How do you utilize Windows Defender Antivirus on Windows Server 2019 and 2016? Core

Windows Defender Antivirus is a free built-in antivirus programme from Microsoft that comes preinstalled on Windows Server 2016 and 2019. (Since Windows 10 2004 the name Microsoft Defender is used). We’ll look at the features of Windows Defender on Windows Server 2019/2016 in this article.

Enable Windows Defender GUI on Windows Server

The Windows Defender Antivirus engine is included into Windows Server 2016 and 2019 (including the Core edition). You may use PowerShell to see if Windows Defender Antivirus is installed:

Get-WindowsFeature | Where-Object {$_. name -like “*defender*”} |


Enable Windows Defender

By default, Windows Server 2016 does not have a Windows Defender Antivirus GUI. The Server Manager console (Add Roles and Features -> Features -> Windows Defender Features -> GUI for Windows Defender feature) can be used to instal the Windows Defender graphical interface on Windows Server 2016.

Windows Defender Antivirus GUI

You can also use PowerShell to enable the Windows Defender antivirus GUI:

Install-WindowsFeature -Name Windows-Defender-GUI


The following PowerShell command is used to uninstall the Defender GUI:

Uninstall-WindowsFeature -Name Windows-Defender-GUI

The Defender GUI in Windows Server 2019 is based on the APPX programme and may be accessed via the Windows Security app (Settings -> Update and Security).

The “Virus and threat protection” menu is where Windows Defender is set up.

GUI in Windows Server 2019

If you can’t reach the Defender settings menu and the error “You’ll need a new app to open this windowsdefender”, appears when you launch the Windows Security applet, you’ll need to re-register the APPX programme using the manifest file using the following PowerShell command:

Add-AppxPackage -Register -DisableDevelopmentMode “C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.SecHealthUI_cw5n1h2txyewy\AppXManifest.xml”

You can manually restore the UWP (APPX) programme if it has been totally uninstalled, similar to how you would restore a Microsoft Store application.

UWP (APPX) programme

Windows Defender may be uninstalled in Windows Server 2019/2016 using Server Manager or the PowerShell command:

Uninstall-WindowsFeature -Name Windows-Defender

If the server has no other antivirus, do not uninstall Windows Defender.

The command to install Windows Defender services is:

Add-WindowsFeature Windows-Defender-Features,Windows-Defender-GUI


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