How to keep Windows Defender definitions up to date in Windows 10, 8.1

By: Radu Tyrsina
3 minute read
update definition windows defender

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Windows Defender is the built-in antivirus in your Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7 devices and it’s quite good, at least for me. The purpose of this article is to keep an easier to understand changelog of the latest updates that have been made available.

If you don’t feel like you want to install another antivirus program on your Windows 10, Windows 8.1 device, then you can rely on Windows Defender as it seems to be performing its job quite well.

windows defender update changelog

However, if you have decided to stick with it, then make sure you get the latest updates, as soon as possible. Of course, the easiest way to do that is to set to receive updates automatically, but if you’re curious to learn what they are about, you will want to set that to manually. And here, we are going to review the updates as often as we can an provide an easier to understand changelog.

Windows Defender on Windows 10

Microsoft completely revamped Windows Defender in Windows 10. The tech giant added a series of important new features and improvements that make Windows Defender one of the best antivirus solutions to use in 2018. As a matter of fact, AV-Test, a reliable third-party testing company, recently placed Windows Defender on the first position when it comes to blocking real-life cyber threats, including ransomware attacks.

Here are some of the most important changes that Windows Defender received on Windows 10:

Download the latest Windows Defender version on Windows 10

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2014 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy to reflect the latest changes in Windows 10. You can read the original report below.


Windows Defender on Windows 8.1

Before Windows 8, Windows Defender featured antispyware capabilities. It included a number of real-time security agents that monitored several common areas of Windows for changes which may be caused by spyware. It also included the ability to easily remove installed ActiveX software. Also integrated support for Microsoft SpyNet that allows users to report to Microsoft what they consider to be spyware, and what applications and device drivers they allow to be installed on their system. In Windows 8, functionality has increased to offer antivirus protection as well. Windows Defender in Windows 8 resembles Microsoft Security Essentials and uses the same virus definitions.


For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patended Technologies (requires upgrade).

So, as we can see from the above description, along with the release of Windows 8, the Windows Defender utility has been made much stronger and similar to how Microsoft Security Essentials works. You can configure the program for real-time protection options, Internet Explorer integration and, of course, to scan files on your system whenever you want. At the moment, Windows Defender only works in desktop mode, and it’s unlikely, at least for now, that it will be released for the modern, touch interface of Windows 8.1.

Download Windows Defender for Windows 8.1 [version 1.173.831.0]

download windows defender windows 8.1

This current version has been made available on 29 April, 2014 and you can go ahead and get it by updating Windows Defender or by using the Windows Update function. Or you can follow this link and get it manually. As for the update itself, it fixes a lot of severe security problems, most of them being trojans and backdoor viruses, as follows:

  • Trojan:BAT/CoinMiner.A
  • Exploit:Java/CVE-2013-1488.I
  • VirTool:Win32/Obfuscator.AES
  • Trojan:JS/Redirector.NS
  • TrojanDownloader:Win32/Upatre.O
  • Backdoor:Win32/Zegost.AF

So, go ahead and install the latest update in order not to fall prey to these security vulnerabilities.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2014. We updated it in August 2018 for freshness and accuracy.

For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patended Technologies (requires upgrade).

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