If you don’t want to use Windows Antivirus service, you can turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10. Windows Antivirus/Defender was first released on Windows XP and later shipped on Windows 7, 8, and Windows 10. Windows Defender is built-in antivirus service in Windows 10, protects your PC from viruses, Malware, Ransomware, spyware, Keylogger, etc.

In most cases, Windows Defender is good for us but sometimes we need to turn it off to perform the specific task. You have to complete your task such as Virus testing task which Antivirus can block, in this situation you might want to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10.

This guide will walk you through How To Turn Off Windows Defender in Windows 10. Windows 10 doesn’t give you an option to uninstall and disable the Windows Defender permanently. Although, It is possible using Group Policy Editor or Registry Editor.

Turn off Windows Defender Temporarily

If you want to perform a specific task, such as installing a program, then you don’t need to disable Windows defender permanently. You can turn off Windows Defender Antivirus service temporarily.

  1. First of all, Go to the Start Menu and click the Settings Gear icon to open the Windows 10 settings. (You can also press Windows+I shortcut key)
  2. In the settings, select Update & Security>Windows Security>Open Windows Security.
  3. This opens a new Windows Security Window, select the virus and threat protection.
  4. Under the Virus & threat protection click the Manage settings.
How to turn off Windows Defender windows 10
  1. Now, you can turn off real-time protection, click the toggle switch and turn off it.
How to turn off Windows Defender windows 10

Once you’ve done this, Windows Defender is disabled temporarily. Now, you can complete your task which you could not complete as long as Windows Defender was on.

You can enable the real time protection by restarting the PC, or simply open the Windows Security settings and turn on manually.

Related article: How to delete backup files in Windows 10

Turn off Windows Defender Permanently

You can either create a policy using a group policy editor or create a registry using a registry editor to disable the Windows antivirus service permanently.

Using Local Group Policy Editor

On Windows 10 pro, you can use group policy editor in order to disable the Windows defender, but on Windows 10 home, Group policy is not enabled by default, you need to enable it first. We’ve already covered this topic, you might want to read: How to enable Group Policy Editor in Windows 10 Home

However, In order to turn off Windows Antivirus service permanently, you have to disable Tamper Protection in Windows Security settings.

Disable Tamper Protection

  1. Open the Windows 10 settings.
  2. Select Update & Security > Windows security.
  3. Open Windows Security settings.
  4. Under the Virus & threat protection, click the Manage settings.
  5. Find Tamper Protection and click the toggle on-off button and disable Tamper protection.

Turn off Windows Defender

  1. First of all, Go to start menu and search “gpedit.msc”, click the Group Policy Editor to open it. (You can also open the run box and type “gpedit.msc”, then hit enter)
  2. In the group policy editor, navigate the following path: Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/Windows Components/Windows Defender Antivirus.
How to turn off Windows Defender windows 10
  1. Find the “Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus” policy, click twice on it.
  2. Now, Select the “Enable option” to enable this service.
How to turn off Windows Defender windows 10
  1. Click the Apply and then OK.
  2. Restart your PC.

Now the Windows Antivirus is permanently turned off. You might notice that the “shield” icon still remains in the taskbar, don’t worry, it is the Windows duty to show you this shield icon.

You can open the Windows Defender settings and check the real-time protection whether it is turned on. If you’ll try to enable real-time protection, you can’t until you make a change in group policy. You can disable the “Turn off Windows Antivirus” policy in order to enable Antivirus protection again.

Using Registry Editor

If you’re using Windows 10 Home Edition, you might want to go with this option as Group policy editor is not enabled by default in Windows 10 home. However, this method is applicable to both editions of Windows 10.

In this method, you also need to disable the “Tamper Protection”. To do this, back to the previous method and disable tamper protection.

  1. First of all, open the RUN box and type “regedit.exe” and then hit the enter button.
  2. This open Registry Editor.
  3. In the Registry Editor, navigate the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender.
  4. Right-click in the white space area and then select new>DWORD 32-bit value to create a new registry.
disable Windows defender windows 10
  1. Enter the key name “DisableAntiSpyware” and hit enter.
  2. Once the entry is created, double-click the DisableAntiSpyware Entry, and set the value data from 0 to 1, then OK.
disable Windows defender windows 10
  1. Restart your PC.

Now the Windows Antivirus is turned off permanently. In the future, if you might want to enable Windows Defender you can simply delete this DisableAntiSpyware entry in Registry Editor. You must turn on Tamper protection if you enable the Antivirus service again in Windows 10.

We never suggest you to disable antivirus service permanently, you can turn off antivirus temporarily. Once you finished your work, a simple restart can enable the protection again. You should always use the Windows Antivirus service, it is therefore important as it protects your PC against viruses, malware, spyware, etc.

This is all about how to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10, Hopefully, you enjoyed this guide.