Windows Defender is a Microsoft anti-virus built-in Windows 8. By default this light weight AV is enabled. It is running on the background although you are not going to see it on the notification area (or sometimes called system tray) and on the context menu. The context menu is the menu that pops up when you right click on a file.
If you want to show it on the notification area and on the context menu you are going to need an application called Windows Defender Status Manager. You can find this small and free application at http://www.itknowledge24.com. During the installation you have to click the Yes button when you are ask to add a context menu. See the screen shot below.
There is one minor issue with the WDSM. After it is successfully installed you will notice a red "X" on it which conveys that it is disabled. To fix this issue, you have to open the WDSM settings by right clicking it. Go the Settings tab toggle off and on the real time protection. Do not forget to save each time otherwise you will not see the result. See these screen shots below to give you an idea.
There is another issue with WDSM which I find quite awkward. It does not show up on the context menu if you right click on a folder or a group of more than fifteen files. To scan a folder you may do a custom scan on the WD. In the case of more than fifteen files you may either scan it by group or scan its folder.
Having said all these issues about WD and WDSM both are worth using. Windows Defender Status Manager is patching up of what is missing with Windows Defender. Despite of being a light weight AV, Windows Defender is effective because it prevents and removes most of the viruses. Moreover, it does not slow down the computer.
Christmas is just around the corner so I want to greet all my readers a merry and meaningful Christmas. God bless everyone.