Permanently disable Windows Defender Antivirus on Windows 10

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On Windows 10, the Windows Defender Antivirus is a free and reliable anti-malware feature designed to protect your device and data from unwanted viruses, ransomware, spyware, and many other forms of malware and even hackers. Still, while it’s good enough for most users, there are situations where you may want to disable the antivirus permanently or temporarily.

For instance, when you don’t feel confident about the solution. You have to perform a specific task that requires the feature to be disabled on your device. You’re setting up a kiosk computer that won’t connect to the network. Or you need to comply with your organization’s security policies.

The only caveat is that Windows 10 doesn’t include an option to uninstall or disable Windows Defender Antivirus “permanently” unless you install a third-party antivirus. However, you can still disable the built-in security feature using Group Policy or Registry, or even temporarily using the Windows Security app.

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

BitDefender

BitDefender

How to disable Windows Defender Antivirus using Windows Security

Before disabling the built-in security solution, if you’re planning to perform a specific task, you don’t need to disable Windows Defender Antivirus permanently. You only need to turn it off temporarily.

To disable the default antivirus on Windows 10 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.

    Windows Defender manage settings

    Windows Defender manage settings

    Source: Windows Central

  5. Disable Windows Defender by turning off the “Real-time protection” toggle switch.

    Windows Security disable tamper protection option

    Windows Security disable tamper protection option

    Source: Windows Central

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

To enable the real-time protection again, restart your computer, or use the same instructions outlined above, but on step No. 5, make sure to turn on the “Real-time protection” toggle switch.

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

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