Microsoft's latest Windows 10 update, otherwise known as version 2004, has been causing some major issues with Windows Defender (via Windows Latest). The primary problem can be traced to the application randomly flagging programs that don't exist on the computer anymore.
The strange behavior happens when a shady program has already been removed but Windows Defender insists that it's still on your computer. The root of this issue is that Windows 10 now automatically determines whether or not something is a "potentially unwanted application" and takes its own measures to deal with it.
This somehow caused an inadvertent issue in which scanning your computer for malware and dangerous programs cause Windows Defender to flag previously dealt with applications.
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This issue has proven to be quite frustrating for users who want to actual threats on their computers. To have Windows Defender obsessed with programs and applications that no longer exist makes it more difficult to trust its ability to scan and identify possible threats.
How to temporarily fix Windows Defender
Users who have taken to Microsoft forums (opens in new tab) with this issue have also provided a solution to the problem. Here's how to stop your Windows Defender from constantly notifying you about programs and applications that have already been dealt with.
- Go to Windows Settings and search up "Virus & threat protection"
- Click "Manage settings" under "Virus & threat protection settings"
- Go down to "Exclusions," click "Add or remove exclusions," and select "Folder"
- Navigate to "C:>Program Data>Microsoft>Windows Defender>Scans>History."
- Once you've selected the "History" folder, click "Select folder."
If you don't immediately notice a change, try rebooting your computer and see if that fixes it. Otherwise, all we can do right now is hope that Microsoft finds a swift solution to this issue.