ConfigureDefender is an open source tool for Microsoft's Windows operating system that helps system administrators configure Windows Defender.
Windows Defender is the built-in security tool of Microsoft's Windows 10 and 8.1 operating systems. It is enabled by default and runs automatically on Windows 10 systems.
While it is possible to configure Windows Defender through the Settings application, Group Policy, PowerShell, Windows Registry, and other management interfaces, doing so may require opening multiple interfaces or switching between different settings pages.
Microsoft added new features and capabilities to Windows Defender in Windows 10. The company launched features such as System Guard, Application Guard, Exploit Protection or Network Protection in recent versions of the operating system.
ConfigureDefender is a portable program that users can run right after download. Please note that 32-bit and 64-bit dedicated executable files exist and that you should run the one appropriate for the underlying operating system. In other words, run the 64-bit version on a 64-bit Windows 10 system and the 32-bit version of the program otherwise. The program requires elevation and will display an UAC prompt when you run it.
Administrators who have made configuration changes using Group Policy need to set the ones that they want to modify using ConfigureDefender to not configured to avoid conflicts. The author explains the logic behind the required on the GitHub page.
The interface lists major and minor Windows Defender settings in a long list when you run it. One issue here is that there is no option to resize the window so that you can't display more settings and options at the same time on the screen. Requires quite a bit of scrolling to go through the entire list of options; since there is no search, it may also take longer at first to locate certain settings.
The application divides settings into groups such as Basic Defender Settings, SmartScreen, or Exploit Guard.
Each group lists multiple items and the state of the item, e.g. Behavior Monitoring or PUA Protection and the status of the feature.
You can modify each option directly in the interface. Just click on the selection menu next to an item that you want to modify and select another status from the list of available options.
Most options can be enabled or disabled, some require numeric values, e.g. cloud check time limit or average CPU load while scanning, and a third group other values such as "block" or "warn".
ConfigureDefender lists four buttons at the top. You may use them to display Windows Defender information that is displayed in a PowerShell window, e.g. last scan time, or apply a protection preset:
Child Protection, Defender default settings, Defender high settings. Child Protection activates certain options to block suspicious activity and high settings configure enable certain settings that are not enabled by default or set to a lower level.
ConfigureDefender makes the changes mostly through the use of PowerShell cmdlets that it runs when configuration changes are made in the interface.
Tip: you can check Windows Defender's protective capabilities.
ConfigureDefender is a useful tool to manage Windows Defender settings on Windows 10 and 8.1 devices quickly. While it can't be used solely, as it does not support some settings such as the (removed) option to control Real Time Protection, it is definitely a handy tool to make quick changes to the configuration.
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