Windows Defender Status Manager Adds Defender System Tray Icon & Scan With Windows Defender To Context Menu

Unlike its predecessors, Windows 8 ships with an upgraded version of Windows Defender, which now includes many of the features available in Microsoft Security Essentials. In fact, Windows Defender in Windows 8 is Microsoft Security Essentials in disguise. It provides the same level protection as Security Essentials.

Windows Defender in Windows 8 helps protect your PC from viruses, spyware, and other malicious software in real-time.

Scan Files Using Windows Defender In Windows 8

While Windows Defender in Windows 8 is pretty good, it lacks some important features present in Security Essentials. First, it’s missing the system tray status icon that shows PC’s security status. Defender uses red, green, and yellow color codes to show the security status of your PC but you need to open up Windows Defender to view the security status.

Ability to scan a file right from the context menu is another missing feature. That is, unlike Security Essentials, Windows Defender in Windows 8 doesn’t show Scan with Windows Defender option when you right-click on a file.

According to Microsoft, Windows Defender runs in the background and notifies the user only if there are specific actions to take. While it’s possible to launch Defender and then browse to the file/folder that you would like to scan, (Custom scan)wouldn’t it be nice if we could scan files and folders by right-clicking on them?

About five months back, we showed you how to add the missing Scan with Windows Defender option to the context menu. Today, we are going to share an excellent piece of software for Windows 8 users who’re relaying on Windows Defender.

Windows Defender Status Manager is a free program that not only adds the missing Scan with Windows Defender option to the global context menu but also adds Defender status icon to the system tray. According to the developer, Defender Status Manager uses standard Windows Security APIs to monitor the security status.

Windows Defender System Tray Icon

The setup file of Windows Defender Status Manager comes in a zip file. Download the zip file from the developer’s page (link provided at the end of this article), extract it onto the desktop or any other folder, and then double-click on the installer file to begin installing the handy program.

Windows Defender in Windows 8 right click menu

Windows Defender in Windows 8 right clickJPG

Once the installation is done, you’ll see Windows Defender icon in the system tray and also Scan with Windows Defender option when you right-click on a file or folder. Just like Windows Defender, Defender Status Manager uses red, yellow, and green color codes to display security status of your PC. Right-click on the Defender tray icon to see Open Windows Defender option.

Download Windows Defender Status Manager



  1. Raphael says

    @ darren

    Unlikley that you’ll read it after nearly a year, but if you do: Thank you very much! I thought, that WDSM doesn’t work, because the red x showed up and I wasn’t able to turn it into a green one until I found your hint to disable and re-enable the real time protection. That worked! Thank you so much.
    After all, I think I have my “dream-windows-8” configured now – with all the look-and-feel of windows 7 and the advantages of windows 8.
    Thanks again, that was my last problem to solve!

  2. darren says

    EDIT!!! I decided to scan a known hack tool with the right click on windows defender and guess what, the cmd window stead open for a few seconds and i then got a message from my action center saying potentially harmful software detected, so it actually does work !!!!

  3. darren says

    you’re 100% right there ex Machina, it’s fine though for opening and monitoring WD, i do just use the free version of malware bytes to right click scan stuff i download, i’m nearly sure that WD now scans all newly created folders so i probably don’t even malware bytes!!

  4. ex Machina says

    That trick works, but not very well. You still cannot scan a folder, and when you scan a file, it just flashes a DOS box for a millisecond. There is no way any program can scan a 1.36G file (my test file in this instance) that quickly. It does NOT open Windows Defender and it does no scanning of any sort that I can see. The drive light doesn’t even go on. It DOES accurately report the current operating status of Windows Defender, once one uses Darren’s workaround. Disappointing overall. Did you guys even test this before you posted about it?

  5. darren says

    have solved it, just disable real time protection in defender in the settings tab, save changes, then re enable it, problem solved !!

  6. darren says

    i installed it and it has a red x saying defender is disabled, and ther’s no option to scan folders.. any ideas ????

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