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Restore files from Windows Defender quarantine

Reading Time: 1 min

Tags:  Windows

Have Windows Defender moved your safe, trusted files to the quarantine thinking that it is a virus? Here is how to get them back.

Newer versions of Windows Defender moves files it considers suspicious to the quarantine without user confirmation. In my case, it sent some macro files which I wrote many years ago to the quarantine. If you are convinced that the files in question are safe, you can restore them from the quarantine.

    1. Launch Windows Defender Security Center
    2. Virus & threat protection
    3.  Protection History
    4. In the Protection History section, click on the file
    5. Hopefully, you will see an action drop down list.
    6. Choose the restore option.
  • Windows Defender Restore

    Here is a full video of the restore process.

    Sometimes it doesn’t work

    Unfortunately, the restore option might be missing when you click on the file or the quarantined threat as Windows Defender puts it. When I was testing various Windows Defender settings using an EICAR test file, I came across this and many other similar quirks in the Defender GUI. The good news is that these issues always got resolved on their own, either after a lapse of time or after a Windows restart.  That at least has been my experience, hopefully, it will work for you as well.