Microsoft Defender Preview is now available on Windows 10 and 11

Feb 8, 2022

Microsoft is prepping a new security app for Windows 10 and 11. This is the Microsoft Defender Preview, let's see what it does.

Microsoft Defender Preview start screen

First things first, the app doesn't replace the default antivirus that exists on your PC. That's because it is called Windows Security, not Microsoft Defender or Windows Defender, even though you're maybe referring to it as such. So, the new app is essentially a companion program that complements the present program, it's sort of like a Dashboard if you will.

What is Microsoft Defender Preview

The app, first spotted by Aggiornamenti Lumia, has an interface that's divided into three panes. The left pane displays some tips to educate users about how to stay safe online. The middle pane is called, This Device, and has a text label clicking on which takes you to a screen with the device's security information. It tells you when the last threat scan was run on the computer, the number of files that were scanned and the number of threats that were found.

Microsoft Defender Preview - user interface

For more details, click the Security History button on the home page, to view the Alerts and History of all threats that were detected on the system.

Microsoft Defender Preview - other devices details

The "This Device" screen in Microsoft Defender Preview lets you check whether all security components are working properly on your system, such as the Virus & Threat Protection, Updates, Ransomware Protection. It also lets you view your Security History. The Settings can only be changed from the Windows Security app.

Microsoft Defender Preview - this device details

Back on the home page of the app, the bottom of the central pane lists other devices that you have connected to the account. Speaking of which, you can add other devices using the section to the right side of the screen, the app gives you a link to install it on other devices, including mobile phones and tablets, via this URL.

Microsoft Defender Preview - install on other devices

Once they are connected to your account, the app will allow you to view the security information of all your devices (including your family's), remotely via its interface. Let's say that Windows Security detected a malware on one of the computers, it will show up on the "Other devices" dashboard in Microsoft Defender Preview. But you will still have to run a scan or take an action via the Windows Security app manually, at least that's how I understand it.

According to its Store description, Microsoft Defender Preview will display real-time notifications for alerts. The fine print in the Store listing is where things get interesting. Allow me to quote it for you,

"No subscription is required for Microsoft Defender Preview. In the future, Microsoft Defender will require a Microsoft 365 Family or Personal subscription."

This clearly suggests that the app will not be free for users, though I wonder if there will be other limitations in place.

microsoft defender preview app

Download the Microsoft Defender Preview app from the Microsoft Store. (credit). There are a couple of caveats here, for one, you need to have a US IP address, just to sign in to the program. I used ProtonVPN (free), but you can use any VPN. You will need to use it to sign in to the app, every single time you reboot the computer, which is annoying. But this is a Preview version, so such restrictions are to be expected. The other requirement is that your computer needs to be running on Windows 10 version 19041.0 or higher, to run the app. The system requirements listed on the Store says that the app supports x64/x86 systems, and the Xbox console.

Microsoft Defender Preview is now available on Windows 10 and 11

Though the Microsoft Defender Preview is available for download, it is yet to be announced officially. It is likely to be unveiled in this week's Windows 11 Insider Preview Build. I'd advise waiting for the announcement, before you dive in to test the program, but it seems to work just fine, even on stable Windows 11.

Microsoft Defender Preview seems like a nice app, and the endpoint-like experience will surely be useful for users who want to manage the security of their not-so-tech-savvy family members' computers remotely.

What do you think about the app?

Download Microsoft Defender Preview for Windows 10 and 11
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Download Microsoft Defender Preview for Windows 10 and 11
Microsoft Defender Preview is now available on Windows 10 and 11. Here's how it works.
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  1. Mike said on February 12, 2022 at 2:11 pm

    Good god. Doesn’t anybody here work at a company that has an Enterprise Class Security Stack and a dedicated in-house SOC Team? I guess not, well the company I work at does and we use Microsoft 365 Defender E5 with MS Endpoint Protection (XDR) P2. Palo Alto Networks is the #1 rated Security offering (based on the last MITRE Evaluations), Microsoft is rated at #3 – #4 (4 at the time of the last Eval, now 3 as they’ve seriously improved their Defender Suite). We spent most of 2021 evaluating Security offerings from virtually all Enterprise Class companies; Sophos, Kaspersky, McAfee, TrendMicro, CheckPoint, CarbonBlack, CrowdStrike, PaloAlto, and a ton of others that were so awful I purged them from my memory altogether.

    I don’t know why we tried Microsoft last, well I do, but I didn’t think they could compete with dedicated CyberSecurity Companies. I mean Defender free couldn’t stop you from catching a cold. I was so wrong, and was in total shock watching as that same crappy Defender once getting juiced with a M365 E5 License and an Endpoint P2 was able to utterly destroy a Massive Red Team Orchestrated Offensive on our entire Organization executed via AttackIQ’s platform using the nastiest State Actor Grade Methods covering the entire MITRE ATT&CK Matrix of TTPs. Our whole Fleet of Windows Server instances on AWS and Azure, Spearphishing attacks on every employee, at work as well as directed attacks on the home networks of anybody who could access any business data remotely, every Android and iOS mobile device was hit, same for every person who used macOS instead of Windows at home or work. Office 365 Exploits were leveraged into fileless drive by attacks, every single User Identity in our Azure Active Directories across all Tenants were being used as targets to try and get a foothold in any way possible.

    Anyway, after 36 hours elapsed and the excercise came to a halt, I hadn’t had to do anything other than watch the MS 365 Defender Console inform me of the 3,892 New Investigations it had launched to address the 6,000+ New Alerts that were detected, of which only 63 could not be fully remediated, because they occurred on devices that were personally owned which Defender is not allowed to delete data from, only contain the malicious indicators and inform me of the fact the threat is ‘partially’ remediated. Oh, and there wasn’t even one false positive, every file in Quarantine, Every email, iMessage, chat, user accounts blocked access had come from AttackIQ’s global staging areas. When I came home after the exercise and sat at my Win 10 desktop, I clicked the little White Shield with the Green Checkmark on it to open the Windows Security app for Defender and look at the protection history, which was a blank page, empty rather, for about a minute, because it took that long to load the list of 322 High-Severe threats that had been dispatched while I was away.

    Since then, on my home PC it has stopped the update of drivers mid-install due to detecting crafted payloads in modified firmware more than a few times, also, the early-launch antimalware module has terminated non-system critical kernel space drivers that attempted to modify the UEFI’s bootx64.efi file itself. And its cleaned probably 100+ MS Office files sent to me by our clients who had infections they were unaware of. I’m sure PaloAlto could do just as well, but we’d be paying like an extra $25,000/yr for it and you still have to install their software agent. Microsoft’s is pre-baked into the OS and costs about 1/40th what PA bills. Plus, you can actually buy as little as one license, and get the same protection as the Fortune 500 companies are.

    Defender will always be free with Windows (your OS’s Security Telemetry is all they want – your Personal Activity Telemetry actually pollutes their dataset graphs and they use costly AI to filter and dispose of it before it can get into any datalakes of theirs at all), your use of it is compensation enough. As for this article, it’s very possible that they are considering offering a Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Consumer (Personal/Family) Edition. The 365 Defender E5 Suite has 4 distinct components –
    1) Defender for Identity (Active Directory – On-Prem, Hybrid, and Azure)
    2) Defender for Endpoint/Server (A/V,XDR,FW,Encryption, etc),
    3) Defender for Office (Exchange Online – E-Mail/Outlook, Skype/Teams, OneDrive/SharePoint, and the whole 365 Apps for Enterprise Bundle – Excel, Word, PowerPoint, PowerPlatform, Access, OneNote, Visio, etc, and DLP)
    4) Defender for Cloud Apps (It secures you and your data in all NON MS 3rd Party SaaS Apps/Services you use, as well as in the other Clouds (AWS,GCP, not just Azure), and the whole SSO Application part of Azure AD)

    The Office Personal/Family products have apps that are identical to the Enterprise Versions, so they are just as easily exploited and used by Hackers to get at you as they are to get at businesses, but businesses have Defender and it WORKS, it makes every app in the suite 100% locked down and idiot proof. Email is not a threat vector anymore with Defender applied. So they REALLY SHOULD offer protection to end users in a similar fashion, and if it turns out that’s what this Defender Preview is for, then if you have Office Personal/Family, GET IT even if they bump the cost up like 15% a year. That’d be one of the best/smartest things they’ve done since like Windows ’95.

  2. GoodMeasure said on February 10, 2022 at 5:08 pm

    OK, so yes or no:

    Will Windows Defender stop being free in the future? I don’t this new app, but…

  3. common sense computing said on February 9, 2022 at 4:45 pm

    “pay us to spy on you”

  4. Anonymous said on February 9, 2022 at 4:30 am

    It’s another way of MS Lying using more spy tools use what they have now you say ok give the permission this what’s it’s all about .

  5. Anonymous said on February 8, 2022 at 9:45 pm

    Another useless ugly webview app. Time to rip all this garbage out of Windows.

  6. Matt said on February 8, 2022 at 9:34 pm

    Just stick to McAfee :)

    1. ShintoPlasm said on February 8, 2022 at 10:04 pm

      Or Sophos, ESET, Bitdefender.

  7. Dumbledalf said on February 8, 2022 at 8:48 pm

    Are my eyes broken or are they going for the glassy/glossy icons like in Vista and 7 again? Is that a sign that more icons will be updated to this?

    Windows 11 might be worse than 10 in some regards, but its appearance is actually the only good thing about it. I’m excited.

  8. Rikkie Neutelings said on February 8, 2022 at 8:38 pm

    After login in “Not available in your country”

    1. NoOneSpecific said on February 11, 2022 at 2:07 am

      Seems to be USA only (shock and SURPRISE!!!) if anyone really cares…

    2. Doomu5 said on February 9, 2022 at 11:13 am

      Yeah it’s not available in the UK either which doesn’t bother me as it seems we’ll have to pay for it in future. It’ll require a 365 license.

  9. ULBoom said on February 8, 2022 at 8:07 pm

    Another Curated Experience. Blue space is the new white space.

  10. VioletMoon said on February 8, 2022 at 5:36 pm

    Interesting note left at the bottom of the download page:

    *No subscription is required for Microsoft Defender Preview. In the future, Microsoft Defender will require a Microsoft 365 Family or Personal subscription.

    Microsoft Defender will require a subscription? And MS Defender Preview will be some piece of phony desperado to appease the masses?

    1. Doomu5 said on February 9, 2022 at 11:15 am

      I should imagine the antivirus component will remain an integral part of Windows. It’ll be this additional part they’ll expect us to have a 365 subscription for.

    2. ShintoPlasm said on February 8, 2022 at 10:03 pm

      Very telling. And we thought MS was being sensible and generous with their free antimalware product…

  11. Satya's Cow said on February 8, 2022 at 5:00 pm

    “…No subscription is required for Microsoft Defender Preview. In the future, Microsoft Defender will require a Microsoft 365 Family or Personal subscription.”

    Embrace, extend, extinguish, subscription.

    1. ShintoPlasm said on February 8, 2022 at 10:02 pm

      Embrace, extend, extinguish, shaft.

  12. LsB said on February 8, 2022 at 4:55 pm

    Is it free?

    1. John G. said on February 8, 2022 at 6:51 pm

      Sincerely, would you pay for this? ;[

  13. GoodMeasure said on February 8, 2022 at 4:24 pm

    And then there are third party things to use on top of Win Defender like:
    Hard_Configurator, (or Configure_Defender) to control it.

    Or Defender-Control to stop it.

    What do others (who use Windows Defender; I am not currently using WD) use to improve it?

  14. Tachy said on February 8, 2022 at 4:20 pm

    I see, “other devices, other devices, other devices”.

    I see, lets track everything you do on every device you own with a single app.

    I see profit as a motive, not security.

  15. John G. said on February 8, 2022 at 3:59 pm

    I hope this new version will be available soon to common W11 users. :]

  16. brightspark said on February 8, 2022 at 1:33 pm

    Martin, much as I respect you and what you do, either yourself or Microsoft have got the naming convention completely wrong. “Windows Security” is the name of the security dashboard and “Microsoft Defender” is the name of the resident antivirus.

    Open Windows Security, click “Virus & threat protection” and from there click “Manage settings”. Immediately under “Virus & threat protection settings” it says right there in black and white… “View and update Virus and threat protection settings for MICROSOFT DEFENDER antivirus”.

    1. brightspark said on February 8, 2022 at 1:34 pm

      Sorry, the above comment should have been directed to Ashwin.

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