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Published on 02.20.09 by Brent Trahan

Set Windows Defender to Use Heuristics when Scanning

Learn how to set Windows Defender to use heuristics when scanning for malware in Windows 7.

When Windows Defender scans using heuristics it attempts to detect malicious or unwanted software by looking at items that partially match an existing definition (known malware). This can potentially catch more malware, but it can also cause false positives.

Scan Using Heuristics

  1. Open Control Panel from the Start menu.
  2. Open Windows Defender in the Control Panel.

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    Note: If Windows Defender is not available, change View by to Large icons at the top right of the Control Panel.

  3. Select Tools at the top of the Windows Defender window.

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  4. Select Options in the settings section of Windows Defender.

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  5. Select Advanced.

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  6. Check off Use heuristics and then click Save to save the changes.

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