Although Microsoft provides Windows Defender as an integrated part of Windows 10 they do not mandate that as your only option.

Once you install your favorite third party anti-virus/malware solution Windows Defender gets out of the way and is turned off so it does not cause any conflicts with your scanning/protection software of choice.

In the recently released Windows 10 Anniversary Update there is a new option for those of you using third party security software that allows you to take advantage of the years worth of research Microsoft has invested into protecting systems from viruses and malware.

Limited Periodic Scanning is an opt-in setting in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update that implements this new feature. To access this setting just open the Windows Settings app and then go to Update & security>Windows Defender.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update Limited Periodic Scanning Option

If you are running Windows Defender as your virus and malware solution then this setting will not be available.

Click or tap the On/Off toggle below the explanation of Limited Periodic Scanning to turn this feature on.

You will then get a system alert down by the System Tray letting you know it is activated.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update Windows Defender Settings

If you click on that notice it will take you to an article from the Microsoft Malware Protection Center that explains Limited Periodic Scanning.

So where does the data behind this tool originate from?

Ever see Windows Update download a Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) to your system each month on Patch Tuesday?

Well the MSRT scans more than 500 million Windows devices each month for malicious software on those systems and ends up removing it from between 1 and 2 million systems each time even those systems are using software to protect against virus and malware infections.

Limited Periodic Scanning uses the same resources to perform periodic scans of your system as an extra layer of protection against harmful programs.

"When enabled, Windows 10 will use the Windows Defender scanning engine to periodically scan your PC for threats and remediate them.  These periodic scans will utilize Automatic Maintenance—to ensure the system chooses optimal times based on minimal impact to the user, PC performance, and energy efficiency—or customers can schedule these scans. Limited Periodic Scanning is intended to offer an additional line of defense to your existing antivirus program’s real-time protection."

You will be notified through the Windows 10 Action Center if a threat was found and be able to immediately deal with that infection on your system.

Since it is low impact on your system is there any reason to not activate this extra level of security?

Be sure to check out all of our Windows 10 Anniversary Update Coverage.

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