ConfigureDefender: Windows Defender configuration tool

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 29, 2018

ConfigureDefender is an open source tool for Microsoft's Windows operating system that helps system administrators configure Windows Defender.

Windows Defender is the built-in security tool of Microsoft's Windows 10 and 8.1 operating systems. It is enabled by default and runs automatically on Windows 10 systems.

While it is possible to configure Windows Defender through the Settings application, Group Policy, PowerShell, Windows Registry, and other management interfaces, doing so may require opening multiple interfaces or switching between different settings pages.

Microsoft added new features and capabilities to Windows Defender in Windows 10. The company launched features such as System Guard, Application Guard, Exploit Protection or Network Protection in recent versions of the operating system.


configure defender windows

ConfigureDefender is a portable program that users can run right after download. Please note that 32-bit and 64-bit dedicated executable files exist and that you should run the one appropriate for the underlying operating system. In other words, run the 64-bit version on a 64-bit Windows 10 system and the 32-bit version of the program otherwise. The program requires elevation and will display an UAC prompt when you run it.

Administrators who have made configuration changes using Group Policy need to set the ones that they want to modify using ConfigureDefender to not configured to avoid conflicts. The author explains the logic behind the required on the GitHub page.

The interface lists major and minor Windows Defender settings in a long list when you run it. One issue here is that there is no option to resize the window so that you can't display more settings and options at the same time on the screen. Requires quite a bit of scrolling to go through the entire list of options; since there is no search, it may also take longer at first to locate certain settings.

The application divides settings into groups such as Basic Defender Settings, SmartScreen, or Exploit Guard.

Each group lists multiple items and the state of the item, e.g. Behavior Monitoring or PUA Protection and the status of the feature.

defender settings

You can modify each option directly in the interface. Just click on the selection menu next to an item that you want to modify and select another status from the list of available options.

Most options can be enabled or disabled, some require numeric values, e.g. cloud check time limit or average CPU load while scanning, and a third group other values such as "block" or "warn".

ConfigureDefender lists four buttons at the top. You may use them to display Windows Defender information that is displayed in a PowerShell window, e.g. last scan time, or apply a protection preset:

Child Protection, Defender default settings, Defender high settings. Child Protection activates certain options to block suspicious activity and high settings configure enable certain settings that are not enabled by default or set to a lower level.

ConfigureDefender makes the changes mostly through the use of PowerShell cmdlets that it runs when configuration changes are made in the interface.

Tip: you can check Windows Defender's protective capabilities.

Closing Words

ConfigureDefender is a useful tool to manage Windows Defender settings on Windows 10 and 8.1 devices quickly. While it can't be used solely, as it does not support some settings such as the (removed) option to control Real Time Protection, it is definitely a handy tool to make quick changes to the configuration.

Now You: do you use Windows Defender or another program to protect Windows? (via Deskmodder)

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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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