How to Turn Off Anti-Virus in the Windows Security Center

by Craig Witt

Included with Microsoft's Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems, Windows Security Center provides a single location where users can easily monitor and adjust their computer's security settings. It offers quick access to Windows' built-in firewall, automatic updating, malware protection, Internet security and User Account Control features. By default, Windows Security Center monitors your computer and provides updates about the state of your anti-virus software. If you wish to manage this software yourself, you can disable the monitoring feature with just a few clicks.

Windows Vista

Click the Windows "Start" button and select "Control Panel."

Click "Security" followed by "Security Center."

Click "Malware protection."

Click the "Show me my available options" link.

Click "Don't monitor my antivirus software state (not recommended)." Confirm your identity, or provide your administrator user name and password, when prompted by Windows.

Windows XP

Click the Windows "Start" button and select "Control Panel."

Double-click the "Security Center" icon.

Click "Virus protection," and then click "Recommendations."

Check the box labeled "I have antivirus software that I'll monitor myself."

Click "OK."


  • close Windows does not allow you to disable third-party anti-virus programs through the Windows Security Center. You must disable them through the program directly.

About the Author

Craig Witt has written professionally since 2005 in the public and private sectors as a journalist, marketing copywriter and public relations professional. He most often writes consumer software and hardware how-to articles for eHow. Witt has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Washington.

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