Microsoft Defender Preview is now available on Windows 10 and 11

Microsoft is preparing a new security app for Windows 10 and 11. This is the preview of Microsoft Defender, let’s see what it does.

First of all, the application does not replace the default antivirus that exists on your PC. That’s because it’s called Windows Security, not Microsoft Defender or Windows Defender, although you might call it that. So the new app is basically a companion program that complements the current program, it’s kind of like a dashboard if you will.

What is Microsoft Defender Preview

The app, first spotted by Lumia Updates, has an interface divided into three panes. The left pane displays some tips to explain to users how to stay safe online. The middle pane is called This Device and has a text label where you get to a screen with the device’s security information. It tells you when the last threat scan was run on the computer, the number of files that were scanned, and the number of threats that were found.

Microsoft Defender overview - user interface

For more details, click the Security History button on the home page, to view alerts and history of all threats detected on the system.

Microsoft Defender Preview - other device details

The “This device” screen in Microsoft Defender Preview lets you check if all the security components are working properly on your system, such as virus and threat protection, updates, ransomware protection. It also allows you to view your security history. Settings can only be changed from the Windows Security application.

Microsoft Defender Preview - details of this device

Back on the app’s home page, the bottom of the center pane lists the other devices you’ve connected to the account. Speaking of which, you can add other devices using the section on the right of the screen, the app gives you a link to install it on other devices including mobile phones and tablets via this URL.

Microsoft Defender Preview - install on other devices

Once connected to your account, the application will allow you to remotely consult the security information of all your devices (including those of your family) via its interface. Suppose Windows Security has detected malware on one of the computers, it will appear on the “Other Devices” dashboard in Microsoft Defender Preview. But you’ll still need to run a scan or perform an action manually through the Windows Security app, at least that’s how I understand it.

According to its store description, Microsoft Defender Preview will show real-time notifications for alerts. The fine print in the store listing is where things get interesting. Let me quote it to you,

“No subscription is required for Microsoft Defender Preview. Going forward, Microsoft Defender will require a Microsoft 365 Family or Personal subscription.”

This clearly suggests that the app will not be free for users, although I wonder if there will be any other limitations in place.

Microsoft Defender Preview App

Download the Microsoft Defender Preview app from the Microsoft Store. (credit). There are a few caveats here, for one thing, you need to have a US IP address, just to log into the program. I used ProtonVPN (free), but you can use any VPN. You’ll have to use it to log into the app every time you restart the computer, which is annoying. But this is a Preview version, so such restrictions are to be expected. The other requirement is that your computer must be running Windows 10 version 19041.0 or higher to run the app. The system requirements listed on the Store indicate that the app supports x64/x86 systems and Xbox console.

Microsoft Defender Preview is now available on Windows 10 and 11

Although the preview of Microsoft Defender is available for download, it has not been officially announced yet. It will likely be unveiled in this week’s Windows 11 Insider Preview. I would advise waiting for the announcement before diving in to test the program, but it seems to work just fine, even on Windows 11 stable.

Microsoft Defender Preview looks like a nice app, and the endpoint-like experience will surely come in handy for users who want to remotely manage the security of unsuspecting family members’ computers.

What do you think of the app?


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Download Microsoft Defender Preview for Windows 10 and 11

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Microsoft Defender Preview is now available on Windows 10 and 11. Here’s how it works.




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