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How to make Windows Defender Antivirus scan external drives for malware

Windows Central

WinC Bot
Staff member
Dec 17, 2013

Windows Defender Antivirus doesn't scan removable drives during full scans by default, but there are ways to enable the functionality. Here's how.
Although Windows Defender Antivirus runs automatically on your Windows 10 device, there are still times when you'll need to perform a full scan to make sure that malware or malicious software is not impacting your device.
However, if you thought a "full scan" meant that the antivirus would check every storage device connected to your computer, think again. As it turns out, by default, Windows Defender Antivirus does not scan external drives during a full scan — only during quick and custom scans.
If you want to make sure that every storage device attached to your computer gets scanned for unwanted software and malware, it's possible but it's something that you need to configure manually.
In this Windows 10 guide, we walk you through the steps to allow Windows Defender Antivirus to include removable drives as you perform a full malware scan on your device.

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