3 Ways on How to Disable Windows Defender Antivirus Permanently

This article covers three ways on how to disable Windows Defender from any computer. If you want to turn off the in-built antivirus permanently, this article is for you.

Windows Defender is the default antivirus application that comes with Windows 10. It protects your computer from various viruses, malware, spyware, and other unwanted programs

Unlike other applications, Windows Defender cannot be uninstalled from the control panel.

We recommend you not to disable Windows Defender if you do not have any other antivirus program on your computer. Your computer can be vulnerable to unwanted viruses. But we understand, there can be situations where you need your antivirus i.e. Windows Defender to be disabled.

For whatever reason, if you want to disable Windows Defender permanently or temporarily, there are multiple ways to do so.

Here we will share 3 ways to disable Windows Defender permanently or temporarily.

  1. From Windows Security
  2. From Registry
  3. From Windows Policy settings

The first method is to turn off Windows Defender antivirus temporarily whereas the other two are permanent solutions.

1. From Windows Security:

  1. Search for Windows Security in the Windows search or in the Cortana.
    Search Windows Security
  2. Select the “Virus and threat protection” on the left side.
  3. Under “Virus and threat protection settings” section, go to “Manage settings”
    Virus & threat protection settings
  4. Turn off the Real-time protection option
    Turn off Real-time protection

This will disable Windows Defender temporarily. Once you restart your computer, Real-time protection is enabled again. If you want to turn-off Windows Defender for some time to carry out any specific action, then this method will work fine.

Read also: How to turn off Google location tracking

2. From Registry:

If you are trying to disable or turn off Windows Defender permanently, modifying the registry is the best option that works for all Windows versions.

Note: Modifying the Windows registry involves risk. So, before making any changes, make sure you backup the registry data.

To disable Windows Defender from the registry, the Tamper Protection must be disabled first.

Disable Tamper Protection on Windows:

  1. Search for “Windows Security” in the Windows search or in the Cortana.
    Or, you can directly search for “Virus and threat protection” in the search menu. In this case, skip point #2.
  2. Go to the “Virus and threat protection” option on the left panel.
  3. Under the “Virus and threat protection settings” option, click on “Manage settings”.
  4. Toggle the Tamper Protection button to OFF.
    Note: Windows may prompt to confirm based on your User Account Control settings.
    Disable Tamper Protection

This disables the tamper protection and the registry can be edited now to turn off Windows Defender.

If tamper protection is ON and Windows Defender is disabled at the registry level, after a computer restart, the in-built antivirus is re-enabled.

Steps to disable Windows Defender from Registry:

  1. Search for regedit in Windows search from Start menu.
    Search regedit in Windows Search
    Or, open Run command by pressing Ctrl+R.
    Type regedit and press OK.

    The User Account Control settings of Windows may prompt you to allow in order to proceed.
    Select Yes to go to the registry editor.
  2. Navigate to path Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender
  3. Right-click on the Windows Defender folder and select New → DWORD (32-bit) Value.
    This creates a new key for the registry entry of Windows Defender.
    Windows Defender Registry Editor
  4. Update the name of the key to DisableAntiSpyware instead of New Value #1.
  5. Double-click on the newly created DisableAntiSpyware key.
  6. Update the Value data field from 0 to 1.
    DisableAntiSpyware key to disable Windows Defender

This process needs you to restart your computer in order to apply the registry changes.

Note: If you want to enable Windows Defender at a later stage, follow the above steps and update the Value data to 0 or delete the DisableAntiSpyware key completely.

Read also: Disable or Enable JavaScript in Chrome

3. Using Windows Policy settings:

If you are in a network managed by your system administrator, you may not have access to edit group policy. Often the group policy is used to manage all the clients and servers in a particular domain.

If you think you have access to modify the Windows Group Policy, here are the steps to disable Windows Defender permanently using Group Policy.

Make sure to disable Tamper Protection first in order to completely disable Windows Defender. Else the default antivirus is enabled again after computer restart.

Disable Tamper Protection:

  1. Search for Windows Security in the Windows search or in the Cortana.
  2. Click on the “Virus and threat protection” option present on the left side.
  3. Under the “Virus and threat protection settings” option, click on the “Manage settings”.
  4. Toggle the Tamper Protection button to OFF.
    Disable Tamper Protection

This disables the tamper protection and the registry can be edited now to turn off Windows Defender.

Steps to disable Windows Defender from Policy Setting:

  1. Search for “Edit Group Policy” in Windows → Start menu.
    Edit Group Policy
    Or, open Run command by typing Ctrl+R and type gpedit.msc
    This opens the Local Group Policy Editor.
  2. Navigate to the below path:
    Computer Configuration → Administrative Templates → Windows Components → Windows Defender Antivirus
  3. While the Windows Defender Antivirus folder is selected on the left panel, double click on the “Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus” policy to edit it.
    Disable Windows Defender permnently using Group Policy Editor
    Else, select the “Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus” policy and click on Edit Policy Setting.
  4. Select Enabled option to disable the Windows Defender permanently.
    Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus
  5. Click on OK to save the changes.

Note, once you edit the policy, the Windows Defender Antivirus is disabled permanently after your computer is rebooted.

If you change your mind or you want to enable Windows Defender, follow the same steps and turn on the Tamper Protection and select “Not Configured” in the policy setting.

This covers all the possible ways to disable Windows Defender permanently from your computer that we are aware of. If you know any other way, do comment and let everyone know.

Happy learning 🙂

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