Microsoft changes Windows Defender Path on Windows 10 - gHacks Tech News

Microsoft changes Windows Defender Path on Windows 10

A recent update for Windows Defender to version 4.12.17007.17123 changed the path of the built-in antivirus software on Windows 10 devices.

Microsoft changed the paths the of the Windows Defender Antivirus service component MsMpEng.exe  and the Network Realtime Inspection service component NisSrv.exe, as well as the path of Windows Defender Antivirus drivers.

The change affects machines running Windows 10 version 1703 and newer on Windows 10 Home, Pro and Enterprise machines.

Microsoft moved the files MsMpEng.exe and NisSrv.exe from %ProgramFiles%\Windows Defender to %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Platform\, and Windows Defender Antivirus drivers from %Windir%\System32\drivers to %Windir%\System32\drivers\wd.

windows defender new paths

The support page KB4052623 confirms the update, but does not provide explanation why the change was made. Windows 10 Home, Pro and Enterprise, and Windows Server 2016 are affected by the change according to Microsoft.

This article describes an antimalware platform update package for Windows Defender for the following operating systems: Windows 10 (Enterprise, Pro, and Home), Windows Server 2016.

Because of a change in the file path location in the latest update (Antimalware Client Version: 4.12.17007.17123)..

The change did cause issues with Windows 10's AppLocker functionality, and that is the main reason why Microsoft published the support article.

According to Microsoft's information, the path change could cause AppLocker to block many downloads on the Windows machine.

The company published a workaround that requires that administrators set the following path %OSDrive%\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Platform\* in the Group Policy.

The update may cause another rare issue according to Microsoft on systems on which Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection runs together with Windows Defender Antivirus. Systems may be put into "passive mode" during installation of the update which disables real-time protection.

Administrators need to delete the PassiveMode value in the Windows Registry under HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender to resolve the issue. Microsoft notes that it may be necessary to take ownership of the Windows Defender subkey, and to enable full access to the user account to do so.

The following table lists the affected components, and the old and new storage location.

ComponentOld locationNew location

Windows Defender Antivirus service (MsMpEng.exe)

Network Realtime Inspection service (NisSrv.exe)

%ProgramFiles%\Windows Defender%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Platform\<Version>
Windows Defender Antivirus drivers%Windir%\System32\drivers%Windir%\System32\drivers\wd

Closing Words

It is unclear at this point in time why Microsoft made the Windows Defender path changes in first place. (via Deskmodder)

Microsoft changes Windows Defender Path on Windows 10
Article Name
Microsoft changes Windows Defender Path on Windows 10
A recent update for Windows Defender to version 4.12.17007.17123 changed the path of the built-in antivirus software on Windows 10 devices.
Ghacks Technology News

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  1. chesscanoe said on December 18, 2017 at 11:51 am

    Running Windows 10 latest FCU x64 Home, going to Windows Update on 2017-12-18 shows me no history for KB4052623. However Belarc run at 2017-12-17 at 03:49:21 shows Defender at 4012.17007.17123 . No problems noticed so far, but I have not tested the environment that is purported to have issues.

  2. David said on December 18, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Once again, change for the sake of change?

    1. gandalf said on December 19, 2017 at 12:48 am

      To hide defender from you and seperate system and user installed software.
      ProgramData is a hidden folder and System32\drivers\wd is deep within the system most users dont know it exist.
      You most likely only go there if you are editing the host file inside System32\drivers\etc

  3. Jody Thornton said on December 18, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Funny that this came about. I am still on Windows 8, but I was trying to figure a way to move the Windows Defender “Signature Location” to another drive. You can change the registry location, but once you update Windows Defender – Boom! It changes back to the default folder location.

  4. SomeFulla said on December 20, 2017 at 8:21 pm
  5. Bamit said on December 21, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    I dont know if this has happened to most others, but now, when Real Time Protection is on, file access to large folders takes forever now.

  6. Franck said on January 20, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    Excellent article, thank you very much !

  7. Lars-Erik Østerud said on May 10, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    Is this the reason I get error when the update “Windows Defender Antivirus-plattfor – KB4052623 (versjon 4.14.17639.18041)” is installed? The errorcode is “0x80070643”. Tried a “in place updgrade”. But it stops working again sonn after. See lots of people have this, and no Microsoft solution. Can’ do a “in place upgrade” each time there is a Defender platform update :-(

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