It can handle most malicious applications and effectively against a simple virus that can harm your computer. However, we need to disable it from time to time, as stated below. Read on to learn the methods to turn off Windows Defender.
When you might want to:
- If you want to invest in a premium and more powerful antivirus app, you may need to manually turn off Windows Defender.
- You can set up a device or app that won’t connect to the network.
- If a firewall is blocking access to a task or feature.
- If your employing company has strict safety policies that you must follow.
Windows don’t allow you to uninstall Windows Defender easily. This is because Windows Defender is deeply integrated into Windows 10. There are some workarounds, which I have listed below.
# Method 1 (Using the Windows Security Experience)
1. Open Start and search for Windows Defender Security Center. Press Enter.
2. Select the Virus & Threat Protection menu in the left pane.
3. Click “Manage Settings” in the “Virus” section. Threat Protection Settings.
4. Set the “Real-time protection” switch to the “Off” position.
This disables real-time antivirus protection. You can now perform some tasks or install an app or device from which the security feature previously blocked you.
You can also use Registry Editor. Be sure to back up the registry before making any changes if an error occurs. Here’s a method to turn off Windows Defender using Registry Editor.
# Method 2 (using Registry Editor)
- Open the Run command by clicking Win+R.
- Enter the command to regedit and click Enter.
- Copy the following command into the registry address bar in the path:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Policies \ Microsoft \ Windows Defender
4. In the right pane, right-click and create a new DWORD (32 bit)
5. Name the Key DisableAntiSpyware.
6. Double click to change the new key and change the value from 0 to 1.
7. Restart your computer to disable Windows Defender.
If you want to undo the changes you just made, open the same path and delete the “DisableAntiSpyware” key you created by right-clicking the menu.
Windows Defender no longer protects your device, and you can perform a task that was hindered by the security feature.
► You can also use the Local Group Policy Editor to implement the same changes. Here’s a method to turn off Windows Defender using the Group Policy Editor.
# Method 3 (Use Group Policy Editor)
- Open run by using the WIN + R command and then type the gpedit.msc command to open the local group policy editor.
- Double-click on Computer Configuration.
- Open Administrative Templates.
- Windows Components is open.
- Select Microsoft Defender Antivirus.
- In the right pane, double-click Turn-off Microsoft Defender Antivirus.
- Select the Enabled button and click Apply. This disables Windows Defender.
- Restart your computer.
After you restart your PC, Windows Defender will be disabled from Windows 10 permanently.
Note. The Group Policy Editor doesn’t exist in Windows 10 Home Edition, so you can’t use this method in Home Edition.
If you notice the Shield icon on the taskbar, don’t worry, as it’s part of the Windows security app, not an antivirus. Follow the instructions above to disable Windows Defender.
If you want to turn Windows Defender back on, open the same path and double-click the Disable Windows Defender Antivirus policy, set the button to Not Configured, and then restart your computer. This will enable Windows Defender.
You can disable Windows Defender by following the above steps very carefully. But I recommend using the Internet and your entire computer as such very carefully. Without an antivirus program, your computer is open to countless malware attacks that you may encounter from the Internet.
The antivirus feature also protects you from virus threats that damage your data. They can harm your computer, so I don’t recommend using a computer without antivirus and anti-virus software installed.
This software can scan and detect the presence of any virus or malware and prevent data theft or damage to your drive. You should use the device without an antivirus installed very carefully.
So you have that. Now you know how to disable Windows Defender Antivirus in Windows 10, preventing you from performing a task or executing any command. Do you find these methods useful? Comment below if you can or have used any of these methods.