There is no option in Windows Explorer to scan a particular drive (or file) on demand by right clicking on it in Windows Explorer as we had in Windows 7 with Microsoft Security Essentials or like other antivirus solutions.

I know we can run a custom scan for the particular drive or specific folder but that process is too lengthy and time consuming. The guide How to Add a "Windows Defender" Cascading Desktop Context Menu in Windows 8 explains how we can add Windows Defender in the desktop right click menu, so I'm curious, is there a way to add it in the Windows Explorer right click menu to launch a search whenever I need to?

  • Anyone have any idea why Microsoft removed this functionality? – James McMahon Nov 3 '12 at 17:36
  • 1
    @JamesMcMahon: Who knows the inscrutable ways of MS? :) – Karan Nov 3 '12 at 18:12
  • Another question that may be useful to people, superuser.com/questions/494131/… – James McMahon Nov 3 '12 at 18:42
  • I think it's possible that with Defender's real time protection enabled that scans of individual files are no longer needed. Maybe that is why Microsoft removed it. – James McMahon Nov 8 '12 at 1:15

Avirk's answer actually doesn't scan a file or folder directly, it just initiates a quick or full scan of your entire computer.

http://www.thewindowsclub.com/add-scan-with-windows-defender-option-context-menu-windows-8 outlines a method to get the scan to work on folders. I think with some modifications it can be made to work on files as well.

It is fairly easy to get this to work on files, just change the /folder/ part of the registry keys to /*/.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

"MUIVerb"="Scan With Windows Defender"
"Icon"="%ProgramFiles%\\Windows Defender\\EppManifest.dll"

@="\"C:\\Program Files\\Windows Defender\\MpCmdRun.exe\" -scan -scantype 3 -SignatureUpdate -file %1"

(Just paste the above in a file with extension.reg and merge it into the registry by double-clicking the file.)

The one thing I can't get working is bringing up the GUI scan versus a console version of the scan output.

  • Well I'm trying to find out the way to add the GUI but this is the right answer at the moment. :) – avirk Nov 15 '12 at 16:25
  • The regfile link redirects me to a webpage... direct link (no longer?) works. – Pieter Nov 22 '12 at 19:42
  • @Pieter, the link still works, it just looks like you have to go through the article to download it. It must be checking for the referrer. I will update and remove. – James McMahon Nov 23 '12 at 3:59

I had this guide for adding elements to be context menu by editing the registry, it was written for vista but I believe the same keys exist in windows 7 and 8.

It only references a direct exe though so this may not be what you are looking for.

As to a built in solution? No. Windows 8 defender does not have any context menu options for specific scanning.

Remember though, you can still install any other virus scanner as well, and Windows Defender will take a backseat automatically.

  • I think you didn't read my question carefully, as I have mentioned that I know I can add it in the desktop context menu but I want to know how to add it windows explorer right click menu. Check the link I've referred in my post. – avirk Oct 27 '12 at 14:41

Add Scan with Windows Defender in Window 8 Context Menu

Step 1: Open Windows 8 Run box, type in Regedit32.exe and press enter. You will require administrative privileges to perform the action.

Step 2: In Windows Registry Editor navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\folder\shell and create a new sub key in the left hand pane. Name the key WindowsDefender to create a new folder.

Step 3: Select WindowsDefender on the left sidebar and right-click anywhere on the right-hand side to create a new String. Type in %ProgramFiles%\Windows Defender\EppManifest.dll in data field and name it Icon.

Step 4: Having done that, add another String, provide the data as Scan with Windows Defender and name it MUI.

Step 5: Now create a new sub key under WindowsDefender and modify the data of the default DWORD to “C:\Program Files\Windows Defender\MpCmdRun.exe” -scan -scantype 3 -SignatureUpdate -file %1.

Try out the newly added context menu option on a folder.Good Luck!!

  • This won't scan a particular location. – Joey Oct 27 '12 at 14:57

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