Windows Defender automatic definition updates in Windows 8?

Yes, as long as you have Windows Updates set to automatically install.

But if you don’t, what then?  Unless I have missed something I can find no built-in option to allow for Windows Defender definition updates and scheduling.

I personally prefer to review updates and install them when I choose.  I find it unfortunate Microsoft doesn’t allow for a higher level of user customization in regards to Windows updates.

So… what I have done in order to keep my Windows Defender up-to-date is create a task in Task Scheduler.  After you open Task Scheduler in Administrative Tools, or by searching for “Schedule Tasks”, you will see there is already a Windows Defender section.  Here is where you can add the update task.  Below are screen shots of my configuration you can use as a starting point.




If you are curious what else MpCmdRun.exe can do just type the following at a command prompt:
“C:\Program Files\Windows Defender\MpCmdRun.exe” /?


  1. Richard S said:

    Nice find. I wanted this functionality as well. Here’s the command line to add the task using schtasks.exe (must run cmd.exe as administrator):
    schtasks /create /tn “Definition Update” /sc weekly /d MON,TUE,WED,THU,FRI /st 04:00 /ru SYSTEM /RL HIGHEST /tr “‘C:\Program Files\Windows Defender\MpCmdRun.exe’ -SignatureUpdate -MMPC”

    /sc weekly /d MON,TUE,WED,THU,FRI
    /sc DAILY /MO 1
    if you want to run it every day instead of weekdays only.
    (Also note that if you copy/paste the help command in the article you have to replace the double quotes or the command line doesn’t understand the web-encoded quotes).

  2. ray f said:

    Nice, now I don’t have that big malware screen popping up telling me new updates are available. 🙂 Now I can enjoy my Windows 8 and choose my updates but still have Windows Defender updating.

  3. kevin said:

    just what I wanted! Thanks

  4. Chris said:

    Thank you. True gem. Guess we all have our OCD… mine was seeing that damn message that I had updates to apply. Thanks for the stress relief! 🙂

  5. Pyrotek85 said:

    Thanks for this, I don’t know why they’re stubborn and insist on tying Defender into Windows Update. I wouldn’t even mind leaving updates on automatically except for the fact that they’ve been know to screw things up, like where your system won’t boot for whatever reason.

  6. Egg Shen said:

    You are a legend!

  7. Martin said:

    My brother suggested I might like this website. He was entirely right.
    This post actually made my day. You cann’t imagine simply how so much time I had spent for this info! Thank you!

  8. Win7.5 said:

    exactly what I was after, thank you

  9. great post, thank you… in/on Windows Surface Pro the task does not show up.. just Office, Windows and Windows Live

  10. and if I had taken a moment I would have found Defender under Windows in Task Scheduler.. looking forward to not having to do the manual thing everyday..

  11. Replace double and single quotes, or it won’t work.
    Run task scheduler to verify and test the cmd you just created in the root of the scheduler.
    You might need to change the “Configure for” on the General tab.

  12. Radit said:


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