Defender in Windows 11 deleted a file and protection history is empty. How to restore it? And how to make it quarantine the file instead of deleting?

  • 2
    then how you know it's defender that did the deletion? Commented Nov 28, 2022 at 13:11
  • 5
    notification from defender, after I click on the notification and go to protection history it is empty
    – zac
    Commented Nov 28, 2022 at 13:13
  • 1
    Well, this is too vague. if you're on SSD it's safe to assume a file that was actually deleted can not be restored/recovered. AFAIK Windows defender quarantines rather than delete. What file was it? were you installing something? If so then try to reproduce and take screenshots. Commented Nov 28, 2022 at 13:30

2 Answers 2


If the file was fully deleted (cannot be found in the Recycle Bin), your only option, if you don't have a backup, is to use a data-recovery program to find and restore the file.

The best recovery programs are commercial, but here are a couple of free trial products:

The only way I know for preventing Defender from deleting files is to add an exclusion of the folder or file in question. This is done in Settings > Update & Security > Windows Security > Virus & Threat protection > Manage Settings, under Exclusions, by clicking on Add or remove exclusion.


Look in Windows Defender quarantine. The file may be there.

If it was WD that deleted the file, and if not in the WD quarantine, then unfortunately it is gone.

That happens for some files that WD sees as serious threats.

Your only option in this case would be to try recovering the file with recovery utilities.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .