Deploy, manage, and report on Microsoft Defender Antivirus

Applies to:

You can deploy, manage, and report on Microsoft Defender Antivirus in a number of ways.

Because the Microsoft Defender Antivirus client is installed as a core part of Windows 10, traditional deployment of a client to your endpoints does not apply.

However, in most cases you will still need to enable the protection service on your endpoints with Microsoft Intune, Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager, Azure Security Center, or Group Policy Objects, which is described in the following table.

You'll also see additional links for:

  • Managing Microsoft Defender Antivirus protection, including managing product and protection updates
  • Reporting on Microsoft Defender Antivirus protection

Important

In most cases, Windows 10 will disable Microsoft Defender Antivirus if it finds another antivirus product that is running and up-to-date. You must disable or uninstall third-party antivirus products before Microsoft Defender Antivirus will function. If you re-enable or install third-party antivirus products, then Windows 10 automatically disables Microsoft Defender Antivirus.

Tool Deployment options (2) Management options (network-wide configuration and policy or baseline deployment) (3) Reporting options
Microsoft Intune Add endpoint protection settings in Intune Configure device restriction settings in Intune Use the Intune console to manage devices
Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager (1) Use the Endpoint Protection point site system role and enable Endpoint Protection with custom client settings With default and customized antimalware policies and client management With the default Configuration Manager Monitoring workspace and email alerts
Group Policy and Active Directory (domain-joined) Use a Group Policy Object to deploy configuration changes and ensure Microsoft Defender Antivirus is enabled. Use Group Policy Objects (GPOs) to Configure update options for Microsoft Defender Antivirus and Configure Windows Defender features Endpoint reporting is not available with Group Policy. You can generate a list of Group Policies to determine if any settings or policies are not applied
PowerShell Deploy with Group Policy, Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager, or manually on individual endpoints. Use the Set-MpPreference and Update-MpSignature cmdlets available in the Defender module. Use the appropriate Get- cmdlets available in the Defender module
Windows Management Instrumentation Deploy with Group Policy, Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager, or manually on individual endpoints. Use the Set method of the MSFT_MpPreference class and the Update method of the MSFT_MpSignature class Use the MSFT_MpComputerStatus class and the get method of associated classes in the Windows Defender WMIv2 Provider
Microsoft Azure Deploy Microsoft Antimalware for Azure in the Azure portal, by using Visual Studio virtual machine configuration, or using Azure PowerShell cmdlets. You can also Install Endpoint protection in Azure Security Center Configure Microsoft Antimalware for Virtual Machines and Cloud Services with Azure PowerShell cmdlets or use code samples Use Microsoft Antimalware for Virtual Machines and Cloud Services with Azure PowerShell cmdlets to enable monitoring. You can also review usage reports in Azure Active Directory to determine suspicious activity, including the Possibly infected devices report and configure an SIEM tool to report on Microsoft Defender Antivirus events and add that tool as an app in AAD.
  1. The availability of some functions and features, especially related to cloud-delivered protection, differ between Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager (Current Branch) and System Center 2012 Configuration Manager. In this library, we've focused on Windows 10, Windows Server 2016, and Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager (Current Branch). See Use Microsoft cloud-provided protection in Microsoft Defender Antivirus for a table that describes the major differences. (Return to table)

  2. In Windows 10, Microsoft Defender Antivirus is a component available without installation or deployment of an additional client or service. It will automatically be enabled when third-party antivirus products are either uninstalled or out of date (except on Windows Server 2016). Traditional deployment therefore is not required. Deployment here refers to ensuring the Microsoft Defender Antivirus component is available and enabled on endpoints or servers. (Return to table)

  3. Configuration of features and protection, including configuring product and protection updates, are further described in the Configure Microsoft Defender Antivirus features section in this library. (Return to table)

In this section

Topic Description
Deploy and enable Microsoft Defender Antivirus protection While the client is installed as a core part of Windows 10, and traditional deployment does not apply, you will still need to enable the client on your endpoints with Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager, Microsoft Intune, or Group Policy Objects.
Manage Microsoft Defender Antivirus updates and apply baselines There are two parts to updating Microsoft Defender Antivirus: updating the client on endpoints (product updates), and updating Security intelligence (protection updates). You can update Security intelligence in a number of ways, using Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager, Group Policy, PowerShell, and WMI.
Monitor and report on Microsoft Defender Antivirus protection You can use Microsoft Intune, Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager, the Update Compliance add-in for Microsoft Operations Management Suite, or a third-party SIEM product (by consuming Windows event logs) to monitor protection status and create reports about endpoint protection.