How to disable Windows Defender

How to disable Windows Defender

Windows Defender is an Anti-Malware component that is part of Windows 10 - providing all users with some form of protection, even if they don't purchase an anti-virus product. If you do install your own protection, they will often disable Windows Defender automatically - as it isn't wise to have two competing solutions running at the same time.

If you'd like to disable Windows Defender manually, there are two recommended methods depending on the version of Windows 10 you have. We do suggest you run some form of protection!

For Windows 10 Pro / Enterprise Users:

To begin, press Windows Key + R and type in GPedit.msc, then click OK:


Then, browse to Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender and double click Turn Off Windows Defender:


Now, select the Enable box and then click OK:


You'll need to log out/in again or restart your PC for the changes to take effect. When you do, Windows Defender should be completely disabled.

For Windows 10 Home Users:

As Windows 10 Home users do not have access to the Group Policy Editor, you'll need to manually disable Windows Defender by clicking Start > Settings:


Then click Update and Security:

Defender 1.png

Now, select Windows Defender and then click Open Windows Defender Security Centre:

Defender 2.png

Then click Virus and Threat Protection:

Defender 3.png

Now select Virus and Threat Protection Settings:

Defender 4.png

From here you can disable the following:
  • Real-Time Protection
  • Cloud-Based Protection
  • Automatic Sample Submission
Defender 5.png

Once you've done this, Windows Defender is temporarily disabled. If you've like prevent it from automatically activating if your PC is left idle, you'll need to visit the Task Scheduler and browse to:

Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > Windows Defender

Then, double click the Windows Defender Scheduled Scan task and set a large idle timeout, so that it never runs.

First release
Last update

More resources from Ian