The Windows Defender configuration tool ConfigureDefender has been updated to version 188.8.131.52 this week.
Windows Defender is the default security solution on Windows systems. It is enabled by default but will turn itself off if another security solution is installed that is designed to take over as the main security tool on the system. Configuring Defender is not really as straightforward as it could be; on Windows 10, users have to open Windows Security to configure some features. Others are only accessible via the Group Policy or Registry.
ConfigureDefender comes to the rescue. We reviewed the program in 2018 for the first time and concluded that it was a useful tool to manage Windows Defender settings on Windows 10 and 8.1 devices.
The author released several updates for the program since then. ConfigureDefender 184.108.40.206 is the latest major release and reason enough to take another look at the program to see how it evolved.
You can download the latest version of ConfigureDefender from the project's GitHub repository. Note that you find the latest executable in the file listing and not under releases. You can run the program right after you have downloaded as it does not need to be installed. Note that you need to run it with elevated rights. If you ran the program before you may notice that the executable file is digitally signed.
The interface has not changed all that much but there are some meaningful changes. First, you find protection levels (presets) at the top that you may activate with a click. That's handy if you want to reset all protections to the default of Windows or switch to high or maximum security instead. The program does not reveal what high and maximum change, but you find the information in the help file on GitHub.
Enhanced configuration which enables Network Protection and most of Exploit Guard (ASR) features. Three Exploit Guard features and Controlled Folder Access ransomware protection are disabled to avoid false positives. This is the recommended configuration which is appropriate for most users and provides significantly increased security.
This is the most secure protection level which enables all advanced Windows Defender features and hides Windows Security Center. Configuration changes can be made only with the ConfigureDefender user interface. The "Max" settings are intended to protect children and casual users but can also be used (with some modifications) to maximize the protection. This protection level usually generates more false positives compared to the "High" settings may require more user knowledge or skill.
All settings can be customized from within the interface. It is easy enough to turn features such as Behavior Monitoring, PUA Protection or Controlled Folder Access on or off using the program. Values of some settings can be modified, e.g. to change the cloud check time limit or average CPU load while scanning.
Another new feature of recent versions of ConfigureDefender is a new button that loads the Defender Security log.
ConfigureDefender is a handy program for Windows administrators who want to configure the security solution quickly. It displays many Windows Defender security settings on a single page in its interface, which some users will appreciate as it means less page flipping and searching.
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