Windows – Does Windows Defender update if Windows Update is set to manual

scheduled-taskswindows 8windows updatewindows-defender

It looks like the Windows Defender in Windows 8 won't upgrade the signatures automatically, if Windows Update is set to "Notify, but don't install the upgrades".

Is my impression real? Is there is a fix?

I don't like automatic updates as I don't want to install useless updates like the ballot screen or something else, I want to choose.

Best Answer

Since Defender updates are delivered with Windows Updates, then just like other Windows Updates, if you have it set to Notify Only, it will wait until you OK it.

From the Windows 8 Help and Support regarding Defender:

To help keep your definitions up to date, Windows Defender works with Windows Update to automatically install new definitions as they're released. You can also have Windows Defender check online for updated definitions before scanning.

According to that, you can also have Defender do an (extra) check for definitions before starting a scan but. There is no UI control for that available, but you can easily modify how the scheduled scan is launched and with what options Windows Defender is working. The system calls MpCmdRun.exe, which has quite some command line flags. Here is how you modify it to update the signatures before the scheduled scan:

  1. Open the Scheduled Tasks UI and search in the library for Microsoft\Windows Defender.

  2. Change the command line flags (for the task MP Scheduled Scan) to:

    SignatureUpdate Scan -ScheduleJob -WinTask -RestrictPrivilegesScan

  3. Done. Now Windows Defender will update it's signatures before it does a scan.

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