Restore Windows Defender Scheduled Scan Task After Deleting it Accidentally

Windows Defender’s built-in scheduled task named “Windows Defender Scheduled Scan” is run by Automatic Maintenance when the system is idle. If you’ve deleted this task by mistake, this post tells you how to get it back in Windows 10. Use any one of the following methods.

Restoring Windows Defender Scheduled Scan from XML file

  1. Download Windows Defender Scheduled Scan.zip.
  2. Unzip the archive and extract the XML file to a folder:
  3. Open the XML file using Notepad.
  4. Change the path to MpCmdRun.exe in the XML file accordingly. The folder name/version will vary on your computer depending upon the current Windows Defender platform installed.
    <Command>C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows Defender\platform\4.18.2104.14-0\MpCmdRun.exe</Command>
  5. Save the XML file.
  6. Open Task Scheduler and go to this folder:
    Task Scheduler Library → Microsoft → Windows → Windows Defender
  7. Click Import Task…
  8. Browse and select the Windows Defender Scheduled Scan.xml file saved on your Desktop.
  9. Click OK when the Create Task dialog appears.

This restores the Windows Defender Scheduled Scan Task to Task Scheduler.



(Last updated on May 30, 2021 – Windows 10 v21H1 is the current build as of this post revision.)


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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded Winhelponline.com in 2005.

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