Windows

How to Manually Update Microsoft Defender

Worried that Microsoft Defender isn’t up-to-date? Here’s how to check and update Microsoft Defender even if Windows Updates isn’t working.

Windows Laptop with Microsoft Defender Logo on Screen

Microsoft Defender (a component of Windows Security and previously called Windows Defender) has proved to be a formidable antivirus software for Windows 10 and 11. As such, if you’re primarily dependent on Microsoft Defender for anti-malware protection, it’s always crucial that the antivirus software is up-to-date.

Sometimes, Microsoft Defender cannot update automatically, which leaves your system vulnerable to potential malware attacks. If you’re facing this issue, you don’t need to fret; there are a few different ways for you to update Microsoft Defender manually.

Why Is Microsoft Defender Not Updating Automatically?

Microsoft Defender relies on Windows Update for the latest virus definitions and keeps it up-to-date. Sometimes, if Windows Update is disabled or unable to download the latest updates, Microsoft Defender will not be updated either, which creates a nasty opening in your defenses.

As a result, you’ll have to either troubleshoot Windows Update or download the latest Microsoft Defender updates yourself to keep your system safe from malware.

How to Check if Microsoft Defender is Updated

First and foremost, you need to check if your Microsoft Defender is outdated. To do so, you’ll have to open Microsoft Defender, check its current version, and compare it to Microsoft’s recent security release.

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Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open the Start menu, search for Windows Security, and select the Best match.
  2. From the Windows Security window, in the bottom-left corner, click on Settings and then select About.
    antivirus version info
  3. Under System information, keep note of the Antimalware Client Version, the Engine Version, and the Antivirus Version.
  4. Open the Microsoft Defender updates page and scroll to find the Latest security intelligence update section.
    checking updates for defender
  5. Compare the Version (Antivirus Version), Engine Version, and Platform Version (Antimalware Client Version) with the ones listed in System information in step three.
  6. If the versions listed in System information do not match, your antivirus needs to be updated.

How to Trigger a Microsoft Defender Update

If Microsoft Defender is not updating automatically, you can trigger it to fetch the latest updates from the Microsoft server:

  1. Launch Windows Security through the Start menu and select Virus & threat protection.
  2. Under Virus & threat protection updates, click on Protection updates.
    check updates in defender
  3. Select Check for updates, and Windows Security will attempt to download the latest updates from Microsoft.

How to Manually Download Updates From Microsoft

Alternatively, you can download the latest update files for Microsoft Defender yourself too.

Here’s how you can manually download updates for Microsoft Security:

  1. Check whether you have a 32-bit or a 64-bit copy of Windows.
  2. Go to the Microsoft security intelligence updates page and scroll to find the Manually download the update section.
    manual updates for defender
  3. Select the appropriate 32-bit or 64-bit version of the Microsoft Defender Antivirus for Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 update files.
  4. Once the update is downloaded, launch the .exe file, and Microsoft Defender will automatically be updated.

Update Microsoft Defender Using PowerShell

It is also possible to update Microsoft Defender using Windows PowerShell:

  1. Launch Windows PowerShell through the Start menu as an administrator.
  2. Enter the below command and press Enter. Update-MpSignature
  3. If new updates for Microsoft Defender are available, they will automatically be installed on your system.

Use the Windows Update Troubleshooter

If you’re facing problems with Windows Update, then the Windows troubleshooter might solve your problems.

To use the Windows Update troubleshooter:

  1. Launch the Settings app through the Start menu, and navigate to Troubleshoot > Other troubleshooters.
    troubleshoot windows update
  2. Select Run to launch the Windows Update troubleshooter.
  3. Windows Update should then automatically detect and fix problems.
  4. Restart your PC, and check if Windows Update can download the latest updates.

Keep Your System Secure

Microsoft Defender is incredible at safeguarding your system from malware, but you need to make sure it’s updated with the latest virus definitions. On Windows 10 and 11, Microsoft Defender is one the best antivirus software available.

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