Managed Microsoft Defender Antivirus (Beta) Overview

    This article will receive updates throughout the Beta processes. Please refer back to this doc for the latest information. If you have a question/suggestion that isn't answered in this article, feel free to contact support here: Contact Us Contact Us (or email us at

    The Managed Microsoft Defender Antivirus feature utilizes the Microsoft Defender Antivirus (Non-ATP Microsoft Defender) that is built into Windows 10 (and Server 2016+) and does not require additional licensing. Microsoft Defender is consistently ranked as a top product for protection, performance, and security by AV-Test.  Additionally, cybersecurity experts like Tavis Ormandy (Google Project Zero), Robert O'Callahan (Ex-Mozilla Engineer), Justin Schuh (Google Chrome Team, Former NSA/CIA), and a poll of 3,500+ individuals continue to highlight how the Non-ATP Defender produces solid results while introducing minimal additional attack surface, unlike many 3rd party antivirus products.
    For more information on Why Microsoft Defender Antivirus is worth another look, follow the link to view our blog. 

    Huntress will not charge extra for Managed Antivirus.

    Managed Microsoft Defender Antivirus Beta is still in its early development stages. By default, Huntress runs in "audit mode"-- we are not making any configuration changes to endpoints. Microsoft Defender status is simply surfaced to the Managed AV Dashboard within Huntress. However, if you are enabling Microsoft Defender for the first time, please keep in mind that you may need to create exclusions for certain business applications to function properly. If you have any issues, please open a ticket with Support here: Contact Us Contact Us

    Since this is beta, we are constantly fixing bugs. We are tracking bug reports but cannot respond to all of them. Please see the FAQ/Known issues Article to see if we can answer your question.

    Note: Manual Scans can sometimes fail due to a Microsoft bug with their Defender API. Our Team is in contact with the Microsoft Team to work out a solution for this issue. Follow the link for more details:

    In this article

    Support Operating Systems


    Supported Operating Systems


    Managed Defender will work with all versions Windows 8.1+, but will have limited functionality for non-pro versions (ie. Home, S, X),for these versions, Managed AV can run in audit mode and report on these systems, but cannot push policy updates to them.
    • Windows 8.1
      • Windows 8.1 Pro
      • Windows 8.1 Enterprise
      • Windows RT 8.1 (limited functionality)
      • Windows 8.1 (limited functionality) 
    • Windows 10
      • Windows 10 Pro
      • Windows 10 Pro Education
      • Windows 10 Pro for Workstations
      • Windows 10 Enterprise
      • Windows 10 Education
      • Windows 10 Home (limited functionality)


    Managed AV works with Windows Server 2016 and 2019, but will show empty under "registered antiviruses"

    Only Server 2016+ is supported. All versions prior to 2016 (2012r2, 2012, 2008 r2, 2008...) are not support by Managed AV. 
    • Windows Server 2016 (with the 'Windows Defender' feature installed)
      • Essentials, Standard, Datacenter
    • Windows Server 2019 (with the 'Windows Defender' feature installed)
      • Essentials, Standard, Datacenter

    Managed Microsoft Defender Antivirus only officially Supports Windows 8.1 Pro and up (and all versions of Windows 10 except Windows 10 Home)

    Supported Server OSes include Windows Server 2016 and Server 2019.

    (click to enlarge)

    FAQ/Known Issues

    Please see Managed Antivirus (Beta) - FAQ/Known issues for our FAQ/Changelog/known issues. 

    Have a request or a suggestion not Managed AV related?

    Visit our Feature Requests / Suggestions Page.

    If you need support, please contact Support here: Contact Us Contact Us (or email us at

    Updated April 12, 2021: Updated screenshots to reflect current UI.
    Updated Dec 3, 2020: Updated yellow callout at top of page
    Updated Nov. 30, 2020: Updated FAQ section

Did this answer your question? Thanks for the feedback There was a problem submitting your feedback. Please try again later.

Need help? Click here to Contact Us Click here to Contact Us