How To Turn Off Windows Defender: Expert Tips And Tricks

How To Turn Off Windows Defender: Expert Tips And Tricks

It is important to protect your computer and to safeguard it from external threats. These threats come in a number of forms, most notably viruses, spyware, malware, and other threating external entities. There are several available ways to protect your computer and prevent these dangerous intrusions from causing harm on your system. While Microsoft Windows does come with Window Defender, you may find it isn’t exactly what you want it to be and doesn’t provide the kind of security you’d like. In these instances, you’ll need to know how to turn off Windows Defender.


What Is Windows Defender?

Windows Defender is the built in spyware and malware security program for Windows-based computer systems. It is designed by Microsoft to work with the operating system and provide your computer with additional security. There have been a number of Windows Defender interactions over the years, but not all of these releases have been seen as optimal anti-virus programs. As there are several anti-virus titles out there, it’s up to you to decide which will work best for your particular needs and protect your computer system. In certain instances you must know how to turn off Windows Defender.

If you want to go with another security software for your Windows operating system, you must know how to turn off Windows Defender. This is because the two anti-virus programs are not able to run side by side. Instead, if you try to have both running at the same time each one will step on the other’s toes and prevent optimal use. This reduces the security potential of your computer instead of enhancing it. Additionally, the two programs may combat one another when using the individual firewalls. In order to prevent all of these problems from popping up you will need to know how to turn off Windows Defender after you have installed the new software.


Advantages and Disadvantages of Windows Defender

It is important to take your computer’s security seriously. If you don’t, you leave it open to external threats and all kinds of other problems. Thankfully, there are ways you can avoid these kinds of security issues. With the right security software you’ll safeguard your system. Now, you will need to use some common sense, such as not clicking infected links from unknown senders (one of the biggest causes of viruses on computers is from opening attachments from unknown senders). Windows Defender is can be a helpful application, but you need to determine if it’s right for you.


The biggest advantage of the Windows Defender application is it comes for free from Widows. It also updates automatically so you have the latest operating system update and features from Microsoft. Beyond this, it provides an adequate job at protecting your computer. It isn’t terrible, but it also doesn’t go out on a limb to offer the best features around. Like other Microsoft build-in applications, these are bare bone features that can be improved upon by purchasing a third-party application. You just need to decide whether you want to make that purchase.


The cons of Windows Defender are the features. You don’t receive many features on Windows Defender, which can leave you wanting more security. The software isn’t always the easiest to use and can feel a bit clumsy, so if you’re not hard-wired into how the Microsoft Windows operating system works you might run into the occasional problem.

Sometimes Windows Defender doesn’t have the latest security features either. With other security programs you’ll receive up to the second improvements when one is available. With Windows that is not always the case. So if you want to protect your computer and make sure it has the best security features, it is better for you to invest in new, third-party security software, instead of using what comes with Windows.

How to Turn off Windows Defender

If you do decide to go with a third party security software, you will need to know how to turn off Windows Defender. The process is straight forward, but Windows makes it so jump through a few hoops to do so. The operating system does this not to prevent you from using a third party application. Windows has always been open to allowing users to install non-Microsoft applications. It is what has made Windows the most used operating system in the world.

Instead, it is there to ensure users do not accidently turn off their anti-virus security features while in use. Due to this, you’ll need these instructions on how to turn off Windows Defender. There are three ways to go about turning off Windows Defender. You might find one works better than others but all of these methods should work fine.

Local Group Policy

You will want to use the how to turn off Windows Defender Local Group Policy instructions if you are using Windows 10 Pro, the Educator edition or the Enterprise edition. First, you will want to press the Windows key on your keyboard and the “R.” This loads the Run command feature.

With the pop-up Run window, type in “gpedit.msc” (without the quotation marks), then click “OK.” This will open the Local Grou Policy Editor.

Click “Computer Configuration,” followed by “Administrative Templates,” “Windows Components,” “Windows Defender Antivirus.”

Once in the new section choose the “Turn Off Windows Defender Antivirus” on the right side of the display window. Now choose the “Enabled” option from the upper-left corner of the display window. Click “Apply,” then “OK.” And the changes will go into effect.

You will see the icon still on the taskbar, but Windows Defender icons are built into the Windows computer so you can’t remove this, but rest assured Window Defender is now deactivated.


If you don’t have the Pro or another special edition release and you’re looking at how to turn off Windows Defender, you must consider this option. This allows you to turn off the application using the computer registry.

It is very important to not get too click happy when going through the registry. Altering the registry without knowing what you’re doing can cause serious performance problems with your Windows computer. So when you go in, double-check twice and click once for every step.

Open up the Windows “Run” pop-up (using the Windows button and “R” key), then type in “regedit” (without the quotation marks) and click “OK.” This brings up the computer registry.

Now, you’ll want to click “Hkey_Local_Machine,” followed by “Software,” then “Policies,” “Microsoft,” “Windows Defender.”

Within the window you will find “DisableAntiSpyware DWORD” when you right-click the window (it might just be listed as DWORD). If you don’t see it right away when you right-click it than right-click the folder again and choose “New,” then choose the “DWORD (32-bit) Value” option from the pull-down.

Within the window you will see a series of numbers. Take the “0” number and turn it to “1.” If you had to create the new folder you’ll want to name it “DisableAntiSpyware,” then press “Enter,” and change the created value from “0” to “1”.

Click “OK,” then restart your computer. Upon restarting the computer you will no longer have Windows Defender running.

Security Center App

The other two methods are used to permanently disable Windows Defender (you will need to backtrack into the system folders and undo what you did in order to restore Windows Defender). However, when looking at how to turn off Windows Defender, if you only want to temporarily disable it instead of permanently turn it off, this is the step for you.

Open the Windows Defender Security Center application. Now click on “Virus & threat protection.” From here, choose the “Virus & threat protection settings.” From here, turn off the “Real-time protection” toggle. This will switch the left/right switch display to “Off.”

After you do this you’ll be able to use your computer without Windows Defender until the next system restart. This is a temporary workaround, which makes it desirable if you want to install a new program that Defender is blocking the installation wizard for.

If you are in need of turning the software off for good and you want to know how to turn off Windows Defender, make sure to go with one of the other options listed.


All Windows computer systems now come with Windows Defender. The anti-virus platform is designed to reduce potential threats from external files, including spyware, malware, viruses, and other problems. However, you may find Windows Defender is not able to perform as you would like.

In this instance, you will need to take advantage of a different anti-virus program (you need an anti-virus program on the computer at all times to protect your computer from Internet threats). So if you go with a different anti-virus program, you must know how to turn off Windows Defender. By taking advantage of these steps on how to turn off Windows Defender, you won’t have any problem doing just that.


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