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    Windows Defender Exclusions - Add or Remove in Windows 10

    Windows Defender Exclusions - Add or Remove in Windows 10

    How to Add or Remove Exclusions for Windows Defender in Windows 10
    Published by
    2015-05-06
    Designer Media Ltd

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    Brink's Avatar
    Administrator

    Posts: 17,493

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    How to Add or Remove Exclusions for Windows Defender in Windows 10

    information   Information
    Windows Defender helps protect your PC against malware (malicious software) like viruses, spyware, and other potentially unwanted software. Malware can infect your PC without your knowledge: it might install itself from an email message, when you connect to the Internet, or when you install certain apps using a USB flash drive, CD, DVD, or other removable media. Some malware can also be programmed to run at unexpected times, not only when it's installed.

    Windows Defender is included with Windows and helps keep malware from infecting your PC in two ways:
    • Providing real-time protection. Windows Defender notifies you when malware tries to install itself or run on your PC. It also notifies you when apps try to change important settings.
    • Providing anytime scanning options. Windows Defender automatically scans your PC for installed malware on a regular basis, but you can also start a scan whenever you want. Windows Defender automatically removes (or temporarily quarantines) anything that's detected during a scan.

    If you like, you can add exclusions to Windows Defender for files, folders (file locations), file extensions (file types), and processes that you are confident are 100% safe and secure to reduce the scan time of Windows Defender.

    For example, a sandbox, ISO files, or virtual machines.


    This tutorial will show you how to add or remove exclusions to Windows Defender for all users in Windows 10.

    You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to add or remove exclusions for Windows Defender.

    Note   Note
    Files and folders exclusions are stored in the registry key below.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Exclusions\Paths

    File types exclusions are stored in the registry key below.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Exclusions\Extensions

    Processes exclusions are stored in the registry key below.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Exclusions\Processes

    warning   Warning
    Windows Defender won't scan excluded files, so this can make your PC more vulnerable to malware.


    CONTENTS:






    Windows Defender Exclusions - Add or Remove in Windows 10 OPTION ONE Windows Defender Exclusions - Add or Remove in Windows 10
    To Add an Exclusion to Windows Defender

    1. Open Settings, and click/tap on the Update & security icon.

    2. Click/tap on Windows Defender on the left side, and click/tap on the Add an exclusion link on the right side under Exclusions. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    3. Do step 4 (file), step 5 (folder), step 6 (file types), or step 7 (processes) below for what type of exclusion you want to add.


     4. To Exclude a File

    Note   Note
    This option is to add a specific file as an exclusion to no longer be scanned by Windows Defender.


    A) Click/tap on Exclude a file under Files and folders. (see screenshot below step 9)

    B) Navigate to and select a file you want to exclude, click/tap on Exclude this file, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version. 

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     5. To Exclude a Folder

    Note   Note
    This option is to add a folder as an exclusion to no longer have the folder and the files in the folder scanned by Windows Defender.


    A) Click/tap on Exclude a folder under Files and folders. (see screenshot below step 9)

    B) Navigate to and select a folder you want to exclude, click/tap on Exclude this folder, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version. 

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     6. To Exclude a File Extension

    Note   Note
    This option is to add a file extension as an exclusion to no longer have all files with that file type scanned by Windows Defender.


    A) Click/tap on Exclude a file extension under File types. (see screenshot below step 9)

    B) Enter a file extension you want to exclude, click/tap on OK, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version. 

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     7. To Exclude a Process

    Note   Note
    This option is to add a process as an exclusion to no longer have any file associated with it scanned by Windows Defender.


    A) Click/tap on Exclude a .exe, .com or .scr process under Processes. (see screenshot below step 9)

    B) Enter a new exclusion name of a .exe, .com, or .scr process you want to exclude, click/tap on OK, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    8. Repeat step 3 above if you would like to add another exclusion.

    9. When finished, you can close Settings if you like.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Windows Defender Exclusions - Add or Remove in Windows 10 OPTION TWO Windows Defender Exclusions - Add or Remove in Windows 10
    To Remove an Exclusion from Windows Defender

    1. Open Settings, and click/tap on the Update & security icon.

    2. Click/tap on Windows Defender on the left side, and click/tap on the Add an exclusion link on the right side under Exclusions. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    3. Click/tap on an added exclusion that you want to remove, and click/tap on Remove. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    4. Click/tap on OK to confirm. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    5. Repeat step 3 above if you would like to remove another exclusion.

    6. When finished, you can close Settings if you like.



    That's it,
    Shawn



  1. Joined : Oct 2014
    Arnold, MD
    Posts : 17,468
    Triple Boot 10 Pro & 10 Insider Pro & 8.1 Pro
       2015-05-07 #1

    @Brink - Shawn, this is a good one to know, and I would add one thing. The "Why would I want to do this?".

    Files and folders (including whole external drives or partitions, etc.) may be obvious, but excluding a process may not be.

    The process you chose for this tutorial (MBAM) is a perfect example. Malwarebytes scanner is a well used and trusted anti-malware product. I cut the run time of a full scan using MBAM w/Def exclusion by about 50%... 18 mins to 9 mins. Windows Defender did did not have to monitor a trusted process. This can be seen by running Task Manager and monitoring the MsMpEng.exe.

    It would be wise to point out, though, to not take this option too far! Only use it in cases where you are comfortable and know the risk level is extremely low. Example: DO NOT add Spartan.exe as an exclusion!

    Thanks for the Tut!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  2. Joined : Oct 2013
    Posts : 17,493
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 15014
       2015-05-07 #2

    @f14tomcat

    Good point Dick. I added a note to the tutorial for that.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  3. Joined : Aug 2015
    Posts : 14
    7
       2015-10-11 #3

    Would anyone know if path exclusion is recursive? Also is there a way to specify wildcards?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  4. Joined : Oct 2013
    Posts : 17,493
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 15014
       2015-10-11 #4

    Hello Biatche,

    If you exclude a "File location", then WD will exclude all files and subfolders on that location.

    I don't believe you can use wildcards, but if you add a "File type" exclusion, then all file types with that extension will be excluded.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  5. Joined : Sep 2015
    Posts : 23
    Windows 10
       2015-10-11 #5

    Hello Brink,

    I was wondering if you can help me please.

    I have selected certain file types / folders and locations in Windows Defender on Windows 10 that were added to the exclusions lists...

    Previously I could go to Windows Defender and see what files, folders or extensions I had excluded but now they have disappeared....

    All I see is the add buttons which work as intended when I want to add a folder etc etc....
    But then they are not listed anywhere so that I can remember what I have excluded or not....

    Can some one please help me so that they are visible again, is there a setting in the registry that needs to be fixed?

    This is what I should see where, below the red arrows I should see the excluded files/folders including their path etc etc [see image below]

    but I see nothing..

    Yet if i go to the registry as indicated below...

    File and file location exclusions are stored in the registry key below.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Exclusions\Paths

    File type exclusions are stored in the registry key below.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Exclusions\Extensions

    Processes exclusions are stored in the registry key below.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Exclusions\Processes

    they are all listed there....?

    I have to say that windows defender is excluding folders/files and etc etc, that I have selected during its scans, but I cant see the excluded items in the Windows Defender as per image of my Exclusions section below...



    Thanking you in advance for your support and assistance on this issue....

    Cheers
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  6. Joined : Oct 2013
    Posts : 17,493
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 15014
       2015-10-11 #6

    Hello Kokakola,

    The only way that I know of to add them back is to delete them in the registry, and manually add the exceptions back in Settings.

    I'd recommend to export the Exclusions key first to be able to use it as a reference to help add all of the exceptions back.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  7. Joined : Sep 2015
    Posts : 23
    Windows 10
       2015-10-11 #7

    Brink said: View Post
    Hello Kokakola,

    The only way that I know of to add them back is to delete them in the registry, and manually add the exceptions back in Settings.

    I'd recommend to export the Exclusions key first to be able to use it as a reference to help add all of the exceptions back.
    Hhello BRINK,

    I have already done that in the registry and re entered them again but they still refuse to show up in the section under exclusions... is it that the settings in the registry are set wrong?

    mine all have value not set? is this the issue...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  8. Joined : Oct 2013
    Posts : 17,493
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 15014
       2015-10-11 #8

    Just to verify, you re-entered them in Settings and not from the registry?

    Go ahead and restart the computer, and see if you are able to enter them in Settings and have them show.

    Please aslo post a screenshot showing what you see in Settings to see if it may reveal anything.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  9. Joined : Sep 2015
    Posts : 23
    Windows 10
       2015-10-11 #9

    Brink said: View Post
    Just to verify, you re-entered them in Settings and not from the registry?

    Go ahead and restart the computer, and see if you are able to enter them in Settings and have them show.

    Please aslo post a screenshot showing what you see in Settings to see if it may reveal anything.
    I have done as you advised but still no go...

    as you can see from the images attached i see the exclusions listed in the registry but they wont show up on windows defender...

    has it anything to do with the fact that the registry values are not set?
    as shown in the images attached...
    thanks in advance...
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	registry - Windows Defender - Exclusions List.jpg 
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ID:	42318Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Windows Defender Exclusions List.jpg 
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ID:	42319
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


 
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