Windows Defender Exploit Guard

Applies to:

  • Windows 10 Insider Preview

Some information relates to prereleased product which may be substantially modified before it's commercially released. Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information provided here.


  • Enterprise security administrators

Windows Defender Exploit Guard (Windows Defender EG) is a new set of host intrusion prevention capabilities for Windows 10, allowing you to manage and reduce the attack surface of apps used by your employees.

There are four features in Windows Defender EG:

  • Exploit Protection can apply exploit mitigation techniques to apps your organization uses, both individually and to all apps
  • Attack Surface Reduction rules can reduce the attack surface of your applications with intelligent rules that stop the vectors used by Office-, script- and mail-based malware
  • Network Protection extends the malware and social engineering protection offered by Windows Defender SmartScreen in Edge to cover network traffic and connectivity on your organization's devices
  • Controlled Folder Access helps protect files in key system folders from changes made by malicious and suspicious apps, including file-encrypting ransomware malware

You can evaluate each feature of Windows Defender EG with the guides at the following link, which provide pre-built PowerShell scripts and testing tools so you can see the features in action:

You can also enable audit mode for the features, which provides you with basic event logs that indicate how the feature would have responded if it had been fully enabled. This can be useful when evaluating the impact of Windows Defender EG and to help determine the impact of the features on your network's security.

Windows Defender EG can be managed and reported on in the Windows Defender Security Center as part of the Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection suite of threat mitigation, preventing, protection, and analysis technologies, which also includes:

You can use the Windows Defender ATP console to obtain detailed reporting into events and blocks as part of the usual alert investigation scenarios.

Each of the features in Windows Defender EG have slightly different requirements:

Feature Windows Defender Antivirus Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection license
Exploit Protection No requirement Required for reporting in the Windows Defender ATP console
Attack Surface Reduction Must be enabled Required for reporting in the Windows Defender ATP console
Network Protection Must be enabled Required for reporting in the Windows Defender ATP console
Controlled Folder Access Must be enabled Required for reporting in the Windows Defender ATP console

Each feature's requirements are further described in the individual topics in this library.

In this library

Topic Description
Protect devices from exploits with Windows Defender Exploit Guard Exploit Protection provides you with many of the features in now-retired Enhanced Mitigations Experience Toolkit - and adds additional configuration and technologies. These features can help prevent threats from using vulnerabilities to gain access to your network and devices. You can create a template of settings that can be exported and copied to multiple machines in your network at once.
Reduce attack surfaces with Windows Defender Exploit Guard Use pre-built rules to manage mitigations for key attack and infection vectors, such as Office-based malicious macro code and PowerShell, VBScript, and JavaScript scripts.
Protect your network with Windows Defender Exploit Guard Minimize the exposure of your devices from network and web-based infection vectors.
Protect important folders with Controlled Folder Access Prevent unknown or unauthorized apps (including ransomware encryption malware) from writing to sensitive folders, such as folders containing sensitive or business-critical data.