How to get old Windows Defender app back after Windows 10 Creators Update

If windows 10 creators update is installed in your PC, you must have noticed many changes in the looks and features of the Windows. Microsoft is continuing to upgrade the looks of all its apps to the new Fluent Design System and in that process hiding the components which is yet to wear the Fluent Design UI. Some of such hidden apps can be easily found by a simple search and some are not searchable. You need to know the exact location of the executable or the appropriate commands to launch the later kind of apps. One such app is Windows Defender. Microsoft have hidden the old Windows Defender app and replaced it with a superior app.

Windows Defender Logo

Windows Defender is improving

Windows Defender is gradually becoming a potent option to secure a Windows system from malicious attack, and unlike in Windows 7, Windows Defender comes preinstalled and activated in Windows 10. This is good for novice users, who do not understand the importance and consequence of a malware infection. However, the informed users may want to use more comprehensive security products replacing the default Windows Defender.

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What happened to the old Windows Defender app

Earlier Windows Defender was a separate app, while some of its settings and status were available under the “Security and Maintenance” section of the Control Panel. In windows 10 creators update, all the features of Windows Defender and “Security and Maintenance” section has been integrated to the new Windows Defender Security Center. While some of the settings of Windows Defender & Firewall are still available under the “Control Panel”, ALL the features of the erstwhile Windows Defender app is integrated under “Virus & Threat Protection” section of Windows Defender Security Center and this makes the old Windows Defender app redundant.

Windows Defender Security Center

How to get the old Windows Defender app back

However if you are not happy with the Windows Defender Security Center and want to get back the old Windows Defender app, there is a good news. Microsoft has not completely abandoned that app and just kept it hidden.
You need to browse to the “Windows Defender” folder under “Program Files” folder in the System Drive and execute the file MSASCui.exe and BINGO the old Windows Defender app will open.
Alternatively, you may open “RUN” (by pressing Win + R) and paste the address %systemdrive%/program files/windows defender/MSASCui.exe and press “Enter”.

Old Windows Defender

If you need to open the Windows Defender app frequently and do not want to browse to that “program files” folder always, you can create a shortcut of MSASCui.exe by right clicking on the file and choosing Create Shortcut from that menu. The shortcut which will be created in the “Desktop”. You can always copy the shortcut to any convenient location and rename it to “Windows Defender” or something of your choice. You can even pin that to “Start” or “Taskbar”.


I personally liked the old Windows Defender app but would like to applaud Microsoft’s intention to integrate all the features of a component under one section and build all components of Windows 10 with Fluent Design UI. I would also recommend you to get used to the new Windows Defender Security Center, because there is no assurance that Microsoft will continue to keep the old Windows Defender app in the upcoming versions of Windows 10.

One thought on “How to get old Windows Defender app back after Windows 10 Creators Update

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