Windows Defender is a free antivirus program that comes pre-installed by Microsoft on Windows 10 to protect your computer from attacks by viruses, rootkits, spyware (spyware), and other types of malicious code.
For some reason, you need to disable Windows Defender completely on Windows 10? There are several ways to turn off Windows Defender on Windows 10, please see the detailed instructions below. On the new version of Windows 10, Windows Defender has been renamed Windows Security, you will also find how to turn off Windows Security in this article.
How to Disable Windows Defender (Windows Security) on Windows 10, Windows 11
1. Disable Windows Defender Using Local Group Policy
Disable Windows Defender using Group Policy as follows:
Launch the Group Policy Management console. Right click on the domain and click Create a GPO in this domain and link it here. Provide a name for the GPO, then tap OK.
Once the policy is created, right click on it and click Edit. This will bring up the Group Policy Management Editor. Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender.
Find the “Turn Off Windows Defender” policy setting. Right click on the policy setting and click Edit.
In the Turn off Windows Defender policy setting, click Enabled. This policy setting will disable Windows Defender. Click OK and close the Group Policy Management console.
On the client, we see that the group policy has been applied. When the user tries to open Windows Defender, it displays a box that says “This application is turned off by group policy”. In case you want to enable Windows Defender, edit the policy and simply change the status of that policy from Enabled to Not Configured or Disabled.
2. Disable Windows Defender Using Registry
Note: Before performing the steps below, you should back up the Registry to avoid bad situations.
1. Press the Windows + R key combination to open the Run command window, then enter regedit and press Enter (or click OK) to open the Registry.
2. On the Registry window, navigate to the key:
3. If DWORD DisableAntiSpyware is not found, right-click any empty space, then select New => DWORD (32-bit) Value.
4. Name this new key DisableAntiSpyware.
5. Double click on the new key you just created, set the value in the Value Data frame from 0 to 1.
6. Restart your computer to complete the process.
In case if you want to reactivate Windows Defender, follow the same steps, and in step 5 you set the value in the Value Data frame from 1 to 0, restart your computer to apply the changes.
3. Temporarily Disable Windows Defender Using the Settings App
From Windows 10 version 1803 or later, follow these instructions to temporarily disable Windows Defender:
- Type Windows Defender Security Center in the search box to open Windows Defender Security Center, click the Settings icon in the lower left corner.
- Scroll down and click Virus & threat protection settings
- Turn off Real-time protection.
In case you use an older version of Windows 10 and want to disable Windows Defender temporarily, follow the steps below:
1. Open the Settings app.
2. On the Settings window, find and click Update & security.
3. Next, click Windows Defender.
4. Switch the Real-time protection option status to OFF.
4. How to turn off Windows Security in Windows 10 (new version)
- Windows Defender AV and the Windows Security application use similarly named services for specific purposes.
- Disabling the Windows Security Center service will not disable Windows Defender AV or Windows Defender Firewall.
The downloadable file below will modify the DWORD values in the following registry keys:
(Service Windows Defender Security Center)
(Service Security Center)
2 = On (Activate)
4 = Off (Disabled)
Step1: To disable Windows Security for all users, download this Disable_Windows_Defender_Security_Center.reg file.
Step2: Save the .reg file to the desktop.
Step3: Double-click the downloaded .reg file to merge.
Step4: When prompted, click Run > Yes (UAC) > Yes > OK to approve the merge.
Step5: Restart the computer to apply the changes.
Step6: Now you can delete the downloaded .reg file if you want.
5. Turn off Windows Defender using other antivirus software
Besides the direct methods to turn off Windows Defender (newly renamed Microsoft Defender Antivirus), you can also indirectly turn off Windows Defender by installing another antivirus software. This method is quite simple because when you install another antivirus, Windows Defender will automatically stop its activities.