Windows Defender is a nifty little tool present on windows 10. It is an antimalware application with added benefits of being an antivirus program as well.
It can handle most of the malware applications out there and is also effective against simple virus that may try to harm your computer. However we do from time to time need to turn it off as mentioned below, read on to know methods for turning off Windows Defender.
When you may want to:
- If you want to invest in a premium and more powerful antivirus application, you may need to manually turn off Windows Defender.
- You may want to set up a device or application that won’t connect to the network.
- If the firewall is blocking access to a task or a feature.
- If your employer company has stringent security policies that you must comply with.
Windows does not let you easily uninstall the Windows Defender. This is because the Windows Defender is deeply integrated into the Windows 10. There are some workarounds, which I have listed below.
# Method 1 (Using Windows Security experience)
1. Open Start and search for Windows Defender Security Center. Click Enter.
2. Click Virus and threat protection menu from the left pane.
3. Click on Manage settings under the “Virus & threat protection settings”
4. Set the toggle button “Real-time protection” to off.
This disables the real-time antivirus protection. You can now perform some tasks or install an app or device that the security feature was blocking you from before.
You can also use the Registry Editor. Make sure to back up your registry before making any changes in case there is some error. Here is the method to turn off Windows Defender using Registry Editor.
# Method 2 (Using Registry Editor)
- Open Run command by pressing Win + R.
- Enter the command regedit and press Enter
- Copy the following command into the registry address bar to the path:
4. In the right pane, right click and create a new DWORD (32bit)
5. Name the key DisableAntiSpyware
6. Double click to modify the new key, and change the value from 0 to 1
7. Restart your PC to disable Windows Defender.
If you want to revert the changes you just made, open the same path, and delete the key “DisableAntiSpyware” you created by accessing the menu from right click.
Windows Defender now no longer protects your device and you can perform a task that the security feature was preventing you from doing.
► You can also use the Local Group Policy editor to implement the same changes. Here is the method to turn off Windows Defender using Group Policy Editor.
# Method 3 (Using the Group Policy Editor)
- Open Run using the command Win + R and type the command msc to open Local Group Policy Editor
- Double click on Computer Configuration
- Open Administrative templates
- Open Windows Components
- Select Windows Defender Antivirus
- From the right pane, Double click on “Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus” policy
- Select the Enabled button and press Apply.
This disables the Windows Defender.
8. Restart your PC.
After you restart the PC, Windows Defender will be disabled from Windows 10 permanently.
Note: Group Policy Editor does not exist on Windows 10 Home Edition, so you can’t use this method on Home Edition.
If you notice the Shield icon in the taskbar, don’t be worried, as that is the part of Windows Security App and not the antivirus. Following the above steps will turn off Windows Defender.
If you want to re-enable the Windows Defender, open the same path, and double click on “Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus” policy, and set the button to ‘Not configured’ and restart the PC. This will re-enable the Windows Defender.
You can disable the Windows Defender by following the above steps very carefully. But I recommend using the internet and your whole PC per se very carefully. Without an antivirus program, your pc is open to countless malware attacks you may encounter from the web.
The antivirus feature also protects you from virus threats that may corrupt your data. These can potentially harm the computer, so I don’t recommend using a PC without an antivirus and anti-malware software installed.
This software can scan and detect the presence of any virus or malware and prevent data theft, or corrupting your disk. You should use a device without an antivirus installed very carefully.
So there you have it. Now you know how to turn off Windows Defender Antivirus on Windows 10, which was preventing you to perform a task or execute some command. Did you find these methods helpful? Comment below if you may use or have used any of these methods.