Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
A vault is a place where programs like Windows Defender put suspected malware rather than deleting them. Typically, it's managed right in the program.
Windows Defender found a threat (a Trojan Horse) and I sent it to the vault. This vault will have to be emptied eventually but there is nothing in the Defender to find the vault! Any idea where the vault in the defender might be?
Yes and no.
Nope, I don't know where on disk the files are stored. But ultimately that doesn't matter, since you can use Windows Defender itself to manage the contents of the vault.
The "vault" is what programs like Windows Defender call the location they place the files that they identify as being malicious or suspicious. Rather than deleting them outright, they move them to this safe, quarantined location so that should you need to recover them you can.
There is no single vault or vault-like location. Each program sets up and uses its own strategy for managing its own vault.
In the case of Windows Defender, you can use it to manage the vault yourself. Click on the Tools menu, then scroll down in the display window until you see the Quarantined Items option:
Click on that and you should get access to the "vault":
As you can see, I have nothing in my vault, so there's nothing for me to do. But you can also see the grayed out buttons at the bottom:
Remove All to empty the vault entirely.
Remove to remove only a selected item from the vault
Restore to remove a selected item from the vault, and replace it as an active component in your system.
As a side note, while researching this article I discovered that I had failed to follow my own advice: I did not have any anti-spyware software running since I began using my new machine. Naturally, I installed Windows Defender, and fortunately it came up clean right away.
Don't do what I did . Make sure that you have some kind of anti-spyware solution in place, that it's running regularly, and that its database is being updated regularly:
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