Need to open a file but cannot due to Windows Defender categorizing it as False Positive? Well, you are at the right place to know how to exactly have Windows Defender stop from giving certain files / folders as False Positives.

What is Windows Defender Antivirus? 

On Windows 10, Windows Defender Antivirus is the default in-built anti-malware engine to help you protect your device from the threat of viruses, roolktis, ransomware and other malicious security threats.

Although Windows Defender works pretty good for a built-in anti-malware engine, it does have it's flaws. Sometimes, the files you deem as trustworthy but come from unofficial sources can lead to them being flagged as malware by Windows Defender.

Why add Exclusions to Windows Defender?

To understand the exact reason why Windows Defender deems things as malware is to realize that malware is simple files that can have unrestricted access to your device and it's data and come from suspicious / unofficial sources. Hence, sometimes the files that you deem as trustworthy can be flagged as malware on Windows Defender.

To prevent this form happening, we can exclude certain folders / files / file types from Windows Defender's protection / scan. You can follow the guide given below to add these exclusions to Windows Defender, step-by-step.

How to prevent Windows Defender from scanning certain files and folders?

If you have certain files, folders, file types or processes that are trustworthy but raise flags, you can exclude them from Windows Defender's protection using the steps given below ~

1. First of all, open Windows Defender Security Center.

2. From the left-hand side pane, click on the ‘Virus & threat protection’ tab.

3. Now click on the ‘Manage settings’ under ‘Virus & threat protection settings’.

4. Now scroll down to the ‘Exclusions’ section. There click on the ‘Add or remove exclusions’.

5. Here you need to click on the ‘Add an exclusion’ option. It will show you four different options –

  • File: Pick File if you want to exclude a specific file.
  • Folder: Use this option if you want to exclude an entire folder.
  • File Type: If you want to exclude file extensions like .pdf, .mp3, .exe, etc., then pick this one.
  • Process: Select this one if you want to add background tasks and processes.


6. Continue with the on-screen directions to add the new exclusion depending on your selection. For example, we have chosen to exclude a folder. Just locate the folder which you want to add to the exclusion list.

7. Once done, the folder will be added to the exclusion list.

8. Similarly, you can exclude file, file type, & process as well.

9. If for any reason, you want to remove a file or folder from the exclusion list, then click on the entry and click on ‘Remove’.

Conclusion ~

Once done, you can rest easy that Windows Defender won't continue removing files which you know are good. Hence, you can go compile your own software and files without Windows Defender deleting them instantaneously :P

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