Windows 10: Defender skips elements during scan

[German]There may be a problem with Windows Defender. In Windows 10, users who scan the system with Windows Defender receive a message that items were skipped due to exclusions or network protection settings. Addendum: Microsoft has issued a fix.


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An anonymous user has sent me a note as a comment. Apparently the problem has been noticed in several places. There is this Microsoft Answers forum post from March 10, 2020, where the problem is described.

Windows Defender, “Items Skipped During Scan”

I keep getting this notification after quick scans, “Windows Defender skipped an item due to exclusions or network protection settings.”

To make this clear: I don’t have ANY exclusions, and as far as I’m aware, I haven’t changed my network protection settings in the past.

What’s going on? Is this malware, or a bug with the new update? How do I fix this? I want to be reassured that I’m safe, this isn’t very reassuring.

This forum post now contains answers over 4 pages, and someone has posted the relevant message as a screenshot.

Defender: Items skipped during scan

Details of which item is skipped are missing. Within this forum thread a user asks how to determine what is skipped, but still no answer. On reddit.com there is this post, where many users have also noticed this behaviour. People also say that they have not set any exclusion criteria.

Problem exists since mid March 2020

Within this Spanish language MS Answers forum post somebody states that the message first appeared after the installation of the March 11, 2020 update. He mentioned the Defender Platform 4.18.2003.5 there. On tenforums.com you can find this thread where the bug with the Defender Platform 4.18.2003.4-0 is reported. There the user states that he has not made any changes – not even to the network. Currently we have Defender Platform 4.18.2003.6, but still many users who claiming this issue.


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Currently it seems to me that a false alarm is triggered by a bug in Windows Defender. A solution has not been found yet. Any of you affected?

Addendum: There is a workaround to avoid the message. I’ve covered it within the article Windows 10: Fix for skipped Defender scans.

Addendum 1: Microsoft has released an update to fix that behavior, see Update KB4052623: Microsoft fixes Defender Scan Skip Bug.


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8 Responses to Windows 10: Defender skips elements during scan

  1. ninja notion says:

    Yes I am affected. I use SMB shares for most of my files and now I can’t scan material on them.

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  3. Jim Vance says:

    I have a 32Gb eMMC laptop stuck at Win10 Home 1809 (space limitations prevent 1903 or 1909 from installing) which has been showing this result for months. Of late when I run a full Windows Defender scan, it will crash the system at some point then reboot — if there is an error code presented, it’s been too fleeting for me to catch. I’ve ended up running offline scans on that machine, but if there’s a way to resolve the skipped-items problem I’d like very much to know what it is, as it might also resolve the crashing symptoms that laptop has.

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  5. Frank Malaney says:

    Win10 Pro ver 1909
    I ran the the ‘Quick Scan’ and got the message. Running the ‘Full Scan’, I did not get the message. It appears that if it does not scan all of the files, you will get the message. Perhaps a change in behavior but the message is correct– Items are skipped during the Quick Scan!

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  9. JohnIL says:

    Yes got the same notification after a quick scan. Just performed a clean install a couple days earlier of 1909 Home edition.

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