Minimum requirements for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint


Welcome to Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, the new name for Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection. Read more about this and other updates here. We'll be updating names in products and in the docs in the near future.

Applies to:

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.

Want to experience Microsoft Defender for Endpoint? Sign up for a free trial.


Licensing requirements

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint requires one of the following Microsoft Volume Licensing offers:

  • Windows 10 Enterprise E5
  • Windows 10 Education A5
  • Microsoft 365 E5 (M365 E5) which includes Windows 10 Enterprise E5
  • Microsoft 365 E5 Security
  • Microsoft 365 A5 (M365 A5)


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). When purchased via a CSP, it does not require Microsoft Volume Licensing offers listed.

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, on Windows Server, requires one of the following licensing options:


Customers with a combined minimum of 50 licenses for one or more of the following may acquire Server SLs for Microsoft Defender Defender for Endpoint for Servers (one per covered Server OSE): Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, Windows E5/A5, Microsoft 365 E5/A5 and Microsoft 365 E5 Security User SLs. This license applies to Defender for Endpoint for Linux.

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

For more information on the array of features in Windows 10 editions, see Compare Windows 10 editions.

For a detailed comparison table of Windows 10 commercial edition comparison, see the comparison PDF.

Browser requirements

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

  • Microsoft Edge
  • Internet Explorer version 11
  • 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
  • Windows 7 SP1 Pro
  • Windows 8.1 Enterprise
  • Windows 8.1 Pro
  • Windows 10 Enterprise
  • Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC
  • 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

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.


Machines running mobile versions of Windows are not supported.

Virtual Machines running Windows 10 Enterprise 2016 LTSB (which is based on Windows 10, version 1607) may encounter performance issues if run on non-Microsoft virtualization platforms.

For virtual environments, we recommend using Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2019 (which is based on Windows 10, version 1809) or later.

Other supported operating systems

  • Android
  • Linux
  • macOS


You'll need to know the exact Linux distributions and versions of Android and macOS that 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 10 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 is not set to AUTO_START.

Use the command line to set the Windows 10 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 utilize 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 are not 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.

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 is not 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 are onboarding servers and Microsoft Defender Antivirus is not the active antimalware on your servers, you shouldn't uninstall Microsoft Defender Antivirus. You'll need to configure it to run on passive mode. For more information, see Onboard servers.


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.

For more information, see Microsoft Defender Antivirus compatibility.

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 Configuration Manager (current branch), you'll need to ensure that the Microsoft Defender Antivirus ELAM driver is enabled. For more information, see Ensure that Microsoft Defender Antivirus is not disabled by policy.