How To Turn Off Windows Defender In Windows 10

Windows Defender is the default security software program that comes with every Windows 10 installation. It does a pretty good job of making sure that your computer is protected and it uses fewer resources when compared to other security programs.


There are instances when you will want to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10 such as when you have a third party security software that you would like to use. Listed below are the steps that you need to perform to turn this service off.

How To Turn Off Windows Defender In Windows 10

Disable from Windows Security

  • Open Start.
  • Search for Windows Security and click the top result to open the experience.
  • Click on Virus & threat protection.
  • Under the “Virus & threat protection settings” section, click the Manage settings option.
  • Turn off the “Real-time protection” toggle switch.

Take note that if you restart your computer the real-time protection will be turned on.

Disable using Group Policy

  • Open Start.
  • Search for gpedit.msc and click the top result to open the Local Group Policy Editor.
  • Browse the following path: ¬†Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender Antivirus
  • Double-click the Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus policy.
  • Select the Enabled option to disable Windows Defender Antivirus.
  • Click the Apply button.
  • Click the OK button.
  • Restart your device.

Windows Defender will be completely disabled from your computer at this point even though the shield icon will remain in the taskbar.

Disable using Registry

  • Open Start.
  • Search for regedit and click the top result to open the Registry Editor.
  • Browse the following path: ¬†HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender
  • Right-click the Windows Defender (folder) key, select New, and click on DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  • Name the key DisableAntiSpyware and press Enter.
  • Double-click the newly created DWORD and change the value from 0 to 1.
  • Click the OK button.
  • Restart your device.

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