Running Automatic Malware Scans in Windows 7 with Windows Defender

In Windows 7, one of the best tools for avoiding and removing spyware and viruses from your PC is Windows Defender. However, Microsoft made the Windows Defender program a bit harder to find in Windows 7.

If your computer gets infected with junk like spyware and viruses, you'll run into problems that range from glitches in your system and slow operating speeds to privacy invasion, altering your home page, and even accessing your computer to use it to attack another.

The Windows Defender program is able to stop most spyware from installing itself automatically and removes spyware that has already latched onto your PC. Best yet, Windows Update keeps Windows Defender up-to-date automatically to recognize and destroy the latest strains of spyware.

  1. Click the Start menu, type Windows Defender into the Search box, and click its name in the list.

    Unfortunately, typing its name into the Search box is the quickest way to locate the Windows Defender program since it no longer lives on the Start menu, like it did in Windows Vista. Nor is it listed under any category in the Control Panel.

  2. Click the Windows Defender’s Scan button on the top menu.

    Windows Defender immediately performs a quick scan of your PC. When it’s through, move to Step 3.

  3. Click Tools, choose Options, and select the Automatically Scan My Computer (Recommended) check box, and then click Save.

    That schedules automatic scans to run at 2 a.m. every day, an easy way to help keep your PC safe.

    Feel free to run more than one spyware scanner on your PC. Unlike antivirus programs, antispyware programs are compatible with each other. Each does its own scan, killing off any spyware it finds.

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