I have an external hard drive that I only use for storage, I almost never write data to it but it can be useful if I want to access some data that I have in it.

When it’s possibile I’d like for the hard drive to stay in sleep mode, but Windows Defender wakes it up randomly even if I excluded the drive from the settings. I have now totally disabled Windows Defender, but I’d like to keep it running if possible. I’m using Windows 8.1 Pro installed a week ago.

How can I stop Windows Defender from accessing the drive?

I’m attaching a screenshot of the Process Monitor log, it might help.


  • I don't think this is possible- I was going to suggest you simply put restrictions Windows Defender's access to that drive, however even if you did that, the software would still wake the drive to see if it could be accessed, thus making this ineffective. I just unplug the power to my drives when I'm not using them. How often do you have to access the data on this drive of yours? May be best just to unplug it until you need it. – Ben Franchuk Mar 10 '15 at 3:18

You could try to exclude your drive from scanning:

  1. Press Windows key in the keyboard and open Windows Defender from start .


  1. Go to the "Settings" tab and Click "Exclude files and locations". Then, click "Browse".


  1. Here, at this step, you can use either a file or a folder. Select a file or a folder and click OK.


  1. If you need, you can add multiple files and/or folders using a semicolon at the end. After selecting a file/folder, click "Add" .


  1. Finally, you need to save the changes.


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