Can’t Clear Protection History in Windows 11/10 Defender

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

Windows Defender is like a guardian for your computer, keeping it safe from harmful stuff when you’re using Windows 11 or Windows 10. It keeps a log of everything it scans and the actions it takes, which is super helpful for keeping tabs on what’s happening with your computer’s security. But, sometimes you might run into trouble when you try to clean up this log; maybe the option is not clickable or it just doesn’t do anything. Don’t worry, I’ll show you how to get this sorted and clear out Windows Defender’s protection history like a pro.

Also see: How to clear timeline activity history in Windows 10 or 11

Can't Clear Protection History in Windows Defender

Clearing Windows Defender protection history via File Explorer

To clear Windows Defender’s protection history, you need to dive into a special folder on your computer. Here’s the step-by-step:

Step 1: Enabling show hidden files and folders in File Explorer

Some files and folders are hidden to keep them safe from accidental changes. To see the Windows Defender history files, you need to make these hidden files visible. Here’s how:

  1. Open File Explorer by pressing the Windows key + E or clicking the File Explorer icon on your taskbar.
  2. Click on the “View” tab at the top of the File Explorer window, right next to the “File” tab.
  3. In the “Show” section, look for a checkbox labeled “Hidden items” and click it. This makes the hidden files and folders show up.Show or hide hidden items Windows 11

Learn more: How to unhide a file or folder in Windows 11

Step 2: Deleting Protection History files from the “Service” directory

Now that you can see hidden files, deleting the protection history is easy. Follow these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer if it’s not already open.
  2. Go to this folder by copying and pasting it into File Explorer’s address bar or by browsing through the folders:
    C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Scans\History\Service
  3. In the “Service” folder, there are files related to Windows Defender’s protection history. Select all these files. A quick way to do this is by pressing Ctrl + A.
  4. Right-click on the selected files and choose “Delete” from the menu that pops up.Can't Clear Protection History in Windows 11 10
  5. If a confirmation message shows up, click “Yes” to go ahead with the deletion.
  6. After deleting the files, close File Explorer.

And just like that, you’ve cleaned up Windows Defender’s protection history manually. If this method doesn’t work for you, there’s another way using Event Viewer.

Related resource: How to reinstall Windows Defender in Windows 11

Clearing Windows Defender protection history through Event Viewer

If the File Explorer method is a no-go or you just prefer another way, Event Viewer is here to help. Here’s what to do:

  1. Open the Run dialog by pressing the Windows key + R.
  2. Type “eventvwr.msc” and click “OK” to open Event Viewer.Open Event Viewer via Run
  3. Expand the “Applications and Services Logs” folder.
  4. Click to expand the “Microsoft” folder.
  5. Find the “Windows” folder under “Microsoft” and click it.
  6. Look for the “Windows Defender” folder and double-click it.Windows Defender history in Event Viewer Windows 11
  7. In the right pane, you’ll see “Operational”. Double-click it to see Windows Defender’s logs.Windows Defender Operational Logs
  8. Right-click on “Operational” in the left pane and choose “Clear Log…” from the menu.Clearing Windows Defender protection history
  9. A box will pop up asking if you’re sure you want to clear the log. Click “Clear” to confirm.

This will clean up all the protection history logs from Windows Defender, giving you a fresh start. Next time you check Windows Defender, the history will be all clear.

Linked issue: Windows Defender Security Center service missing Windows 11/10

Final thoughts

There are many reasons you might want to clear Windows Defender’s protection history, whether it’s for privacy, tidying up, or making sure old alerts don’t scare you for no reason. If the usual way doesn’t work, the methods we talked about using File Explorer and Event Viewer are great backups. Just be careful and make sure you’re keeping your computer safe.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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