Windows Defender is a free antivirus program pre-installed by Microsoft on Windows 10 to protect your computer from virus attacks, rootkits, spyware, and other types of malicious code. .

Windows Defender is considered one of the most reliable antivirus software . Windows Defender runs in the background on the computer, but it will automatically disable if it detects any other security software installed on the computer.

For some reason, do you need to disable Windows Defender completely on Windows 10? There are a few ways to disable Windows Defender on Windows 10 , please see the detailed instructions below. On the new version of Windows 10, Windows Defender has been renamed Windows Security, you will also find how to disable Windows Security in this article.

1. Disable Windows Defender using Local Group Policy

If you use Windows 10 Pro or other versions like Windows 10 Enterprise or Windows 10 Education , you can use Local Group Policy Editor to disable Windows Defender completely on your computer.

1. Press the Windows + R key combination to open the Run command prompt .

2. On the Run command window, enter gpedit.msc and press Enter or click OK to open the Local Group Policy Editor window .

3. On the Local Group Policy Editor window, navigate to the following key:

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components => Windows Defender

Note: On Windows 10 1803 and above, the Windows Defender option is replaced with Windows Defender Antivirus, choose this and do the same.

4. In the right pane, find and double-click the Turn off Windows Defender option.

5. Select Enabled to disable Windows Defender.

6. Click Apply.

7. Click OK.

After completing the steps, if you pay attention you will see the Windows Defender icon still displayed in the system tray. To get rid of this icon, simply restart your computer.

In case if you want to re-enable Windows Defender, follow the same steps, and at step 5 you select the option Not configured , restart your computer to apply the changes.

2. Disable Windows Defender by Registry

If you use Windows 10 Home , you cannot access Local Group Policy Editor. However, you can still disable Windows Defender using the Registry .


Before performing the steps below, you should take a backup of the Registry to avoid the bad situation.

1. Press the Windows + R key combination to open the Run command window , then enter regedit and press Enter (or click OK) to open the Registry.

2. On the Registry window, navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender

3. If DWORD DisableAntiSpyware is not found , right-click on any empty space, then choose New => DWORD (32-bit) Value .

4. Name this new key DisableAntiSpyware .

5. Double-click the new key you just created, and set the value in the Value Data box from 0 to 1.

6. Restart your computer to complete the process.

If you want to re-enable Windows Defender, follow the same steps, and in step 5 set the value in the Value Data box from 1 to 0 , restart your computer to apply the changes.

3. Temporarily disable Windows Defender using the Settings app

From Windows 10 version 1803 or later, follow these instructions to temporarily disable Windows Defender:

Type Windows Defender Security Center in the search box to open Windows Defender Security Center, click the Settings icon in the lower left corner.

Scroll down and click Virus & threat protection settings:

Turn off Real-time protection.

In case you have an older version of Windows 10 and want to temporarily disable Windows Defender, follow the steps below:

1. Open the Settings app .

2. On the Settings window, find and click Update & security .

3. Next, click Windows Defender .

4. Switch Real-time protection option state to OFF.

Depending on your computer usage habits, you can choose for yourself how to turn off Windows Defender appropriately. However, it should be noted that, although Windows Defender is not a powerful antivirus software, it also detects and prevents some common viruses, so you should only turn off Windows Defender when you intend to install the anti-virus application. another virus.

4. Quick guide to turn on and off Windows Defender through software

Besides the familiar antivirus software, on Windows Vista or later computers, Windows Defender antivirus is available. This tool will provide real-time protection of the computer against viruses or other threats.

However, users do not always need to use Windows Defender, or Windows Defender conflicts with other security tools, so want to turn them off. Instead of having to manually turn off the Settings interface, we can use the Defender Control tool to quickly turn on and off Windows Defender through a simple click.

Step 1:

Users access the link below to download Windows Defender tool to the computer.


Step 2:

Download the zip file to your computer and extract the file. In the unzip folder, click the exe file to launch the Defender Control software.

We don’t need to do as many installation steps as any other tool. Under the system tray will also display the Defender Control icon.

The main interface of Defender Control will be as below. The green color indicates the status Windows Defender is active. Disable Windows Defender to disable the security program and Enable Windows Defender to re-enable it.

Step 3:

The interface when Windows Defender is off will turn red.

When checking Windows Defender again in the Settings interface, the user will also see the message to re-enable the tool.

If the Defender Control interface turns yellow , Windows Defender cannot function because real-time protection is disabled on the computer.

Step 4:

When right-clicking at the Defender Control icon in the system tray, the user also has 4 different options.

  • Show Defender Control: opens the Defender Control interface.
  • Open Security Center: Open the Windows Defender interface on the computer.
  • Enable Windows Defender: re-enable Windows Defender.
  • Disable Windows Defender: Disable Windows Defender.

Step 5:

Also in the tool interface, when clicking Open Security Center, it will quickly open the Windows Defender interface. Click the Menu button and select Defender Settings to open the Windows Defender interface in Settings.

Also here we will have the option Hide Windows on Startup and Hide When Minimized to hide the window at startup or when minimized.

Defender Control helps users to quickly activate Windows Defender right on the interface of the tool that we do not need to activate manually. The software is lightweight and doesn’t need to go through many installation steps.

5. How to turn off Windows Security in Windows 10 (new version)


Windows Defender AV and the Windows Security application use similarly named services for specific purposes.

The Windows Security application uses Windows Security Service (SecurityHealthService or Windows Security Health Service), then uses the Security Center (wscsvc) service to ensure the application provides the most up-to-date information on protection status on endpoints, including Includes protection provided by third-party antivirus products, Windows Defender Firewall , third-party firewalls , and other security measures.

These services do not affect the state of Windows Defender AV. Disabling or modifying these services will not disable Windows Defender AV and result in a lower protection state on the endpoint, even if you are using a third-party antivirus product.

Windows Defender AV is automatically disabled when a third-party antivirus product is installed and updated.

Disabling the Windows Security Center service will not turn off Windows Defender AV or Windows Defender Firewall.

The downloadable file below will modify the DWORD value in the following registry keys:

(Service Windows Defender Security Center)

(Service Security Center)


2 = On

4 = Off

Step 1: To disable Windows Security for all users, download this file Disable_Windows_Defender_Security_Center.reg .

Step 2: Save the .reg file to the desktop.

Step 3: Double-click the downloaded .reg file to merge.

Step 4: When prompted, click Run> Yes (UAC)> Yes> OK to approve the merge.

Step 5: Restart the computer to apply the change.

Step 6: You can now delete the downloaded .reg file if you want.