Windows Defender Antivirus Reportedly Skips Items During Malware Scans On Windows 10

Windows Defender is Microsoft’s default Antivirus program that is shipped with Windows 10 devices. It protects your PCs from ransomware, viruses, and many other security attacks.

Generally, there are billions of Windows 10 users who rely on the built-in tool to protect their data. Overall, Windows Defender does a pretty good job with malware scans, but the antivirus gets affected by bugs sometimes. Similar to all other Microsoft products, a buggy version may either detect a false positive or skip some malicious files.

Malware Scans Are Currently Broken For Windows 10 Devices

Apparently, Windows 10 devices are currently affected by a similar problem these days. Those people who are running Windows Defender on their systems are now reporting that there is an issue with its scanning feature. Thousands of users have started noticing that Windows Defender is skipping items during a malware scan.

Although the cause that triggered this issue is still unknown, the impact seems to be quite large. It has been widely reported on various forums including Microsoft Community [1, 2, 3, 4] and Reddit [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] over the past two weeks.

Windows 10 users complained that in an attempt to scan PCs, the antivirus skips some files rather than scanning all files. The OP described the issue in the following manner:

“I keep getting this notification after quick scans, “Windows Defender skipped an item due to exclusions or network protection settings.” To make this clear: I don’t have ANY exclusions, and as far as I’m aware, I haven’t changed my network protection settings in the past. What’s going on? Is this malware, or a bug with the new update? How do I fix this? I want to be reassured that I’m safe, this isn’t very reassuring.”

No Official Statement From Microsoft

This thread started a debate on the support site as thousands of users confirmed the issue. People stated that they noticed the same behavior even though no exclusion criteria were defined for the scan. Someone even shared a screenshot of the error message.

Windows Defender skipping items
Windows Defender error message

Furthermore, some users claimed that the March 11 update broke the scanning functionality. While the bug affected devices running Windows Defender version 4.18.2003.X. It seems like this problem has been ignored by Microsoft employees since there is no official acknowledgment from the tech giant.

For now, there is no solution available at the moment. If anyone of you has encountered a similar behavior, feel free to share your experiences,


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Alex Schoff


Alex is a technology reporter with a particular interest in Microsoft and Windows. He keeps a close eye on major developments related to Windows 10, Google Chrome, Office 365, and more.
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