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3 Ways to Permanently Disable Windows Defender Antivirus on Windows 10


If Windows Defender Antivirus is not for you, use this guide to permanently disable it on Windows 10. Windows 10 is a built-in anti-malware solution designed to protect your computer and data from unwanted viruses , ransomware, spyware, rootkits, and many other forms of malware and even hackers. Although it is a good antivirus for most users, there may be situations where you may want to permanently (or temporarily) disable the feature.


For example, if you don't have faith in the solution. You need to complete a specific task that is in conflict with the antivirus. You 're setting up a kiosk computer that doesn't connect to the network, and security isn't a concern. Or you need to follow the rules of your company on those computers.


Whatever the reason, Windows 10 doesn't include the option to uninstall or disable Windows Defender Antivirus "permanently" unless you install a third-party solution, in which case it will disable automatically. However, it is possible to disable Windows Defender using Group Policy or Registry, or even to use the Windows Security app on a temporary basis.


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


How to disable Windows Defender Antivirus using Windows Security

If you want to disable the built-in security solution to complete a specific task, such as installing an application, you don't need to permanently disable Windows Defender Antivirus. What you need to do is shut it off momentarily.


To disable the Windows 10 antivirus 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.



5. Turn off the Real-time protection toggle switch to disable Windows Defender temporarily.



When you've completed the steps, the antivirus will disable real-time protection that will permit you to install apps or make a particular device change that you haven't been able to do before because the security function was preventing the action.


You can always enable real-time protection again by restarting the device or using the same instructions as described above, but in step 5, make sure you turn on the Real-Time Protection Toggle switch.


While this is not a permanent solution, the only way to disable Windows 10 antivirus is to perform a particular function.

How to disable Windows Defender Antivirus using Group Policy

You can configure a policy on Windows 10 Pro using the Local Group Policy Editor to permanently disable Windows Defender Antivirus. Nevertheless, you need to disable the "Tamper Protection" feature of the program before the policy can take effect.


Tamper Protection is a feature that has been available since the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, and has been designed to protect the Windows Security app from unauthorized changes that are not made directly through experience. So, because you're using the Group Policy, if you don't disable this protection, the antivirus will reboot automatically in the next update.


To disable Tamper Protection on Windows 10, 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.


5. Turn off the Tamper Protection toggle switch.

After you complete the steps, you can continue with the instructions to disable Windows Defender Antivirus permanently using Group Policy.


Disable Windows Defender Antivirus using Group Policy Editor

To disable Windows Defender Antivirus permanently, use these steps:

1. Open Start.

2. Search for gpedit.msc and click the top result to open the Local Group Policy Editor.

3. Browse the following path:

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

4. Double-click the Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus policy.


5. Select the Enabled option to disable Windows Defender Antivirus.



6. Click the Apply button.

7. Click the OK button.

8. Restart your device.


When the steps are completed, the antivirus will be completely disabled. Interestingly, you will find that the "protection" icon will stay in the taskbar, but that is one intended action because the icon is part of the Windows Security program, not the antivirus.


If you need to go back to the original settings, you can always re-enable the Windows Defender Antivirus using the same instructions as above, but in Step No. 5, make sure you choose the Not Enabled option and restart your device to apply the changes. Also, don't forget to re-enable the "Tamper Protection" feature using the same steps above, but on Step No. 5, make sure that the toggle switch is enabled.

How to disable Windows Defender Antivirus using Registry

Alternatively, if you do not have access to the Local Group Policy Editor, you can modify the Registry to permanently disable the Windows Defender Antivirus. To permanently uninstall the Defender antivirus with the Registry, using the following steps:

Warning: This is a friendly reminder that editing a registry is dangerous and can cause permanent harm to your installation if you don't do it correctly. It is recommended that you make a complete backup of your PC before continuing.


1. Open Start.

2. Search for regedit and click the top result to open the Registry Editor.

3. Browse the following path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender

Quick tip: You can now copy and paste the path in the Registry's address bar to quickly jump to the key destination.

4. Right-click the Windows Defender (folder) key, select New, and click on DWORD (32-bit) Value.


5. Name the key DisableAntiSpyware and press Enter.

6. Double-click the newly created DWORD and change the value from 0 to 1.


7. Click the OK button.

8. Restart your device.


Once the steps are completed, the Windows Defender Antivirus will no longer protect your system from malware.


If you want to revert the changes, you can use the same instructions as described above, but right-click the DisableAntiSpyware key in Step 6, and select the Delete option.


This guide continues to use the Windows Defender Antivirus reference, but beginning with the Windows 10 May 2020 update, the software is known as "Microsoft Defender Antivirus."


While you can use several methods to disable Windows 10 antivirus, we do not suggest using a device without anti-malware protection. Nonetheless, there might be circumstances where it would make sense to disable the protection feature. If you're installing a third-party anti-malware, you don't need to disable the Windows Defender since it'll be disabled automatically during the installation process.

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