built into Microsoft’s Windows 8 and newer operating systems that is designed to protect computers from viruses, spyware and other forms of malware.

While Windows Defender can’t be downloaded or used on versions of Windows prior to Windows 8, Microsoft does offer a predecessor to Windows Defender called Microsoft Security Essentials that can be freely downloaded and used on Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems.

Windows Defender vs. Microsoft Security Essentials

Both of these Microsoft Security Software tools offer real-time protection against viruses, rootkits, spyware and other malicious software as well as features like online and offline system scanning and cleaning. One key differentiating feature, though, is that only Windows Defender offers enhanced protection against rootkits and bootkits.

Windows Defender primarily runs in the background, only notifying users when a specific action needs to be addressed. Users can also run scans on demand if desired or manually update the tool with the latest security definition files.

What Is Windows Defender Offline?

Microsoft also offers a version of Windows Defender called Windows Defender Offline that can be used via a USB flash drive or CD/DVD to help detect and remove specific types of malware that are designed to prevent users from being able to access Windows Defender and other types of anti-malware software.

Forrest Stroud
Forrest Stroud
Forrest is an experienced, entrepreneurial and well-rounded professional with 15+ years covering technology, business software, website design, programming and more.

Top Articles

Huge List Of Texting and Online Chat Abbreviations

From A3 to ZZZ we list 1,559 text message and online chat abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Includes Top...

How To Create A Desktop Shortcut To A Website

This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a desktop shortcut to a website using Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer (IE). Creating a desktop...

The History Of Windows Operating Systems

Microsoft Windows is a family of operating systems. We look at the history of Microsoft's Windows operating systems (Windows OS) from 1985 to present...

Hotmail [Outlook] Email Accounts

  By Vangie Beal Hotmail is one of the first public webmail services that can be accessed from any web browser. Prior to Hotmail and its...

Supply Chain Definition &...

A supply chain is a network between an organization and its suppliers to...

Relational Database Definition &...

A relational database stores and connects data in tables and columns, emphasizing the...

Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL)...

What is COBOL? COBOL stands for Common Business-Oriented Language. It is a 60-year-old programming...