How to Disable Windows Defender on Windows 10 – Temporary and Permanent Solutions
Windows Defender is a proprietary tool that protects your Windows 10 PC from unwanted malware and other corruptive entities, however, it cannot be uninstalled directly. But there can be instances where you might have to disable it for the sake of installing an application that doesn't fit its security bill or you’re just not satisfied with the Defender’s security measures and wish to migrate to a different security tool.
In any case, you can head in two directions and either disable Windows Defender temporarily if you need the changes to be made in a short span of time or you could pull the plug permanently for the longer run.
Disable Windows Defender temporarily
- Open the Start menu and type virus and threat protection in the search bar. Click on the Virus & threat protection option with the shield logo to proceed.
- Under the Virus & threat protection settings tab, select Manage settings to proceed.
- Toggle the Real-time protection switch from On to Off.
- This would turn off Window Defender’s real-time coverage until the time that you restart your PC.
- Windows will prompt that Virus & threat protection has been turned off.
Using the Local Group Policy Editor (Windows 10 Pro)
- Open the Start menu and type group policy in the search bar. Click on the Edit group policy option to proceed.
- Select Computer Configuration and then open the sub-tab of Administrative Templates > Windows Components to continue.
- Scroll down to find Windows Defender Antivirus in the list and double-click to open it.
- In the Windows Defender Antivirus folder, simply double-click on Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus from the mentioned operations.
- Change the selection from Not Configured to Enabled and click on Apply then OK to save the changes.
- The changes can be viewed as the status of the command changes to Enabled.
- Restart your Windows 10 PC for the changes to take place.
Note that these changes are permanent and could expose your computer to security threats and malware unless you replace the Defender with another security tool. You can also undo the changes anytime by repeating the same steps till step 5. Just switch the selection back from Enabled to Not Configured, click on Apply and OK.
Using the Registry Editor (Windows 10 Home)
- Open the Start menu and type regedit in the search bar. Click on the Registry Editor app to continue.
- Type the source location below in the search bar of the Registry Editor and press Enter.
- Right-click on Windows Defender then select New and DWORD (32-bit) Value to create new value.
- Rename the value to DisableAntiSpyware and click anywhere to save the changes.
- Right-click on the new entry and select Modify.
- Change the Value data in the Edit menu from 0 to 1 and click on OK to finalize the changes.
- The value at the end of the entry would change to 1, which means that the changes have been successfully applied. Restart your system and the Windows Defender would be disabled from here on out.
The changes can easily be reverted as all you have to do is follow the steps till Step 5 and instead of selecting Modify, simply select Delete and remove the entry and Windows Defender would be reenabled after the next Restart.