Windows Defender is actually an Antivirus that protects your system against, viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. As we all know that malware is highly powerful that they can infect your PC without giving any kind of signal or warning. It can be installed into your PC itself either through emails, attachments, internet, or even when you use any removable storage media.
Windows 10 comes with this built-in antimalware solution that ensures its users to protect their PCs against malware. Sometimes, it becomes too protective, just like an overbearing parent who always gazing over your shoulder and ask, what is that? What are you doing? Every time you move to a new page.
So, if you find that this overprotective feature of Windows 10 is slowing down your productivity, it means you might need it to turn off.
If you want to turn off Windows Defender Antivirus on your PC with Windows 10, you can do it using a number of ways, temporarily or permanently.
When you turn it off temporarily, Windows will automatically turn real-time protection on if it is off for a while.
Let’s move further with some of the methods to disable Windows Defender Antivirus on Windows 10.
Using Windows Security
If you want to perform certain tasks before making any change in the system’s configuration, then there is no need to turn off Windows Defender permanently. Rather, you can turn it off temporarily by disabling Windows Security. To do this, you require following these steps.
- Open Start and search for Windows Security.
- Click on the top result to open the Windows Security window.
- Now, click ‘Virus & threat protection’ option from the left menu.
- Press ‘Manage settings’ button under the ‘Virus & threat protection settings’ section.
- Turn off Real-time protection.
Once, you disable the real-time protection, Windows Defender will allow you to install apps or to do a particular task, which you were unable to perform earlier because of the blockage of his security feature.
When you want to enable it, simply restart your PC or follow the same instructions and turn on ‘Real-time Protection’ setting.
Using Group Policy
Group Policy Editor is only available on Windows Pro and Enterprise only. So, if you have Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise, you can turn off Windows Defender using the following steps.
- Press Windows key + R.
- Type gpedit.msc to open Local Group Policy Editor window.
- Now, follow this path- Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender Antivirus
- Now, find ‘Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus’ from the list in the right panel and double click it.
- In next window, select ‘Enabled’ option to turn off Windows Defender.
- Click Apply and then Ok button.
Restart your PC.
These steps will turn off Windows Defender permanently from your PC, but the shield icon will remain in the taskbar because it is a part of Windows Security app, not the Windows Defender.
You can re-enable the antivirus whenever you want by simply following the same steps. But now, you have to select ‘Non Configured’ option in step 5 and restart your PC keep the changes in effect.
If you have do not have Windows Pro and Enterprise or running your PC on Windows 10 Home, you can turn off Windows Defender using Registry.
One thing you must be kept in mind that modifying registry can be risky if it is not done accurately and can cause irreversible damage to your PC. So, if you are not sure about its editing, you must avoid this method. Or you can take a full backup of your PC before proceeding.
Use these steps to disable Windows Defender Antivirus permanently.
- Press Windows key + R.
- Type ‘regedit’ to open the Registry Editor
- Follow this path: “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender”
- Another way is to simply copy and paste this path in the Registry’s address bar, it will take you directly to the destination.
- Now, right-click Windows Defender folder, click New and then select DWORD (32-bit) Value from the drop-down menu.
- Name it DisableAntiSpyware and press Enter.
- Double-click on the new key i.e. DisableAntiSpyware, which will open a pop-up window. Enter 1 in the ‘value data’ field and click ok.
Restart your PC to install the new changes.
Once it is done, Windows Defender will no longer be able to work against malware.
You can get back the changes by following the same instructions, but now you require right-clicking DisableAntiSpyware in Step 7 and select the Delete option.
As there are multiple methods to turn off Windows Defender Antivirus in Windows 10, still it is not recommended to use your PC without antimalware software.
If you are installing third-party antivirus software, you need not to turn off this built-in antimalware, as it will turn off automatically during the installation of another antivirus.