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Windows Defender is the latest thing Microsoft has broken – here’s how to fix it

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Microsoft has broken something else with an update – this appears to be becoming a bad habit of late – and this time it’s Windows Defender, although the problem has now been fixed according to the software giant.

So what is this issue, exactly? Well, an update for Windows Defender which fixed a previous bug has (once again) triggered unforeseen repercussions, in this case, causing Microsoft’s built-in antivirus solution to fail when it comes to the most commonly used scans.

Specifically, both Full and Quick virus scans don’t work properly, with Windows Defender only scanning around 40 files before stopping (so effectively not doing its job at all).

This is a pitifully poor situation for a security app, of course, although the slight caveat is that custom scans with Windows Defender appear to be unaffected.

Bleeping Computer (opens in new tab) reported on this issue, and a raft of different threads with users complaining about the problem on Reddit (opens in new tab) and the (opens in new tab) forum, with the tech site noting that Microsoft has now concocted a fix for the problem.

Update (again) now

The fix has been delivered as ‘Security Intelligence Update for Windows Defender Antivirus - KB2267602 (Version 1.301.1684.0)’, so you need to make sure you’ve patched that particular update for Microsoft’s antivirus solution to work properly.

Windows may have grabbed that update for you automatically already, but if not, you can get it manually: in Windows 10, head to the ‘Windows Security’ screen (search for it in the hopefully-not-broken search box in the Taskbar), then select ‘Virus & threat protection’. You can ‘Check for updates’ for Windows Defender here, and grab that latest one.

Microsoft made sure to clarify that the problem didn’t affect Windows Defender’s real-time protection, and only interfered with the aforementioned virus scanning functionality.

Still, this is obviously a very embarrassing incident for the company, and something of a blight on Windows Defender’s growing reputation as a sterling security solution (with one independent testing lab recently rating the app as one of the best antivirus solutions around).

Via Windows Latest (opens in new tab)

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).