How to Disable Windows Defender?

Windows Defender is the default antivirus Microsoft bungles with Windows 10 and 11. For an average user, Windows Defender covers 100% of the protection needs. It effectively detects malware, spyware, potentially unwanted apps, hardware tampering, memory integrity, etc. Still, sometimes users want to disable Windows Defender. For example, when the software marks a safe app or file as a virus. Others think they need to turn off Windows Defender before installing third-party antivirus.

Here is how to disable Windows Defender in Windows 10 and 11.

Important. Turning off Windows Defender (assuming you do not have other antivirus software) is a risky feat, especially if you want to disable Defender to launch a shady app or file. Do that only if you are 100% sure that the app or file is safe and comes from a trusted source. If Windows Defender says something is unsafe, you should think twice before ignoring the warning; otherwise, you risk infecting your computer with malware, crypto miner, adware, or other unwanted software.

We should also point out that you should avoid any third-party app promising you to disable Windows Defender for good. Bad actors often direct inexperienced users searching how to turn off Windows Defender to malicious websites and apps that steal data and inject viruses. The only acceptable way to disable Windows Defender is manually from the app itself.

Turn Off Windows Defender in Windows 10/11

If you want to disable Windows Defender before installing third-party antivirus, here is some news: you do not have to do that. Windows automatically disables built-in antivirus when it detects third-party solutions. All you need to do is to download and install the antivirus you need.

If you want to disable Windows Defender due to false positives, do the following:

  1. Double-click the Windows Security icon in the notification area to open Windows Defender. Alternatively, find the app in the list of all apps in the Start menu.
  2. Open the Virus and threat protection section. disable windows defender
  3. Click the Manage settings link in the Virus and threat protection settings section. turn off windows defender
  4. Disable the following options: Real-time protectionCloud-delivered protectionAutomatic sample submission, and Tamper Protection. Note that disabling each option requires authentication on the user account control window. You need administrator access to disable Windows Defender in Windows 10 and 11. disable windows defender windows 10

Windows Defender is now disabled, and you can proceed with opening or installing the app previously flagged as false-positive. Note that you cannot disable Windows Defender in Windows 10 permanently if there are no other security solutions. Windows will enable Defender automatically after the next restart.

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