How to Turn Off Windows Defender in Windows 10


This wikiHow teaches you how to turn off Windows Defender, both temporarily and "permanently", in Windows 10. While Windows Defender can be disabled until you restart your computer from within Settings, you can prevent Windows Defender from turning itself back on until you allow it to from within the Windows Registry Editor. Keep in mind that disabling Windows Defender will open your computer to security threats; additionally, using the Registry Editor outside of the parameters defined in this article can harm or even brick your computer.

Part 1
Turning Off Windows Defender

Turning Off Windows Defender on How to Turn Off Windows Defender in Windows 10

1
Click the Windows logo in the bottom-left corner of the screen. The Start menu will pop up.

Turning Off Windows Defender on How to Turn Off Windows Defender in Windows 10

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Click the gear-shaped Settings icon in the lower-left side of the Start menu. Doing so opens the Settings window.

Turning Off Windows Defender on How to Turn Off Windows Defender in Windows 10

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It's in the bottom row of Settings options.

Turning Off Windows Defender on How to Turn Off Windows Defender in Windows 10

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This tab is in the upper-left side of the window.

Turning Off Windows Defender on How to Turn Off Windows Defender in Windows 10

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It's the first option below the "Protection areas" heading near the top of the page. Doing so opens the Windows Defender window.

Turning Off Windows Defender on How to Turn Off Windows Defender in Windows 10

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You'll find this option in the middle of the page.

Turning Off Windows Defender on How to Turn Off Windows Defender in Windows 10

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Click the blue "On" switch below the "Real-time protection" heading, then click Yes when prompted. This will turn off the real-time scanning feature of Windows Defender.[1] You can also disable Windows Defender's cloud-based protection by clicking the blue "On" switch below the "Cloud-delivered protection" heading and then clicking Yes when prompted. Windows Defender will turn itself back on the next time you restart your computer.

Part 2
Disabling Windows Defender

Disabling Windows Defender on How to Turn Off Windows Defender in Windows 10

1
Click the Windows logo in the bottom-left corner of the screen. The Start menu will pop up.

Disabling Windows Defender on How to Turn Off Windows Defender in Windows 10

2
The Registry Editor program allows you to make changes to your computer's core features. To open it, do the following: Type in regedit. Click the blue regedit icon at the top of the Start menu. Click Yes when prompted.

Disabling Windows Defender on How to Turn Off Windows Defender in Windows 10

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You'll do this by expanding each of the necessary folders in the left-hand section of Registry Editor as follows: Expand the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" folder by double-clicking it (skip this step if the folder is already expanded). Expand the "SOFTWARE" folder. Scroll down and expand the "Policies" folder. Expand the "Microsoft" folder. Click once the "Windows Defender" folder.

Disabling Windows Defender on How to Turn Off Windows Defender in Windows 10

4
You should see a drop-down menu appear. If your mouse doesn't have a right-click button, click the right side of the mouse, or use two fingers to click the mouse. If your computer uses a trackpad instead of a mouse, use two fingers to tap the trackpad or press the bottom-right side of the trackpad.

Disabling Windows Defender on How to Turn Off Windows Defender in Windows 10

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It's near the top of the drop-down menu. Selecting it prompts a pop-out menu.

Disabling Windows Defender on How to Turn Off Windows Defender in Windows 10

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This option is in the pop-out menu. Clicking it places a blue-and-white file in the "Windows Defender" window on the right side of the page.

Disabling Windows Defender on How to Turn Off Windows Defender in Windows 10

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When the DWORD file appears, type in DisableAntiSpyware and then press ↵ Enter.[2]

Disabling Windows Defender on How to Turn Off Windows Defender in Windows 10

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Double-click it to do so. A pop-up window will open.

Disabling Windows Defender on How to Turn Off Windows Defender in Windows 10

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This essentially turns on the DWORD value.

Disabling Windows Defender on How to Turn Off Windows Defender in Windows 10

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It's at the bottom of the window.

Disabling Windows Defender on How to Turn Off Windows Defender in Windows 10

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Click Start , click Power , and click Restart in the pop-up menu. When your computer finishes restarting, Windows Defender will be disabled.

Disabling Windows Defender on How to Turn Off Windows Defender in Windows 10

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If you decide that you want to re-enable Windows Defender in the future, do the following: Go back to the Windows Defender folder in Registry Editor. Click once the "Windows Defender" folder. Open the "DisableAntiSpyware" value by double-clicking it. Change the "Value data" from 1 to 0. Click OK, then restart your computer. Delete the "DisableAntiSpyware" value if you don't want it to be available later.