Tweak Windows Defender for Ultimate Performance

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Windows Defender is Windows native antivirus that comes built-in in all OS versions. One of its advantages is it comes pre-loaded in your new PC, and you do not need to install and configure it. It is also quite a worthwhile antivirus app, and with proper approach you can make it work and perform no worse than any other antivirus.

The Creators Update for Windows 10 introduced a few enhancements to the Windows Defender, which let you beef up its performance and efficiency. Here is how.

Win 10 Home users can use the registry to make Windows Defender more resistant to cyber threats. In the Start Menu, type regedit → enter → type

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender

Right-click in Windows Defender → New > Key and title it Spynet
Right-click Spynet → select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value -< name it SpynetReporting → double-click to open the properties → set to value 2. Right-click on Windows Defender → New > Key → name it MpEngine
Right-click on MpEngine → New > DWORD (32-bit ) Value → name it MpCloudBlockLevel
Double-click MpCloudBlockLevel → set value to 2.

In Win 10 Pro, you will need to engage the Group Policy editor.


Go to the Start Menu, type:


This will launch the Group Policy editor.
Go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender Antivirus > MAPS

MAPS is abbreviation for Microsoft Active Protection Service.

Double-click on Join Microsoft MAPS and check Enabled.
Find the bottom left box and engage Basic MAPS or Advanced MAPS → OK.
This effectively sends Microsoft data bout detected program, and activates the advanced options.

While still in the MAPS folder:

Configure the “Block at First Sight” feature → Enable. This setting, when enabled, will perform checks of potentially infected files in real time.

Send file samples when further analysis is required is another setting you may want to check, as it lets you customize how the files are sent for analysis – never send, always prompt – there are a number of options.

Another setting is somewhat aggressive, and may result in more false positives, but if you would like for the Windows Defender to scrutinize your files better, try it.

MAPS enabled → go to MpEngine folder on the left → select Cloud protection level → choose Enabled → find the bottom left box and select High blocking level.