Minimum requirements for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint

Applies to:

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There are some minimum requirements for onboarding devices to the service. Learn about the licensing, hardware and software requirements, and other configuration settings to onboard devices to the service.


Licensing requirements

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint requires one of the following Microsoft volume licensing offers:

  • Windows 11 Enterprise E5
  • Windows 11 Education A5
  • Windows 10 Enterprise E5
  • Windows 10 Education A5
  • Microsoft 365 E5 (M365 E5) which includes Windows 10 Enterprise E5 or Windows 11 Enterprise E5
  • Microsoft 365 A5 (M365 A5)
  • Microsoft 365 E3 (M365 E3) with Enterprise Mobility + Security E5 Add-on
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium when purchased from a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider
  • Microsoft 365 E5 Security
  • Microsoft 365 A5 Security
  • Microsoft Defender for Endpoint


Eligible licensed users may use Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on up to five concurrent devices. Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is also available for purchase from a Cloud Solution Provider (CSP). RDSH VMs do not require a separate Defender for Endpoint license.

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint for servers requires one of the following licensing options:


Customers may acquire server licenses (one per covered server Operating System Environment (OSE)) for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint for Servers if they have a combined minimum of 50 licenses for one or more of the following user licenses:

  • Microsoft Defender for Endpoint
  • Windows E5/A5
  • Microsoft 365 E5/A5
  • Microsoft 365 E5/A5 Security

For detailed licensing information, see the Product Terms site and work with your account team to learn more about the terms and conditions.

For more information on the array of features in Windows editions, see Compare Windows editions.

Browser requirements

Access to Defender for Endpoint is done through a browser, supporting the following browsers:

  • Microsoft Edge
  • Google Chrome


While other browsers might work, the mentioned browsers are the ones supported.

Hardware and software requirements

Supported Windows versions

  • Windows 7 SP1 Enterprise (Requires ESU for support.)
  • Windows 7 SP1 Pro (Requires ESU for support.)
  • Windows 8.1 Enterprise
  • Windows 8.1 Pro
  • Windows 11 Enterprise
  • Windows 11 Education
  • Windows 11 Pro
  • Windows 11 Pro Education
  • Windows 10 Enterprise
  • Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2016 (or later)
  • Windows 10 Education
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • Windows 10 Pro Education
  • Windows server
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
    • Windows Server 2012 R2
    • Windows Server 2016
    • Windows Server, version 1803 or later
    • Windows Server 2019
    • Windows Server 2022
  • Windows Virtual Desktop

Devices on your network must be running one of these editions.

The hardware requirements for Defender for Endpoint on devices are the same for the supported editions.

For more information on supported versions of Windows 10, see (/windows/release-health/release-information).


Machines running mobile versions of Windows (such as Windows CE and Windows 10 Mobile) aren't supported.

Virtual Machines running Windows 10 Enterprise 2016 LTSB may encounter performance issues if run on non-Microsoft virtualization platforms.

For virtual environments, we recommend using Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2019 or later.

Other supported operating systems


You'll need to confirm the Linux distributions and versions of Android, iOS, and macOS are compatible with Defender for Endpoint for the integration to work.

Network and data storage and configuration requirements

When you run the onboarding wizard for the first time, you must choose where your Microsoft Defender for Endpoint-related information is stored: in the European Union, the United Kingdom, or the United States datacenter.


Diagnostic data settings


Microsoft Defender for Endpoint doesn't require any specific diagnostic level as long as it's enabled.

Make sure that the diagnostic data service is enabled on all the devices in your organization. By default, this service is enabled. It's good practice to check to ensure that you'll get sensor data from them.

Use the command line to check the Windows diagnostic data service startup type

  1. Open an elevated command-line prompt on the device:

    1. Go to Start and type cmd.
    2. Right-click Command prompt and select Run as administrator.
  2. Enter the following command, and press Enter:

    sc qc diagtrack

    If the service is enabled, then the result should look like the following screenshot:

    Result of the sc query command for diagtrack.

You'll need to set the service to automatically start if the START_TYPE isn't set to AUTO_START.

Use the command line to set the Windows diagnostic data service to automatically start

  1. Open an elevated command-line prompt on the endpoint:

    1. Go to Start and type cmd.
    2. Right-click Command prompt and select Run as administrator.
  2. Enter the following command, and press Enter:

    sc config diagtrack start=auto
  3. A success message is displayed. Verify the change by entering the following command, and press Enter:

    sc qc diagtrack

Internet connectivity

Internet connectivity on devices is required either directly or through proxy.

The Defender for Endpoint sensor can use a daily average bandwidth of 5 MB to communicate with the Defender for Endpoint cloud service and report cyber data. One-off activities such as file uploads and investigation package collection aren't included in this daily average bandwidth.

For more information on additional proxy configuration settings, see Configure device proxy and Internet connectivity settings.

Before you onboard devices, the diagnostic data service must be enabled. The service is enabled by default in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Microsoft Defender Antivirus configuration requirement

The Defender for Endpoint agent depends on the ability of Microsoft Defender Antivirus to scan files and provide information about them.

Configure Security intelligence updates on the Defender for Endpoint devices whether Microsoft Defender Antivirus is the active antimalware or not. For more information, see Manage Microsoft Defender Antivirus updates and apply baselines.

When Microsoft Defender Antivirus isn't the active antimalware in your organization and you use the Defender for Endpoint service, Microsoft Defender Antivirus goes on passive mode.

If your organization has turned off Microsoft Defender Antivirus through group policy or other methods, devices that are onboarded must be excluded from this group policy.

If you're onboarding servers and Microsoft Defender Antivirus isn't the active antimalware on your servers, Microsoft Defender Antivirus will either need to be configured to go on passive mode or uninstalled. The configuration is dependent on the server version. For more information, see Microsoft Defender Antivirus compatibility.


Your regular group policy doesn't apply to Tamper Protection, and changes to Microsoft Defender Antivirus settings will be ignored when Tamper Protection is on.

Microsoft Defender Antivirus Early Launch Antimalware (ELAM) driver is enabled

If you're running Microsoft Defender Antivirus as the primary antimalware product on your devices, the Defender for Endpoint agent will successfully onboard.

If you're running a third-party antimalware client and use Mobile Device Management solutions or Microsoft Endpoint Manager (current branch), you'll need to ensure the Microsoft Defender Antivirus ELAM driver is enabled. For more information, see Ensure that Microsoft Defender Antivirus is not disabled by policy.