How to Disable Windows Defender

by Contributor

Windows Defender provides real time protection to Windows users against all sorts of harmful activity. Its primary use is to help filter out adware, spyware and other malicious programs, but it also protects your computer from accidental user error by confirming actions that can harm your computer. It usually should be left on, but it will interrupt other malware detection programs unless it is deactivated during their scans.

Click the Windows Start Menu icon in the bottom corner of the screen. Once "Open" and go to your computer's Control Panel.

Select "Windows Defender" from the available icons. This opens the main Windows Defender interface.

Choose "Tools" from the top of the screen. This takes you to the main Windows Defender control list. Select "Options" from the list.

Scroll down to the bottom of the list. Uncheck the box that says "Use Windows Defender" and click "Save." A confirmation box will pop up so click "Continue" to move past it. One last box will appear telling you that Defender is turned off (and that it doesn't think that was a good idea).

Turn Windows Defender back on by opening it up in the Control Panel. A notification will appear telling you that it is turned off. Select "Turn On and Open Windows Defender" to enable it.


  • check You can also turn off Windows Defender by stopping it from starting at bootup. Type "msconfig" at any run prompt and disable it in the startup tab. Be aware that Msconfig is an advanced program and should not be used by novices.


  • close Windows Defender is vital to Windows self-protection and should only be disabled if absolutely necessary.

More Articles