Configure Defender to check for signature updates before scanning

Here’s a tip from my colleague Ed Wilson (the Microsoft Scripting Guy) about how to use PowerShell to configure Defender to check for signature updates prior to running a scan on Windows 8.1:

Question: You found out that several of your client workstations do not check for signature updates prior to performing a scan on the Windows 8.1 clients. You want to fix this. How can you use Windows PowerShell to do this?

Answer: Use the Invoke-Command cmdlet to run the Set-MPPreference cmdlet on the remote workstations. This technique appears her:

Invoke-Command -script { Set-MpPreference -CheckForSignaturesBeforeRunningScan:$true} -ComputerName c1,c2,c3

           NOTE: you will need to run the above command with admin rights

Mitch Tulloch is a nine-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award and a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization.  For more information see

Ed Wilson is the bestselling author of eight books about Windows Scripting, including Windows PowerShell 3.0 Step by Step, and Windows PowerShell 3.0 First Steps. He writes a daily blog about Windows PowerShell call Hey, Scripting Guy! that is hosted on the Microsoft TechNet Script Center; for more PowerTips check out the Hey, Scripting Guy! blog.

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