How to Turn On or Off Windows Defender in Windows 10

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Learn how to turn on or off Windows Defender in Windows 10. We will explain using screenshots to completely turn on or off (disable) Windows Defender. In Windows 10 you can temporarily turn Windows Defender real-time protection on or off. But it is different from disabling permanently. The program is enabled by default. Windows automatically turn it off if another qualifying antivirus is installed and turn real-time protection back on if it’s off for a while. This article is a detailed 100% Working Guide. It also addresses the following topics:

windows defender 10⇒ How to Turn On or Off Windows Defender in Windows 10
⇒ Turn Windows Defender Real-Time Protection on or off
⇒ Disable Windows Defender in Windows 10 permanently

Windows Defender is a little security application built into the Windows by Microsoft. Windows Defender 10 is an effective tool to protect your PC from latest threats. It acts more like a shield than a cleaning tool. It has the capabilities to detect and defend against malicious software (malware) like viruses, spyware, and other potentially unwanted software.

Malware sneak into your PC without your knowledge. Is infects the PC by installing itself and often programmed to run at unexpected times. Internet is usually the source of malware. Example includes: spam email message, software downloaded from doubtful online sources, or when you install a program using a USB flash drive, CD, DVD, or other removable media.

Turn On or Off Windows Defender in Windows 10

Turn Windows Defender Real-Time Protection on or off

Go to Settings → Update & Security → Windows Defender and turn off real-time protection, however it enables itself automatically again after a while, you may be looking for a  permanent solution.

You can disable Windows Defender permanently on Windows 10 by following these methods:

Method 1: Disabling Windows Defender using the Group Policy

The Group Policy Editor is only part of Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise. To turn off Windows Defender using it do the following:

  1. Tap on the Windows-key to open the Start Menu.
  2. Type gpedit.msc and hit enter.
  3. Confirm the UAC prompt to continue.
  4. You find the setting by following this path: Local Computer Policy → Computer Configuration → Administrative Templates → Windows Components → Windows Defender.
  5. There you find the policy “Turn off Windows Defender”.
  6. Double-click on the policy.
  7. Set the state of the policy to enabled in the window that opens, and click ok to save the change.

Windows Defender is disabled immediately when you make the change. To restore the functionality of the app, set the policy state to disabled or not configured.

Method 2: Disabling Windows Defender using the Windows Registry

You may disable Windows Defender in the Windows Registry as well. Basically, it is the same setting that gets written to it when you disable the application in the Group Policy Editor.

  1. Tap on the Windows-key to open the Start Menu.
  2. Type regedit.exe and hit enter.
  3. Confirm the UAC prompt to continue.
  4. Navigate to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender
  5. If you see the preference DisableAntiSpyware on the right double-click on it and set it to 1 to disable Windows Defender.
  6. If the preference does not exist, right-click on Windows Defender and select New → Dword (32-bit) Value, and name it DisableAntiSpyware.

To restore Windows Defender at a later point in time, delete the key or set its value to 0.

Method 3: Normal disable and Task Scheduler

If both methods outlined above don’t work, you may still have another ace up your sleeve that you can try out.

  1. Tap on the Windows-key to open the Start Menu.
  2. Type taskschd.msc and hit enter to open the Windows Task Scheduler.
  3. You may get an UAC prompt that you need to accept.
  4. Navigate to Task Scheduler Library → Microsoft → Windows → Windows Defender.
  5. There you find “Windows Defender Scheduled Scan” which you need to double-click on.
  6. Switch to the Conditions tab when the window opens.
  7. Select “Start the task only if the computer is idle for” and set a large idle time amount there to prevent it from being run on the system.
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