You may find your downloaded files or folders are deleted by Windows Defender. This is because the files or folders are detected as malware by Windows Defender. How to recover them and how to avoid the same situation? MiniTool will show you the answers in the following content.

As a built-in anti-malware program, the Windows Defender is widely used around the world. In most cases, it plays a great role in quarantining harmful files that it has found on the user’s computer. But with the widespread of this tool, a variety of problems begin to show up. One of them, Windows Defender deleted my files, draws the attention of many people.

A real case:

Hey, everyone! I use some programs with .exe extension, windows defender reads those as a virus and it deletes them while I still want them! How to stop windows defender from deleting a program that I want to keep it?– hichamcheaib said on Microsoft Community

Part 1 – Solutions: Recover Data Removed by Windows Defender

Can You Recover Files Deleted from Windows Defender

Here comes the question: how to recover files deleted by Windows Defender? The answer is definitely yes, but the more annoying question is how to recover data deleted by Windows Defender. In order to help you work this out, I will introduce a wonderful hard disk drive recovery tool named MiniTool Power Data Recovery, a fabulous free data recovery software for all Windows systems.

With this powerful recovery tool, you can recover deleted/lost files from external hard drive, USB flash drive, CD/DVD, etc. Whether your files get lost due to mistaken deletion, OS crash, virus attack, or other reasons, MiniTool Power Data Recovery can help you restore these files. You can use it to recover many types of files like photos, videos, audio, documents, archives, and so on. More importantly, this tool owns good compatibility and high security, so you don’t need to worry about compatibility conflict and unnecessary data damage.

You can follow the next steps to restore files removed by Windows Defender.

Step 1: Download and install MiniTool Power Data Recovery by clicking the download button.

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Step 2: Select a partition to scan. If you don’t know where the lost files were previously located, you can switch to the Devices tab and choose to scan the whole drive. On the contrary, if you know the specific location of your lost files, you can narrow down the scan range by choosing to scan the Desktop, Recycle Bin, or the selected folder.


Occasionally, you may fail to find wanted files in a singular partition. Therefore, you’re highly advised to scan the whole drive to see what happened.

select a partition

Step 3: Wait for a few minutes until the scan process completes. The scan time is decided by the data size and drive size. For the best recovery result, please wait patiently.

Then, you can browse the result page to find your wanted files. You may find numerous files on this page, which will bring you trouble in finding the aimed one. We suggest you make use of the Filter, Type, and Search features. These functions can increase the efficiency of finding files. Additionally, you can choose the Preview function before saving files to confirm the correction of the chosen files.

use the multiple functions

Step 4: Check your wanted files and click the Save button.

Step 5: Select an appropriate path to save the files and click OK.

save the chosen files

MiniTool Power Data Recovery free edition only supports up to 1GB of file recovery. You can find unlimited recovery capacity with advanced editions on this site. If you are a personal user, the Personal Ultimate edition should be the best choice.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

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How to Restore Quarantined Files with Windows Defender

I will take Windows 10 as an example to show you how to restore quarantined files with Windows Defender. The operations in other Windows systems are basically the same. Windows Defender deleted files may be because these files are harmful to the system. Thus, please think twice before you restore the quarantined files and make sure the files are safe.

Step 1: Press Win + I to open the Settings window.

Step 2: Choose Update & Security and turn to Windows Security.

Step 3: Click Virus & threat protection.

Step 4: Select Protection history under the Current threats in the popup window.

select Protection history

Step 5: Change Filters into Quarantined Items in the All recent items tab.

Step 6: Select the wanted quarantined files and click Restore.

Part 2 – Prevent Windows Defender from Deleting Useful Files

Windows Defender is an antivirus program designed by Microsoft Windows to protect your computer against malicious codes, such as viruses, spyware, and rootkits. But Windows Defender deleted files issues may occur from time to time. To prevent this situation, you can try the following solutions.

Solution 1: Add Exceptions to Windows Defender

If you trust some files, folders, or processes but Windows Defender considers them as malicious content, you can add these files to the exception list of Windows Defender to avoid them being removed automatically.

Step 1: Press Win + I to open the Settings window.

Step 2: Navigate to Update & Security > Windows Security > Virus & threat protection.

Step 3: Select Manage settings under the Virus & threat protection settings section in the popup window.

Step 4: Find Exclusions and click Add or remove exclusions.

add exclusions

Step 5: Click Add an exclusion and select File, Folder, File type, and Process from the list. Then, finish the next steps according to the following instructions.

Solution 2: Disable/Turn off Windows Defender

Another way to effectively stop Windows Defender from deleting a file mistakenly is disabling or turning off the Windows Defender permanently. But Windows Defender works well in protecting your computer from a virus attack. You need to think twice before disabling it.

Here are three approaches for you to turn off Windows Defender.

Approach 1: Disable Windows Defender with Windows Security

Step 1: Press Win + S and type Windows Security in the search box.

Step 2: Click Enter to open the Windows Security window.

Step 3: Select Manage settings under the Virus & threat protection settings section.

Step 4: Turn off the Real-time protection choice and select Yes in the popup window.

turn off the Real-time protection

But turning off the Real-time protection doesn’t disable Windows Defender permanently. It only prevents downloaded and installed files from being scanned in this scan schedule. You can turn off the Tamper Protection to completely disable Windows Defender.

Approach 2: Disable Windows Defender with Local Group Policy Editor

You are allowed to use the Local Group Policy Editor to permanently disable Windows Defender from your Windows 10 Pro or any other enterprise variant.

Step 1: Press Win + R on the keyboard to open the Run window.

Step 2: Type gpedit.msc into the text box and hit Enter to open the Local Group Policy Editor.

Step 3: Navigate to Local Computer Policy > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Microsoft Defender Antivirus.

find Microsoft Defender Antivirus

Step 4: Double-click on this folder and find Turn off Microsoft Defender Antivirus.

Step 5: Double-click on this policy setting to open it.

Step 6: Select Enable and click on the Apply button.

enable the Turn off Microsoft Defender Antivirus

Step 7: Click OK and close Local Group Policy Editor. Then, restart your computer.

Approach 3: Disable Windows Defender with Registry Editor

You can also turn to the Registry Editor to disable Windows Defender permanently. Please be careful when you make changes to registry keys because incorrect changes may cause serious damage to your computer.

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Step 1: Press Win + R to open the Run window.

Step 2: Type regedit and hit Enter to open Registry Editor.

Step 3: Find the folder according to this path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Policies > Microsoft > Windows Defender.

Step 4: Double-click the DisableAntiSpyware key.

select DisableAntiSpyware key

Step 5: Change the Value data from 0 to 1 and click OK.

Then, you can restart the computer to apply this change.


If you can’t find the DisableAntiSpyware key when opening the Windows Defender folder, you can right-click on the blank space on the right panel. Then, select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value and rename it as DisableAntiSpyware. After this, you can change the Value data to 1 and click OK to confirm the change.

Part 3 – Conclusion

Windows Defender is a very useful antivirus program in most cases. However, it could make mistakes sometimes – regarding important files as threats and deleting them. Hope you can restore your important data with MiniTool Power Data Recovery and solve Windows Defender deleted files issue with the methods in this post.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

If you have puzzles in using MiniTool Power Data Recovery, please let us know via [email protected].

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