One of the benefits of Windows Vista is that it has built in spyware protection with the Windows Defender tool. Defender has frequent updates much like virus scanner products. Frequent updates are good, the annoying thing is that every time there is an update, Windows Update pops up in the task bar and asks you to install the latest update. Because I have Windows Updates set to not install automatically, this requires a few clicks every few days. I always wished there was a way to install the Defender updates automatically.
I finally figured out how to make this happen. It turns out that Defender is scheduled to automatically download updates at 2am every day and then scan your machine. This is great if you keep you machine on 24 hours a day. But I put my machine in hibernate every night to save electricity so the scheduled process rarely gets run. This means that the Defender updates don’t get downloaded automatically causing Windows Update to prompt me to install them.
To fix this just schedule the scan to occur at a time when you are more likely to be using the computer. My computer is usually on in the evening so I set Defender to scan daily at 9pm. This way the updates will get downloaded automatically when the computer is most likely to be on. And I haven’t noticed much of a slowdown of Vista when the scan is running.
Here are details steps on how to enable the automatic definition updates:
- Open the Windows Start Menu and type “defender”.
- Click Windows Defender.
- Click Tools.
- Click Options.
- Make sure these options are set:
- Close out all the dialogs and you should be all set.