How To: Use Windows Defender Ransomware Prevention

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Windows Defender has gained more and more ground in recent years. However, there is a bug in the antivirus software that comes with Windows 10. An important security feature of Windows Defender is disabled by default: Protection against Ransomware. This is surprising because Ransomware is a serious threat that blocks your device and prevents you from accessing your data until you pay your attacker. This is all the more surprising considering that Ransomware Protection was added in October 2017 in the October 2017 update of Windows 10.

The integrated options of Windows 10 provide additional protection for your PC. Fortunately, Windows Defender not only includes protection against malware, but users can also extend or limit coverage according to their needs.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts files and folders and prevents access to important files. Ransomware attempts to extort money from victims by asking them for money, mainly in the form of encrypted currencies, in exchange for the decryption key. But cybercriminals will not always unlock the files they have encrypted.

The trend towards increasingly sophisticated malware behavior, highlighted by the use of exploits and other attack vectors, makes older platforms particularly vulnerable to software ransom attacks.

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To enable Ransomware protection in Windows Defender

  1. Open the Windows security dashboard by double-clicking the Defender icon in the taskbar (or use the application settings and select Update and Security > Windows Security).
  2. Click on Virus and Threat Protection.
  3. Scroll down to Ransomware Protection.
  4. Click Manage Ransomware protection (click OK in the UAC popup when it appears).
  5. On the next page, you will find a switch to control access to folders. Enable this option. That’s it, that’s it. That’s it, that’s it.

Most antivirus programs use behavioral checks to prevent zero-day attacks (new or unidentified malware). In other words, they monitor services, applications and everything that works in the background to detect suspicious activities. For example, if an otherwise harmless file attempts to access your document folder to execute a script that encrypts the files it contains, Windows Defender stops the malware to protect your data. It is a kind of intrusion prevention or anti-exploitation method.

By default, Ransomware protection only covers certain folders. To view the backed up folders, click the Protected folders option. These are only user folders such as Documents, Photos, Videos, Music, Desktop, Default Favorites.

How to add a program to Windows 10 Defender Ransomware Protection?

Step 1: You must also open access to the folder controlled by Windows Defender using the above method.

Step 2: Then click Allow access to an application via a controlled folder to continue.

Step 3: Then you can add the desired applications to the list. You must repeat this procedure for each program you want to access.

Although Ransomware protection can provide protection against malware, you should get used to backing up your files regularly. If the files are encrypted using malware, you can also restore them from the backup images.


Windows Defender has a new security feature in almost all versions of Windows 10. To name a few: Windows Defender offline analyzer, limited periodic analysis, block at first sight protection and automatic sample submission, adware or PUA/PUP protection and application protection.

And now, the controlled access to folders introduced in the case of Creators Update is another valuable feature to protect the system against threats such as Ransomware.

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