You'll notice that Windows has its antivirus program, Windows Defender when using the operating system. You don’t need to download and install Windows Defender because it is installed by default on Windows 7, 8, 10, and 11. 

Windows Defender is an antivirus software designed to safeguard Windows-based systems. It checks for, finds, and gets rid of malware, spyware, and viruses to help keep the operating system clean. However, some people may want to fully turn off Windows Defender because they find it more of a burden than assistance.

Reasons to disable Windows Defender

If it finds something questionable, this antivirus will frequently stop you from installing software a less well-known developer created. Those who use reliable third-party apps can find this annoying. For example, specialized software you use for work doesn't endanger your machine, yet the antivirus will continue to raise the warning.

Even though Windows Defender is one of the greatest antivirus solutions for Microsoft's OS, you can have other reasons to temporarily or permanently disable it. For instance, the program may strain the system resources of low-end PCs.

It could be a good idea to disable Windows Defender if your device is not at risk of being infected with malware. However, we take extra precautions and keep backup anti-malware software on hand. 

If you already use another developer's antivirus program, you may not need Windows Defender. As these programs typically function better than Microsoft's native ones, it doesn't happen often. This article will lead you through the many techniques to temporarily or permanently disable Windows Defender on Windows 10.

Disable Windows Defender with Windows Security

Windows Defender may only need to be temporarily disabled if you don't intend to leave it that way permanently. You should typically do this while installing new software or carrying out a particular operation.

It would be best if you opened Windows Security to stop the antivirus temporarily. To do this, select "Settings" from the start menu by pressing the start button. You must access the Update & Security area from here. Under the Windows Security tab, there will be a switch to disable Windows Defender real-time protection.

If you click on it, a window containing the “Virus & threat protection” option will open. There will be settings for the antivirus there. Windows Defender shows various scan choices and the results of the most recent one you performed. You'll discover the active-scanning option in the "Virus & threat protection settings" section.

To turn off Windows Defender, move the slider to the "off" position to disable real-time protection. When you switch off this option, Windows will notify you that your computer will be exposed. Windows Defender will automatically enable this option after a brief interval or a system restart.

Disable Windows Defender through Group Policy

You may be asking if there is a more long-lasting way to turn off Windows DefenderWindows Defender can be turned off in Windows 10 Pro using the Local Group Policy Editor.

Before making this modification in the editor, remember there is one more step to complete. Windows has "tamper-protection" safeguards in place to stop hostile attempts that attempt to turn off the security elements of the system. 

It's a fantastic feature that keeps your real-time protection, behaviour tracking, and antivirus software active. Users will now find it more difficult to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10 settings. It would be best to open "Virus & threat protection," as previously said, to disable tamper protection. You may also access these settings by just typing "Windows Security" into the start menu.

You can see a list of all the settings organized into several categories on the main Windows Security tab. You must now access the same window we did to turn off real-time protection. To access the options, click on "Virus and threat protection".

Windows will alert you again that you are leaving your machine open to attacks when you switch tamper protection off. Leave this option unchecked since we need to disable Windows Defender without Windows 10 automatically turning it back on after each system restart.

Now that we have access to the Local Group Policy Editor, we can modify the Windows Defender settings without having the tamper protection turn them back. When the start menu appears, click it, type "Group Policy Editor," and then select the first result.

There are many options in the editor, as you will quickly find, but the ones we require are under “Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Microsoft Defender Antivirus.” Once you've reached the final folder, find "Turn off Microsoft Defender Antivirus" and double-click it.

By choosing the enable option, Microsoft Defender Antivirus can be disabled. Apply your choice, then press the OK button to confirm. After making these settings changes and disabling Windows Defender, you must restart your computer. After the system boots up again, you will continue to see the Windows Security app icon.

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Turn Off Windows Defender by installing a third-party antivirus

You are not required to use the features that come with Windows. You can use any third-party antivirus, but it performs remarkably effectively. This is a simple method for permanently turning off Windows Defender.

  1. Choose an antivirus program, then download and install it. 
  2. Windows Defender should enter passive mode after installation, so it will stop operating. The Windows Defender firewall will continue to function even if your antivirus doesn't have one.
  3. Go to "Start -> Settings -> Privacy & Security -> Windows Security" to make sure your computer is running the proper antivirus.
  4. Choose "Open Windows Security" or "Virus & threat prevention." The latter option requires you to choose "Virus & threat prevention" on that page.
  5. Go to "Manage providers" and click. This might be listed in the middle of the window or off to the far right, depending on your version of Windows.
  6. Verify that Microsoft Defender Antivirus is disabled and that your third-party antivirus is activated. Alternatively, choose your antivirus and switch it on before turning off Defender.
  7. If you have another firewall installed, you can modify your firewall preferences under the "Firewall & network protection" section. If not, the Microsoft Firewall will continue to be active.

Disable periodic scanning

Windows may continue to do routine scans even if you've installed another antivirus. You should stop these additional scans if you want to completely disable Windows Defender because they won't run concurrently with your third-party antivirus. 

Windows 11, by default, disables periodic scans when installing an additional antivirus program, although Windows 10 doesn't always do this.

  1. Activate Windows Security by selecting "Start -> Settings -> Privacy & Security."
  2. If "Open Windows Security" isn't an option, choose "Virus & threat prevention" first.
  3. Open the "Microsoft Defender Options" section.
  4. Turn off “Periodic scanning.”

Disable Windows Defender Tasks

It might be necessary to manually turn off a few processes and services if you tried to turn off Windows Defender, but it is still attempting to run.

  1. Search for "task scheduler" in the Start menu. Then, choose "Task Scheduler."
  2. Open "Task Scheduler Library -> Microsoft -> Windows -> Windows Defender" in the left pane.
  3. If any tasks are mentioned, right-click on each one and select "Disable."
  4. You might also need to turn off one or more Windows Defender services as a last step. This is especially true if you wish to use anything else but are having problems switching off the built-in firewall. Click "OK" after entering services.msc using Win + R.
  5. Search for "Windows Defender" and "Microsoft Defender." Then, check the services. 
  6. You don't need to be concerned if the services are listed under "Startup Type" as "Manual" or "Disabled" but not as "Running." Right-click the service and choose "Properties" if it is active or labelled as "Automatic."
  7. If the service is already active, stop it and switch the "Startup type" to "Manual" or "Disabled."
  8. To accept the changes, click "Apply." After disabling tasks and services, your computer might urge you to restart.


A software program called Windows Defender protects your computer from malware. It was created to prevent unauthorized access and shield Windows systems from malicious malware. It was first included in the Windows Vista installation pack and is currently a component of Microsoft Security Essentials, which can be downloaded for free.

You don't have to use Windows Defender if you don't want to; it is there to safeguard you from the minute you start using Windows. It's a wise idea to keep it operating until you're prepared to install something new because of this. 

You will likely come into contact with a virus at some point, even if you take great precautions. It is far simpler to disable Windows Defender than to eliminate it.


  1. Why would I need to disable Windows Defender?

    • Windows Defender might interfere with certain software installations, particularly from less well-known developers. Some users also prefer using more robust third-party antivirus solutions.
  2. Can disabling Windows Defender make my computer vulnerable?

    • Yes, turning off Windows Defender can leave your system more vulnerable to malware and viruses, especially if you don't have another antivirus program installed and running.
  3. How can I temporarily disable Windows Defender?

    • You can temporarily disable Windows Defender by going to Windows Security settings, then to "Virus & threat protection," and turning off the real-time protection.
  4. Will Windows Defender reactivate automatically?

    • Yes, in many cases, Windows Defender will reactivate automatically after some time or upon restarting your system.
  5. Can I use another antivirus program alongside Windows Defender?

    • Yes, when you install a third-party antivirus program, Windows Defender usually goes into passive mode to avoid conflicts. However, it's advised to ensure only one antivirus is actively monitoring to prevent performance issues.

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