How to Add Scan With Windows Defender To Windows 8 Context Menu

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Windows Defender, launched with Windows Vista, failed to impress me even in the upgraded Windows 7 version. But at the same time, Microsoft Security Essentials did a fair job in protecting a computer against some of the common virus threats and got positive reviews in the market.

Now that both — Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Defender – are combined in Windows 8, I am confused if I should trust it now. I have already covered an article stating how to completely disable Windows 8 defender before installing a new Antivirus, but if you are planning to use it as your default protection, there’s one very basic thing that the tool’s missing. The right-click context menu scan option on folders.

scan with windows defender

The option to scan a folder using right-click menu can be found in almost all well known antivirus products and if you would like to add the option to Windows Defender in Windows 8, here’s how it’s done (we found the process on TheWindowsClub).

Note: The process involves heavy registry editing and should be done with great caution. You should also backup your registry first in an external drive.

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.

run box

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.

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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.

icon for windows defender

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


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


That’s all, you can now exit the Registry editor and try out the newly added context menu option on a folder. To ease things, you can just download my registry key backup file and run them on your computer with administrative privileges. Simple and easy.

Don’t forget to share your thoughts regarding Windows 8 Defender. Are you really going to trust it as your computer’s default antivirus, or you are going to install an alternative freeware?

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Show archived comments (20)

Archived Comments

  1. swarfega says:

    Your registry merger file doesnt work with the final build of Windows 8, could you update it please.

    • Mart says:

      Check this out, cause the above tutorial not worked form me.
      Instead look here, it is working now….

      • Mart says:

        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″

  2. John says:

    Agreed, your file gives the error “Cannot import. The specified file is not a registry file. You can import only registry files.”

  3. Dingus says:

    This tip doesn’t work because there is no scan .exe file in win 8 defender.

    Sure,,, you can get the Defender icon in the right click menu but it will always give an error when you try to get it to scan anything.

    If your context menu trick actually worked (& it doesn’t), it could only ever open a command prompt..

    • illferris says:

      Okay Einstein, what does the output of MpCmdRun.exe /? result for you?

      Still saying that -Scan does not exist? You are a very, very stupid person. Yes, I am being rude to you, simply to show you that your rudeness is not well received especially since it relies upon your utter ignorance. Maybe you ought to just go spend 2 grand on a Mac then jump off a bridge and be done with it. Prick…

  4. realtestman says:

    Does anyone actually check their tips before publishing them?

  5. Fletch says:

    I can understand why some people ‘blow their stack’ when they search for HELP and it appears the hint or tip doesn’t work.. But, instead of flaming the tipster, who is doing a terrific job of sharing, perhaps they should take a deep breath and investigate why the tip isn’t working.
    In this case it is simply that Ashish omitted the double quotes before the DWORD entry in Step 5. Add ( ” ) before the entry, and you might find you’ve surprised yourself!
    Thanks for the tip Ashish.

  6. Mark from PingbackDigital says:

    Worked fine for me on Windows 8 x64 but I had to manually type the types instead of copy and pasting from the page.

    Thanks a lot for the guide.

  7. Mark from PingbackDigital says:

    Worked fine for me on Windows 8 x64 but I had to manually type the quotes instead of copy and pasting from the page.

    Thanks a lot for the guide.

  8. Danny says:

    This works only for scanning folders. How is it possible to scan a specific file?
    In the previous antivirus (Microsoft Security Essentials) there is an option “scan with microsoft security essentials” when you right click to ANY FILE.

  9. KillTheFanbois says:

    Thanks Ashish, but if you are not happy with editing the registry, there’s another method. Download and run the Windows Defender Status Manager at and run it. It also pops the Windows Defender in your system tray.
    NB. to get it to show the correct status of Defender “enabled”, go to Defender Settings and disable the real-time protection and re-enable it again.

  10. harshwardhan rathore says:

    an error occure—“windows can’t access file or path specified” what to do????????

  11. serhio vilares says:

    works for folder only. Does not work for individual files.