Prepare to install Windows Defender Application Guard

Applies to:

Review system requirements

See System requirements for Windows Defender Application Guard to review the hardware and software installation requirements for Windows Defender Application Guard.


Windows Defender Application Guard is not supported on VMs and VDI environment. For testing and automation on non-production machines, you may enable WDAG on a VM by enabling Hyper-V nested virtualization on the host.

Prepare for Windows Defender Application Guard

Before you can install and use Windows Defender Application Guard, you must determine which way you intend to use it in your enterprise. You can use Application Guard in either Standalone or Enterprise-managed mode.

Standalone mode

Applies to:

  • Windows 10 Enterprise edition, version 1709 or higher
  • Windows 10 Pro edition, version 1803

Employees can use hardware-isolated browsing sessions without any administrator or management policy configuration. In this mode, you must install Application Guard and then the employee must manually start Microsoft Edge in Application Guard while browsing untrusted sites. For an example of how this works, see the Application Guard in standalone mode testing scenario.

Enterprise-managed mode

Applies to:

  • Windows 10 Enterprise edition, version 1709 or higher

You and your security department can define your corporate boundaries by explicitly adding trusted domains and by customizing the Application Guard experience to meet and enforce your needs on employee devices. Enterprise-managed mode also automatically redirects any browser requests to add non-enterprise domain(s) in the container.

The following diagram shows the flow between the host PC and the isolated container. Flowchart for movement between Microsoft Edge and Application Guard

Install Application Guard

Application Guard functionality is turned off by default. However, you can quickly install it on your employee’s devices through the Control Panel, PowerShell, or your mobile device management (MDM) solution.

To install by using the Control Panel

  1. Open the Control Panel, click Programs, and then click Turn Windows features on or off.

    Windows Features, turning on Windows Defender Application Guard

  2. Select the check box next to Windows Defender Application Guard and then click OK.

    Application Guard and its underlying dependencies are all installed.

To install by using PowerShell


Ensure your devices have met all system requirements prior to this step. PowerShell will install the feature without checking system requirements. If your devices don't meet the system requirements, Application Guard may not work. This step is recommended for enterprise managed scenarios only.

  1. Click the Search or Cortana icon in the Windows 10 taskbar and type PowerShell.

  2. Right-click Windows PowerShell, and then click Run as administrator.

    Windows PowerShell opens with administrator credentials.

  3. Type the following command:

    Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -online -FeatureName Windows-Defender-ApplicationGuard
  4. Restart the device.

    Application Guard and its underlying dependencies are all installed.