How Turn Off Windows Defender

How to Turn Off Windows Defender: A Comprehensive Guide for Windows Users

Greetings, Windows User!

Welcome to our in-depth guide on how to disable Windows Defender, Microsoft’s built-in antivirus software. Whether you’re experiencing slowdowns, compatibility issues, or simply prefer a different security solution, this article will empower you with the knowledge to turn off Windows Defender with ease. Let’s dive in!

How Turn Off Windows Defender

Disabling Windows Defender in Settings

Windows Settings app

  1. Navigate to "Settings" > "Update & Security" > "Windows Security" > "Open Windows Security".
  2. In the "Virus & threat protection" section, click on "Manage settings".
  3. Toggle the "Real-time protection" switch to "Off".

Control Panel (for older Windows versions)

  1. Open Control Panel and go to "System and Security" > "Windows Defender Firewall".
  2. In the left sidebar, click on "Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off".
  3. Uncheck the box next to "Turn on Windows Defender Firewall".

Pause or Turn Off Temporarily

Pause Protection Temporarily

  1. In the Windows Security app, go to "Virus & threat protection" > "Manage settings".
  2. Under "Real-time protection", click on "Pause protection".
  3. Select the desired duration (15 minutes, 1 hour, 12 hours).

Turn Off Windows Defender Permanently

Note: This method requires editing the Windows Registry, which can be risky if done improperly. Proceed with caution.

  1. Press Windows key + R to open Run.
  2. Type "regedit" and click OK.
  3. Navigate to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender".
  4. On the right pane, double-click on "DisableAntiSpyware".
  5. Change the Value data to "1" and click OK.
  6. Restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

Disable Windows Defender Components

Turn Off Automatic Updates

  1. In the Windows Security app, go to "Virus & threat protection" > "Manage settings".
  2. Turn off the "Automatic sample submission" and "Cloud-delivered protection" options.

Disable Behavior Monitoring

  1. In the Windows Security app, go to "Device security" > "Behavior monitoring".
  2. Toggle the "Behavior monitoring" switch to "Off".

Troubleshooting Tips

  • If you’re unable to turn off Windows Defender, check if your computer is managed by a network administrator.
  • Ensure that you have administrator privileges.
  • Try using a third-party antivirus software after disabling Windows Defender.
  • If you encounter any issues, restore your computer using a system restore point.

Markdown Table Breakdown

Method Steps
Settings app 3
Control Panel 3
Pause temporarily 3
Turn off permanently (Registry) 6
Disable automatic updates 2
Disable behavior monitoring 2


We hope this comprehensive guide has provided you with the necessary knowledge to turn off Windows Defender. Whether you prefer a different security solution or need to troubleshoot specific issues, we encourage you to explore our other articles on Windows Defender and other related topics.

FAQ about "How to Turn Off Windows Defender"

1. How do I turn off Windows Defender manually?

  • Open the Windows Security app.
  • Click on "Virus & threat protection."
  • Click on "Manage settings" under "Virus & threat protection settings."
  • Toggle "Real-time protection" to "Off."

2. Can I disable Windows Defender permanently?

  • Yes, but not recommended. You can disable it through the registry or Group Policy.

3. How do I disable Windows Defender using the Registry Editor?

  • Press Windows + R, type "regedit" and hit Enter.
  • Navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender
  • Create a new DWORD value named "DisableAntiSpyware" and set its value to 1.

4. How do I disable Windows Defender using Group Policy?

  • Press Windows + R, type "gpedit.msc" and hit Enter.
  • Navigate to: Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Defender Antivirus
  • Double-click on "Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus" and select "Enabled."

5. Is it safe to turn off Windows Defender?

  • It is generally not safe to turn off Windows Defender, as it protects your computer from malware.

6. What are the risks of turning off Windows Defender?

  • Increased risk of malware infections, data breaches, and compromised system security.

7. Can I use another antivirus instead of Windows Defender?

  • Yes, you can install and use a different antivirus software.

8. How do I turn Windows Defender back on?

  • Follow the steps above, but toggle "Real-time protection" to "On" or disable the registry/Group Policy settings.

9. What are the alternative ways to protect my computer if I turn off Windows Defender?

  • Use a third-party antivirus software, keep software and operating system up to date, use a firewall, practice safe browsing habits.

10. Is it recommended to turn off Windows Defender for gaming?

  • It is not recommended to turn off Windows Defender for gaming, as it can increase the risk of malware infections while playing online games.

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