Tough virus out

How to do offline virus scan with Microsoft Defender on Windows 11

If your device gets hit by a nasty malware, Microsoft Defender Offline can detect and remove it – here's how on Windows 11.

Windows 11 Defender offline scan

Although Windows 11 is one of the most secure systems, you may sometimes come across malware or other malicious software that would be difficult to remove while the desktop is running.

If this is the case, you can use the Microsoft Defender Offline feature to scan and remove virtually any type of malware, including viruses, rootkit, ransomware, and other malicious software that may be hard to delete while the OS is running.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to use the Microsoft Defender Offline scan to detect and remove highly persistent malware. (See also the video tutorial with the steps to complete this task.)

Perform offline virus scan on Windows 11

To do a full offline virus scan on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Windows Security.

  2. Click on Virus & threat protection.

  3. Under the “Current threats” section, click on Scan options.

    Open scan options

  4. Check the Microsoft Defender Offline scan option.

    Microsoft Defender Offline scan

  5. Click the Scan now button.

  6. Click the Scan button.

Once you complete the steps, the computer will restart automatically in the recovery environment, and Microsoft Defender will start the full virus scan. If the Windows 11 antivirus detects any virus, rootkit, or any other type of malware, it’ll remove it automatically.

Microsoft Defender antivirus offline scan
Microsoft Defender antivirus offline scan

After the scan, you can find the Microsoft Defender Offline scan results on Windows Security > Virus & threat protection > Protection history.

Defender offline scan results
Defender offline scan results