One of the mantra's during the development and release of Windows 10 has been the security features of the operating system.

From the very visual things like Windows Hello for facial and fingerprint recognition to the under the hood improvements that have made Windows 10 a hard target when it comes to security attacks.

Last week, when Microsoft released Windows 10 Build 14352 to Fast Ring Insiders, they unveiled another upcoming feature for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update that will help protect system even more.

However, its biggest weakness is that users must opt-in to put this feature to use.

The new option is called Limited Periodic Scanning, let's call it LPS for short, and it is intended to support Windows 10 users that choose to use third party anti-virus software on Windows 10. If you already use Windows Defender on these latest builds of Windows 10 then the option will not be available to you as Defender already performs this scan as part of its protection.

To activate LPS just head into Settings > Update & security > Windows Defender and toggle Limited Periodic Scanning to On.

Windows 10 Limited Periodic Scanning

Windows 10 LPS is tied directly to the advances Microsoft has made with their Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) that is updated each month on the security related Patch Tuesday.

According to Microsoft, that tool scans over 500 million Windows devices each month. Out of all those scans it detects and removes malware on between 1 and 2 million devices including those already running some form of third party anti-virus software. 

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.

Many users will unfortunately interpret this as a perceived intrusion on their choice of anti-virus software and an attempt by Microsoft to move them off of that personal choice of anti-virus software. However, as Microsoft has said all along, their goal is to make Windows 10 the most secure Windows operating system ever.

The other big plus with this new feature is that it will not interfere with your current anti-virus choice. For quite sometime the normal advice was to not use two different anti-malware/anti-virus scanning programs at the same time due to resource and detection conflicts.

This is a side benefit of the Windows 10 LPS option is that conflict becomes a thing of the past and provides a positive enhancement to protect your system from threats.

For myself and the systems in my household we have been using Windows Defender and its predecessor Microsoft Security Essentials dating all the way back to Windows 7. 

When you combine good computing habits and updated active threat detection you can have a very secure and protected system because in all of these years we are yet to have any kind of infection on our home network.

So my encouragement to all of you third party anti-virus users out there who are on Windows 10 or will upgrade with the Anniversary Update release this summer - opt in to Limited Periodic Scanning and give your Windows 10 system another layer of protection.

What are your thoughts on this upcoming feature for Windows 10? Will you opt-in and use it?

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