Windows Defender is an antimalware software built into Windows 10 and designed to protect your computer from viruses, rootkits, ransomware, spyware, and other malware forms. Based on various tests carried out by leading IT and security experts, Windows Defender is rightfully among the best free antivirus. While this is one of the best antivirus solutions, some users may decide to disable Windows Defender temporarily or permanently.
For example, it is necessary to disable Windows Defender temporarily when you have to perform a specific operation that conflicts with the antivirus. You can also permanently disable Windows Defender if you are configuring a kiosk computer that will not connect to the network and therefore will have no problems safety.
Before continuing, it is important to specify that Windows 10 does not allow you to permanently uninstall or stop Windows Defender unless you install a third-party solution. In that case, Microsoft’s antivirus software will automatically disable itself. However, it is easier to disable Windows Defender with several procedures that I will show you in the next paragraphs.
How to disable Windows Defender
Before disabling Windows Defender, make sure that you are perfectly sure of the operation you are about to perform and that the software you are using is 100% safe.
Temporarily Disable Windows Defender
- Click on the Start button;
- From the Start menu, click “Settings,” the one in the shape of a gear on the left;
- Click on the “Update and security” icon ;
- On the left menu, select the item “Windows Security” ;
- Click on the item “Virus and threat protection” ;
- Click on the item “Manage settings” under the item “Virus and threat protection settings” ;
- Move the switches under “Real-time protection” and “Cloud-provided protection” to the left.
At this point, Windows Defender will immediately deactivate and will automatically restart after a few minutes or after restarting the PC. You can also manually reactivate the protection function by moving the switches under “Real-time protection” and “Cloud-provided protection” to the right.
Permanently Disable Windows Defender
As stated at the beginning, it is not possible to stop Windows Defender permanently. Microsoft has decided to remove this setting with the update released in August 2020. So to permanently disable Microsoft’s anti-malware, you’ll first need to install a third-party antivirus.
However, some tricks allow you to stop Windows Defender permanently. This is highly discouraged, as leaving a computer without antivirus protection would expose the system to various cyber threats.
However, if you understand better what you are doing and want to disable Windows protection permanently, you can do the following:
- Connect to this page and download the free Defender Control utility ;
- Once the utility has downloaded, click on the Start button, then click on “Settings” (the gear icon on the left);
- Click on “Update and security,” then from the left side menu select “Windows Security” ;
- Select the item “Virus and threat protection” ;
- Do click on the item “Manage settings,” present under the item “Virus and threat protection settings” ;
- Locate the item “Tamper protection” and disable the switch under it;
- Exit from “Settings” and start Defender Control ;
- Click on the “Disable Windows Defender” button.
- Exit Defender Control.