University Systems help centre

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (MSDE) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1) How is Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (MSDE) different from Windows Defender?

Windows Defender is a collection of security capabilities including anti-virus and firewall that are included with Windows.  Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (MSDE) connects Windows Defender with Microsoft's advanced threat intelligence system, enabling significantly better capability, automated detection and response, and vulnerability management features. MSDE is managed by our Information Security Office and integrated into University Systems’ incident response processes.  Unlike Windows Defender, MSDE can also be installed with an agent on MacOS and Linux.  (To learn more about Endpoint Protection, view this video.)


2) Can I install Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (MSDE) on a server?

Yes, but this requires an additional server license. Please contact the Technology Solutions Centre at for more information.


3) Can I install Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (MSDE) on my personal computer?  What if I am already using Symantec Endpoint Protection on my personal computer?

No. Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (MSDE) is licensed for UVic staff and faculty on UVic owned computer and may not be installed on personally owned computers.  See alternative endpoint protection options for personal computers


4) How do I confirm Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (MSDE)  is running on my computer?

The Windows Security Center icon should be present in the system tray with a green check mark in Windows and the MsSense.exe service should be running in Task Manager, Details tab.

MSDE running icon - Windows

For MacOS, the MSDE Icon should appear in the top-right corner of the menubar. Click and select the "Manage Settings" screen. The text "This setting is managed by your organization" should appear.

 MSDE Running icon - macos