Windows Defender Update and Scan using PowerShell

Throughout this post I have written the text that you need to type in bold and Purple.

If you receive an error whilst running PowerShell explaining that you cannot execute the command due to restrictions, type “Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted” and then press “Y” or “A” in answer to the question. This command removes qny restrictions that will have been set.

I received a frantic telephone call from a friend during the weekend. They were calling for help because their Windows Defender could not be updated using had been turned off, and when they managed to turn it back-on they could not update the signatures, nor could they scan their computer.

Alright, they are not the first person that this has happened to, and I doubt that they will be the last either.

A few years back I helped someone else who had a similar issue, and used PowerShell to resolve the issue.

Firstly you need to launch PowerShell

  • · Click on Search (Win 7), “Win+C” (Win 8x) or Cortana (Win 10) and type “PowerShell
  • · Now right-click Windows PowerShell and select “Run as Administrator”


Alternatively in Win 8x & Win 10 press the “Win Key + R” and type (with quotations) “%userprofile%\appdata\roaming\microsoft\windows\start menu\programs\windows powershell”. Then right-click Windows PowerShell and select “Run as Administrator”

Now that you have opened Windows PowerShell, the fun begins

Firstly, we need to know when your Windows Defender signature was last updated

Type “get-mpcomputerstatus | select *updated, *version” – This command will give you information concerning the last time your virus signature was updated. You can repeat this command, by pressing the up-arrow until it is shown, once the virus signature has been updated (below) to confirm that the signature has been updated.


To update your virus signature type “Update-MpSignature


Once your signature has been updated you are now able to initiate an anti-virus scan using Windows Defender through the PowerShell command-line.

The command “Start-MpScan” also allows you to state what type of scan you wish to initiate, as well as the scan path; which can be the system hard drive (C:\), a folder or even a remote UNC path

  • · FullScan
  • · QuickScan
  • · CustomScan

Type “Start-MpScan –ScanType FullScan” .. or “Start-MpScan –ScanType QuickScan


That’s it folks, I can’t really make it any more complicated than that. It’s sweet and simple.

Just for information

A while back Microsoft launched “Windows Defender Offline”, which can be downloaded from Windows Defender Offline – Instructions & Download. This website also contains instructions upon how to use the package.

Installing fonts using PowerShell

Works in Win7, Win8.x & Win10

I have a folder containing 370+ fonts, in compressed files that I want to install.

The problem that I have is I dislike repeated mouse clicking during the extraction of the compressed file’s contents to another folder. Especially having to repeat this 370+ times.

The advantage is that I have WinRAR installed, so that I can manage compressed files, other than those covered by the inbuilt compression manager hosted by Windows Explorer & File Manager.


Launching the Command Prompt, in Administrator mode, fun the command

“C:\Program Files\WinRAR\winrar.exe” x C:\Users\test\Downloads\Font_Test\Zipped\*.zip C:\Users\test\Downloads\Font_Test\Font_Extract

This will unpack the files contained in “Font_Test\Zipped” to “Font_Test\Font_Extract”

Once the files have been extracted launch PowerShell, & run as administrator.

If you are running PowerShell on a personal system, and have not signed the script then you’ll need to set the execution policy “Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted”

Then run the following command

$fonts = (New-Object -ComObject Shell.Application).Namespace(0x14)
dir C:\Users\test\Downloads\Font_Test\Font_Extract\*.ttf | %{ $fonts.CopyHere($_.fullname) }


This will install the fonts into the C:\Windows\Fonts folder, with the only interaction needed is you approval to approve the replacement of any duplicated named files

Creating a Start Menu for Win 8.x – It’s FREE

Works in Win8.x & Win10

This is something I should have posted a while back, but, when I rebuilt a Win 8.1 machine after introducing someone to Win 10 I received the usual complaint “where is my start menu” – right go & figure !

Creating the start menu is easier than you think. It’s not fantastic, & it has the appearance of Windows 2000, or the classic XP start menu. But it’s better than nothing, & it’s FREE, that is unless you really want to follow the other lemmings, (it’s addictive), out there & download third-party software to build a start menu.


A trip down memory lane

Creating the start menu is something of a challenge.

Right click on the taskbar, and move the mouse to “toolbars”, then scroll across and left click on “new toolbar” (as shown below). This will open a windows explorer window.


Using Windows Explorer navigate to .. c:\users\[user_name]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu .. & left click on the “Programs” folder, then click on “Select Folder”


This will give you the start menu. However, you now need to add those folders & programs you want to include within the menu


Using Windows Explorer (Win_key + R) navigate back

“C:\Users\[user]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs”


Launch another Windows Explorer window, by using Win_key + R, or hold shift whilst left clicking on the Windows Explorer icon in the taskbar. Once this window is open navigate to “C:\Program Files” and select the folder that holds the program .exe file you want to include in the start menu.

I want to include Microsoft Office.

In the “C:\Users\[user]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs”.

Right click in an empty space in the Win Explorer window and


I’ve created a folder called “Microsoft Office 2013, now open the folder


Select the file that you want to copy & right clicking on the file (keeping the right mouse button pressed) drag the file to the “C:\Users\[user]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Microsoft Office 2013” folder.



Doing this you will be presented with a new sub menu, select “create shortcut” – remember it’s the shortcut to the program you need

Once the file has been copied you can rename the file by using “F2” or right click the file and select the “Rename” option.



Now repeat the process for creating folders, copying the shortcuts & renaming as you need.

Please remember, that although I have been copying from “C:\Programs” I have a 64bit (x64) version of Windows, which also includes “C:\Program Files (x86)” for those 32bit (x86) applications – especially if you are running programs like FireFox, Skype ect


Lemmings realise they are paying for something they could get for free !!