Permanently disable Microsoft Defender Antivirus on Windows 10

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On Windows 10, the Microsoft Defender Antivirus is a built-in anti-malware solution designed to protect your computer and data from unwanted viruses, ransomware, spyware, rootkits, and many other forms of malware and even hackers. Although it’s one of the best antivirus software options for most users, there could be situations where you may want to disable the feature permanently (or temporarily).

For example, when you’re not confident about the solution. You have to complete a specific task that conflicts with the antivirus. You’re setting up a kiosk computer that won’t connect to the network, and security isn’t a concern. Or you need to comply with your organization’s policies on certain devices.

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Whatever the reason it might be, Windows 10 doesn’t include an option to uninstall or disable the Microsoft Defender Antivirus “permanently” unless you install a third-party solution, in which case it’ll disable automatically. However, it’s possible to disable Microsoft Defender using Group Policy or temporarily with the Windows Security app.

In this Windows 10 guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to disable Microsoft Defender Antivirus permanently (or temporarily) on your device.

How to disable Microsoft Defender Antivirus using Windows Security

If you want to disable the built-in security solution to complete a specific task, such as installing an application, you don’t have to disable Microsoft Defender Antivirus permanently. You only need to turn it off temporarily.

To disable the Windows 10 antivirus temporarily, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Windows Security and click the top result to open the app.
  3. Click on Virus & threat protection.
  4. Under the “Virus & threat protection settings” section, click the Manage settings option.

    Microsoft Defender manage settings

    Source: Windows Central

  5. Turn off the Real-time protection toggle switch to disable Microsoft Defender temporarily.

    Disable Defender Antivirus Temporarily

    Source: Windows Central

Once you complete the steps, the antivirus will disable the real-time protection, allowing you to install apps or make a specific system change that you weren’t able to before because the security feature was blocking the action.

You can always enable the real-time protection again by restarting the device, or using the same instructions outlined above, but on step No. 5, make sure to turn on the Real-time protection toggle switch.

Although this isn’t a permanent solution, it’s the best option to disable the Windows 10 antivirus to perform a specific task.

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