How to disable Windows Defender on Windows 10? 2022

How to disable Windows Defender on Windows 10? 4 Easy 2022 Methods:

Our guide on how-to disable Windows Defender in Windows 10

What is Windows Defender?

Windows Defender (now known as Microsoft Defender Antivirus) is an always on, anti-malware software that guards your computer from external threats. The antivirus is developed by Microsoft to protect computers from virus threats that are running the Windows 10 operating system.

This antivirus comes preinstalled with any version of Windows 10. Windows Defender protects your computer in realtime from not only viruses, but also ransomware, rootkits, trojans, spyware, and many forms of malicious attacks. The program is free to use, and Microsoft sends regular updates on Windows 10.

Why turn off Windows Defender?

Good question you ask! If Microsoft Windows Defender is a free antivirus that protects your system from malware attacks, then why would anyone feel the need to disable it or turn it off? There are however specific cases where you would want to disable the Windows Defender.

You may want to install specific software or program on your system, but Microsoft Windows Defender in Windows 10 might keep interrupting. Take 3rd Party Software as an example. Windows Defender can treat programs or applications from small developers as a threat, and it will not allow you to install it. This can sometimes be helpful as you don’t know if the software is legitimate or it may contain some form of malware which may breach your security.

Nevertheless, sometimes you’re sure that the software is safe and legitimate and want to install it, but the Windows Defender keeps deleting it. In this case, you might want to disable Windows Defender temporarily.

There may arise a case where you don’t trust the capabilities of Microsoft Windows Defender and decide to install a third-party antivirus for virus threat protection. There are numerous third-party antivirus programs on the market that can be used in place of Windows Defender.

One benefit of installing a third-party antivirus is that it gives you more security and control over it. You can disable it at any time and re-enable it again.

You may also want to disable Windows Defender in Windows 10 as it utilizes a lot of resources when it runs in the background. You may not have enough ram, or you may want the processor to focus on some specific task rather than waste resources on scanning your computer.

These are just a few reasons for disabling the Microsoft Defender antivirus.

Whatever your reason may be, Microsoft Windows Defender in Windows 10 is still a valuable resource. Something is better than nothing, meaning your computer is much more prone to being infected while using it with the Defender disabled. If you’re planning to use another antivirus, then disabling the Windows Defender is justifiable. The Defender antivirus does not have a disable or uninstall option anywhere. Keep in mind that when Windows Defender disable, the security of your computer will be at risk of malware attacks.

Let’s look into how to turn off Windows Defender.

Windows Defender can still be disabled on Windows 10 through settings, registry, and through group policy.
Let’s look into each one, step by step on how to turn off Windows Defender.

Turn off Windows Defender through settings:

This is one of the fastest and easiest ways to disable Windows Defender. All of the operations are going to be done through settings. Just follow these steps:

1. Open Start by clicking on the Windows logo on the bottom left of your screen.

2. On the Start menu, locate and click on Open Settings by clicking on the gear-shaped icon on the left panel.

Disable Windows Defender Start Menu Open Settings
Disable Windows Defender Start Menu Open Settings


3. Windows Settings will open up. Proceed by clicking on Update & Security. It will be the last option.

Disable Windows Defender: Select Update and Security
Disable Windows Defender: Select Update and Security


4. Next, proceed by clicking on Windows Security on the left side panel.

Disable Windows Defender Select Windows Security Left Panel
Disable Windows Defender Select Windows Security Left Panel


5. Under Protection Areas, click on Virus & threat protection.

disable windows defender virus and threat detection
disable windows defender virus and threat detection



6. The Virus & threat protection Window will open up. Under Virus & threat protection settings, proceed by clicking on Manage settings.

disable windows defender manage settings
disable windows defender manage settings



7. Real time protection will be the first option in front of you. Under real time protection, click on the blue ON switch.

virus and threat detection settings
virus and threat detection settings


8. Windows will prompt you if you want to make the change. Click on Yes. You’ll see the message stating that real time protection is off, an indication that you have successfully turned off the Windows Defender.

Windows Defender real time protection is off
Windows Defender real time protection is off


Anytime you can follow steps 1 to 7 and again click on the Off button to re-enable real time protection.

The benefit of turning off real time protection through virus threat protection settings is convenience and speed. You can quickly turn it off and then again on. One thing to keep in mind is that when you restart your computer, Windows Defender will automatically be turned on. By disabling real time protection, you can install your desired application or software which you previously could not, but your security will be at risk. You can also make your desired system changes. This is not a permanent solution, but it is the fastest solution through virus threat protection settings.

How to disable Windows Defender through the registry:

This is a bit of lengthy process to disable Windows Defender:
Follow these steps to permanently disable Windows Defender through Registry.

1. Open Start, by clicking on the Windows logo on the bottom left of your screen.

2. Type “Regedit” in the search bar, and proceed by clicking on the Registry Editor with the blue icon. Click on yes when prompted by Windows.

windows 10 disable defender registry
Type “Regedit” to open the Registry Editor


3. The registry editor will open.  On the left side, you’ll see different options. You need to locate to Microsoft Defenders location, by expanding the following:

  • First, expand the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” folder by double-clicking on it.
  • Next, expand the “SOFTWARE” folder.
  • Scroll down and find the “Policies” folder and expand it.
  • Expand the “Microsoft” folder.
  • Next, click once on the “Windows Defender” folder.
Windows Defender folder
Windows Defender folder


4. Now, right-click on the “Microsoft Defender” folder and hover your cursor above “New.” A new menu will pop out. Proceed by clicking on “DWORD (32-bit) Value”.

DWORD (32-bit) Value
DWORD (32-bit) Value


5. A new file will appear on the right side with the option to name it. Enter “DisableAntiSpyware” as the name and hit Enter.



6. Next, double click on the newly created “DisableAntiSpyware” file.

7. Edit the value under “Value data:” as 1.

Value data 1
Value data 1


8. Press “Ok” on the bottom to save the value.

9. Finally, restart your system for the changes to take place. After restarting, the Microsoft Windows Defender will be disabled successfully.

If anytime you want to enable the Windows Defender again, follow these steps:

  • Open the registry editor.
  • Locate to the “Windows Defender.”
  • Double click on “DisableAntiSpyware.”
  • Edit the “Value Data” as 0, and click on Ok.
  • Restart your system for the changes to take effect.

This method is a bit tricky and lengthy, but this will disable Windows Defender permanently. Restarting your computer will not enable the Defender again. Through this method, you can install any app and tweak any setting without the fear of Windows Defender interrupting in Windows 10. Your computer’s security will be compromised so make sure to enable the Defender again so your security stays active.

How to turn off Windows Defender through Group Policy:

This is our last instruction set to disable Windows Defender.
Follow these steps to turn off Windows Defender permanently:

1. Press “Win + R,” Window key, plus the “R” key together.

2. A dialogue box will appear. Type in “gpedit.msc” and hit Enter.

3. The local group policy editor Window will open in front of you.

local group policy editor
local group policy editor


4. Under “Computer Configuration,” double-click on “Administrative Templates.”

5. Next, click on “Windows Components” to expand it.

6. Scroll down, locate, and click on “Windows Defender Antivirus.”

Windows Defender Antivirus Group Folder
Windows Defender Antivirus Group Folder


7. On the right side, double-click on “Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus.”

Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus
Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus


8. A new Window opens. Highlight the “Enabled” option on the left and click on Apply and then Ok.

Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus "Enabled"
Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus “Enabled”

Windows Defender is the default protection system for your computer. The downside of Windows Defender is that the program only protects at a medium level, not as specialized as third-party software. This may be the reason why users want to disable this program to install antivirus software and increase computer security during use. So how to disable Windows Defender, here are some ways to help you simply disable this program.

Method 1:

Install third-party Antivirus Software:

Windows Defender is configured to detect other antivirus software, it will be automatically deactivated to avoid conflicts on the computer. But only the Windows Defender firewall is gonna work on your computer.

With this method, when you remove the antivirus software, Windows Defender will automatically reactivate, which is quite convenient. And if you want to permanently disable, please see below methods below.

Method 2:

Temporarily Disable Windows Defender (From Setting):

If you want to disable Windows Defender temporarily then follow the guide given below.

  1. First, double click on the Windows Defender icon on the Taskbar.
  2. In the Home tab, go to ‘Virus & Threat protection’ then select Virus & Threat protection settings.
  3. Now, switch the optional Real-time protection status to ‘Off’ (as shown below).


Method 3:

Disable Windows Defender Antivirus via Local Group Policy:

If you are using Windows 10 Pro or other versions such as Enterprise or Education, you can use the Local Group Policy Editor to completely disable Windows Defender on your computer.

  1. Press the Windows + R key (in combination) to open the Run command window.
  2. When the Run command window opens, just type gpedit.msc into it and press ‘Enter’ or click ‘OK’ to open the Local Group Policy Editor window.
  3. In the Local Group Policy Editor window Navigate to the following key:
    Computer Configuration => Administrative Templates => Windows Components => Windows Defender (as shown below).


Go to Enabled to disable Windows Defender.

Just continue to click Apply => OK


After completing the steps, if you look, you will see that the Windows Defender icon continues to appear in the system tray. To remove this icon, simply restart your computer.

If you want to reactivate Windows Defender, follow the same steps and in step 5, select the Not configured option, then restart your computer to apply the changes.

Method 4:

Disable Windows Defender Antivirus by Registry Editor:

If you are using Windows 10 Home, you will not be able to access the Local Group Policy Editor. However, you can still disable Windows Defender just by using the Registry.

Note: Before you follow the given steps, first create a backup of the Registry to avoid the worst-case scenario. To back up, open the File then go to ‘Export’ … to create a backup Registry file. When you want to recover, you just open the File => Import … then you just navigate to the backup file and then restore it.

  1. Press Windows + R  to open the Run window, then you type Regedit into it and press Enter (or click OK) to open the Registry.
  2. On the Registry window navigate to the following key
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows Defender
  3. In case, DWORD DisableAntiSpyware is not found, right-click on any empty space, then go to New => DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  4. Give this key a new name that is ‘DisableAntiSpyware’.
  5. Now, double-click on the new key that is just created, set the value in the Value Data frame from 0 to 1.

In the last step, simply restart your computer and enjoy the results. In this case, you want to reactivate Windows Defender, you just need to access it in the same order as above and change the key value from 0 to 1.

Depending on your computer’s usage patterns, you can choose for yourself how to properly disable Windows Defender. However, it should be noted that although Windows Defender is not powerful antivirus software, it is still an effective antivirus program. And updating Windows regularly with Windows Defender is also a good way to protect your computer from threats.

Hope this guide is helpful and have guided you well. For any questions or queries let us know via the comments box given below. Also, click here if you want a guide on ‘How to change a user name on Windows 10

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