How to disable Windows Defender – 7 ways

Some users are wondering how to disable Windows Defender on their PC if they prefer to use a different antivirus or if they want to leave their PC unprotected. Let’s see how to disable Windows Defender permanently or temporarily.

Windows Defender (Windows Defender, Microsoft Defender) is an anti-virus program built into the Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8 operating systems. The program has changed names several times in different versions of Windows 10.

Microsoft Corporation has taken care of users so that on a computer in a modern Windows operating system, there is always protection against viruses. The free built-in antivirus protects your computer from malware: viruses, trojans, rootkits, ransomware, spyware, and more.

Some users, instead of the standard Microsoft antivirus, install another antivirus on their PC that disables Windows Defender (not always) in order to avoid conflicts and remove additional load on the system.

Previously, the built-in antivirus was less functional and had some problems in providing system protection compared to other antivirus programs. Recently, as comparisons of antivirus test labs have shown, Windows Defender Antivirus has become a worthy product, practically in no way inferior to other paid or free antiviruses.

Why users disable Windows Defender

Now we will analyze the main reasons why users disable Windows Defender in the operating system:

  • Installing another antivirus on the computer – some antiviruses disable the Defender, in other cases, it continues to work on the PC, in parallel with the new antivirus.
  • Inability to install a program or game – Windows Defender blocks the installation of a computer game or program on your computer.
  • Unwillingness to use any anti-virus program on the computer – the user, at his own peril and risk, works on a PC without protection from malware.

If it is impossible to install programs on a computer, the launch of applications is often prevented by the SmartScreen filter , which can be disabled without disabling Windows Defender. It may be worth adding the problematic file or folder to Windows 10 Defender exclusions so that the antivirus does not block work with these elements.

I do not recommend disabling and not using the antivirus on the computer, because then the risk of suffering from intruders increases many times over. For example, I opened an innocent letter in an email, as was the case with WannaCry , after which the system was encrypted.

There are several ways to disable Microsoft antivirus. Some methods make it possible only to turn off the Defender for a while, then it will still start on its own. Other methods will help disable Windows Defender completely.

In this guide, you will find instructions on how to disable Windows Defender 10 permanently or temporarily, how to disable Windows Defender 8.1 (Windows 8) by system means, using free programs: O&O ShutUp10 and Win Updates Disabler.

Before applying changes to your computer, create a system restore point, or create a Windows backup. In this case, if something went wrong, you can roll back the changes, restore the operating system to the state it had at the time the restore point was created, or a Windows backup.

How to disable Windows 10 Defender

First, we will disable Windows 10 Defender from the settings of the application itself.

Do the following:

  1. Enter the Start menu, launch the Settings app.
  2. Open “Update and Security”, enter the “Windows Security” section.
  3. In the “Protection areas” option, click on the “Virus and Threat Protection” option.
  4. Enter “Virus and other threat protection settings”, click on the “Manage settings” link.
  5. Move the switch to the “Disabled” position in the “Real-time Protection” and “Cloud Protection” options.

Windows 10 Defender is disabled, after a while the operating system will automatically turn on the antivirus, usually after restarting the computer.

Temporarily disable Windows Defender in Windows PowerShell

Using the Windows PowerShell system tool, the user can turn off the built-in antivirus for a while.

  1. Start Windows PowerShell as an administrator.
  2. Run the command:
Set-MpPreference -DisableRealtimeMonitoring $true

Disabling Windows Defender 8.1 (Windows 8)

To disable the built-in antivirus in Windows 8.1 or Windows 8 operating systems, follow these steps:

  1. Enter “Settings”, open the “Control Panel”.
  2. Select Windows Defender.
  3. In the Windows Defender window, go to the Options tab.
  4. Uncheck the box next to “Turn on real-time protection (recommended)”.
  5. Click on the “Save Changes” button.

How to Disable Windows Defender 10 Using Local Group Policy

Antivirus can be disabled in the Local Group Policy Editor. This method only works on Windows Pro (Windows Professional) and Windows Enterprise (Windows Enterprise) operating systems because group policies are missing in lower versions of the operating system.

You need to change the following settings:

  1. Press the “Win” + “R” keys on your keyboard.
  2. In the “Run” window, enter “gpedit.msc” (without quotes), click on the “OK” button.
  3. In the “Local Group Policy Editor” window, follow the path: “Local Computer Policy” → “Computer Configuration” → “Administrative Templates” → “Windows Components” → “Windows Defender Antivirus”.
  4. Double-click the “Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus” option.
  5. In the “Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus” window, activate the “Enabled” option, click the “OK” button. This option will disable Windows Defender.
  6. Enter the option “Allow the anti-malware service to run”, set the option to “Disabled”.
  7. Open the “Allow the anti-malware service to run at all times” option, select “Disabled”.
  8. Enter the “MAPS” (Microsoft Active Protection Service) section, in the parameters of the elements “Configure the “Block at first appearance””, “Join Microsoft MAPS”, “Configure local override for reports in Microsoft MAPS”, activate the parameter “Disabled” .
  9. Open the “Send sample files if further analysis is required” item, apply the “Enabled” option, and in the “Options” section select “Never send”.
  10. Open the “Real-time protection” policy section, and then enter one by one the settings: “Enable behavior monitoring”, “Scan all downloaded files and attachments”, “Monitor the activity of programs and files on the computer”, “Enable scanning of processes if real-time protection enabled.
  11. Set the options to “Disabled”.

Close the Local Group Policy Editor.

Restart your computer to apply the changes.

How to disable Windows Defender in the Registry Editor

The next method involves using the Registry Editor system tool.

  1. In the Windows search box, type “regedit” (without quotes).
  2. Run the application as an administrator.
  3. In the “Registry Editor” window, follow the path:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender
  1. Right-click on the free space in the registry editor window, in the context menu, select first “New”, and then “DWORD (32-bit) Value”.
  2. Name the setting “DisableAntiSpyware” (without quotes).
  3. Right-click on the created parameter, select “Edit …” in the context menu.
  4. In the “Change DWORD (32-bit) Value” window, in the “Value” field, set “1” (without quotes), click on the “OK” button.
  5. Right-click on the “Windows Defender” partition, select “New” in the menu that opens, then “Partition”.
  6. Name the section “Real-Time Protection”.
  7. In the “Real-Time Protection” section, create DWORD (32-bit) parameters named “DisableBehaviorMonitoring”, “DisableOnAccessProtection”, “DisableScanOnRealtimeEnable”, “DisableIOAVProtection”, set each of these parameters to the value “1”.

Close the Registry Editor window, and then restart your PC.

Disabling Windows Defender in O&O ShutUp10

The free O&O ShutUp10 program is used to disable all kinds of Windows 10 settings related to user security and privacy. A large amount of different data is sent from the user’s computer to Microsoft servers, the program helps to disable most of the system tools responsible for transferring user data.

The program does not require installation on a PC, the application works in Russian. Read more about using the O&O ShutUp10 program here.

  1. Run the O&O ShutUp10 program on the computer as an administrator.
  2. In the program window, navigate to the “Windows Defender and Microsoft SpyNet” section.
  3. Create a system restore point, and then disable the options: “Disable Microsoft SpyNet membership”, “Disable sending data samples to Microsoft”, “Don’t send Microsoft virus infection information”, “Disable Windows Defender”.
  4. Move the switch to the on position (the switch will turn green).

Restart your computer.

If necessary, you can turn Windows Defender 10 back on in O&O ShutUp10 by moving the switch to the disabled (red) position. Restart your computer to apply the changes.

Disable the built-in antivirus in Win Updates Disabler

The free program Win Updates Disabler is designed to disable updates to the Windows operating system of different versions. From the official website of the application developer, you can download the regular version of the program, or a portable version that does not need to be installed on your computer.

  1. Run the Win Updates Disabler program, the program works in Russian. The portable version is launched from a folder, select the program file corresponding to the bitness of your operating system.
  2. In the “Win Updates Disabler” window, in the “Disable” tab, check the box next to “Disable Windows Defender”.
  3. Click on the “Apply Now” button.

Restart your computer.

To enable antivirus in the Windows operating system, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Win Updates Disabler program window, enter the “Enable” tab.
  2. Check the box next to Turn on Windows Defender.
  3. Restart your PC.

How to remove the Windows Defender icon from the notification area

Even though the antivirus has been disabled, the Windows Defender icon will still be displayed in the notification area on the taskbar. You can disable it in the following way:

  1. Launch Task Manager.
  2. Open the “Startup” tab.
  3. Right-click on the “Windows Security notification icon”, in the context menu, click on the “Disable” item.

The icon will disappear from the notification area after the system restarts.

After “major” updates of Windows 10, all previously applied settings can fall off, because, in essence, this is a reinstallation of the system by updating to a new version, which changes various settings. Therefore, the user may again have to disable the system antivirus.

How to enable a disabled Windows Defender

To enable antivirus on your computer, you need to do the reverse steps:

  • Enter Windows Defender settings, turn on virus protection.
  • If you disabled the defender using local group policies, you will need to enter the modified policy settings again, set the default value to “Not configured”, and then restart the PC.
  • If you apply changes to the system registry, go to the “Windows Defender” section, delete the “DisableAntiSpyware” setting and the “Real-Time Protection” section. After that, restart your computer. If you do not want to remove these parameters from the registry, change the value from “1” to “0” in the created parameters.
  • Revert changes to programs if you used third-party apps to disable Windows Defender.

Article Conclusions

If necessary, the user can disable the Windows Defender anti-virus program on the computer, which is built into the Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8 operating systems. The anti-virus can be disabled temporarily or completely using various methods: Windows settings, local group policy, changes in the registry, in programs O&O ShutUp10 and Win Updates Disabler.

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