How to Disable or Enable Windows Defender in Windows 10

Do you want to disable the Windows Defender (in-built application of Windows) on your System? If yes, you can do the same following three different ways described in this article. Windows Security plays a vital role to protect your PC from a suspicious attack similar to that of Kaspersky and Norton.

There are some advanced features in these programs that it lacks such as- web-monitoring, blocking new installation of software, etc. Windows Defender even occupies more space as compared to the aforementioned apps. These are the reasons why several users disable Windows Defender on their System. The three different methods are using local Settings, Registry Editor and Local Group Policy Editor.

  1. Disable or Enable Windows Defender Via System Settings
  2. Disable or Enable Windows Defender using Local Group Policy
  3. Disable or Enable Windows Defender Using Registry Tweak
  4. How to Enable Windows Defender in Windows 10

Recommended: How to Update Windows Defender antivirus program.

How to Disable or Enable Windows Defender in Windows 10

Here, we explain stepwise methods to Disable Windows Defender temporary or permanently-

1. Disable or Enable Windows Defender Via System Settings

You can disable Windows Defender using the local Settings app. This is an easy process without any complexity. In order to do this, you need to follow these steps-

Step-1: Go to Cortana and type Windows Defender Security Center; once found, click on the same.

Step-2: Again, on the next window, select the Virus and Threat Protection category.

Step-3: Henceforth select Manage settings under Virus and Threat Protection settings section.

Step-4: Now disable the following toggle switches (see snapshot as well).

1. Real-time Protection
2. Cloud Delivered protection
3. Automatic Sample Submission

Disable or Enable Windows Defender


Step-5: Succeeding after, you will receive new pop-up asking to permit the access, hit Yes.

This will temporarily disable Windows Security on your Windows 10 PC. Though this is the easiest way, it also has its own drawbacks. The Windows Defender gets enabled by default when you next login. This implies that when you Restart your system, the Settings switches back to its normal condition.

2. Disable or Enable Windows Defender using Local Group Policy

Alternatively, you can perform the same task using Group Policy. All you have to is to follow these steps-

  • Make a right-click on the Windows icon and select the Run option from the Power menu.
  • Type gpedit.msc in void box and tap OK button to open the Group Policy Editor window.
  • Now, navigate to the following path-
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender Antivirus
  • There forth, double-click on Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus services (see snapshot below).

Disable or Enable Windows Defender

  • Here, mark a Disable checkbox to enable Windows Defender.
  • Thereafter hit Apply and OK button to confirm the changes.

Disable or Enable Windows Defender

If you want to enable Windows Defender, follow the above procedure and check the Enable Radio button.

Note: The Group Policy Editor only works in Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise versions; hence, Windows 10 Home users cannot avail of this feature.

3. Disable or Enable Windows Defender Using Registry Tweak

Since Windows Defender is Microsoft’s in-built application, it doesn’t provide the features to Uninstall it. However, you can disable this tool either temporarily or permanently using registry tweaks. Here is how to proceed-

  • Press Win & R altogether to launch Run dialog.
  • In the void box, type regedit and hit OK button; it will launch the Registry Editor window.
  • If UAC prompt appears up, tap Yes to permit the access.
  • Now copy and paste the following path in the address bar then hit Enter to access the path-
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender.
  • Henceforth, switch to the right pane and do the right click on the blank area.
  • Tap New option and select DWORD(32-bit) using the context menu.

Registry Editor

  • Here, put the key name DisableAntiSpyware then hit Enter.
  • After that open the recently created file and change its value to 1 from 0.
  • At last, click OK to save the changes and Restart your system.

It will disable the Windows Defender on your desktop or Task Manager.

Note: Bear in mind, wrongdoings in Registry might be risky for your system. It may corrupt your entire OS or personal files. This is why it is recommended to create a System Restore point to protect the unwanted loss of data.

How to Enable Windows Defender in Windows 10

If you want to enable this app again, you have to go through the below procedure-

  • Open Registry Editor and navigate to the following address.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender
  • Move to its corresponding right pane and right-click on recently created DWORD entry.
  • Select Delete from the context menu.
  • Once finished, close the registry Editor and Reboot your system.

The Windows Defender icon and its settings will re-appear the next time you login into your System.

Wrapping Words…

Windows Defender is the best tool to protect your system from any malware attack. However, sometimes it may prevent new applications from installing. If that’s the case, you can temporarily disable this app. In case, you want to install some other anti-malware program; you should permanently disable this application using either the 2nd or 3rd method. When you try to invoke some other security program on the system, Windows Defender will automatically disable Real-Time protection.