Server 2016 – How to display Defender GUI

With Windows Server 2016, Microsoft integrated the Microsoft Defender service into the operating system. This built-in antivirus is now running constantly but it does not have the Defender GUI installed by default. If you want to activate the graphical user interface on the server, this can be done using Windows Server Manager or Powershell cmdlet.

Windows Defender GUI

Windows Defender GUI

Let’s see how to activate or disable the Windows Defender Graphical interface:

Defender GUI using Server Manager

The Windows Defender Graphical interface is now a feature of Server Manager.  It can be enabled or disabled in the Features part, under the Windows Defender Features node, by checking or unchecking the box GUI for Windows Defender:

Server Manager Defender Feature

Server Manager Defender Feature


Or you can use the powershell cmdlet to enable or disable the graphical interface. It is also possible to use Powershell Desired State Configuration to deploy this policy on all servers.

  • To enable the Graphical Interface:
Install-WindowsFeature -Name Windows-Defender-GUI
  • To disable the Graphical Interface:
Uninstall-WindowsFeature -Name Windows-Defender-GUI


You can get more information about Windows Defender here.


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