How to Disable Windows Defender

Windows Defender is Microsoft’s native antivirus, whose function lies in the analysis and search for malware within the various files and programs found on the computer. In addition to this, it has the ability to protect your computer instantly by detecting malicious or unwanted files in real time, thus having control of everything that is downloaded or run.

Antivirus has the function of protecting any computer from the threats it may pass through. We constantly make use of pages that may include some code that interferes with the device and then makes use of the information stored on it. That’s why you should always have a security system to protect your computer. The advantage of having this software is that it will warn when it detects an irregular situation, so that you can solve it, or that in its defect this one solves it automatically.

If you want to know how Windows Defender works and how to turn it on and off in different versions of Windows, just read on and follow the procedures below. Also through this article you will be able to decide if you want to use Microsoft’s antivirus or if you prefer to use another one.


Steps to temporarily disable Windows Defender

Many times it happens that at the moment of having active this antivirus this prevents to install some program in the computer. Because depending on the origin of this, the Firewall can see it as malicious code, even if it is not. This antivirus has the particularity of restricting some downloads and installations if it considers them suspicious.

This is why sometimes it is necessary to deactivate it by following these steps:

  • Access the start menu, followed by “Control Panel“.
  • Then go to “System and Security” and click on “Activity Center“.
  • If you want to enter the “Activity Center” more quickly, you can select the shield or flag that appears in the taskbar and this will take you quickly.
  • In the window shown below, in the “Security” section. It will show protection against spyware and unwanted software.
  • As this is activated, you only have to select it by clicking on it to open the antivirus settings, and click on “Deactivate now“.

How to disable Windows Defender in Windows 10 / 8.1 / 8 / 7

To completely disable Windows Defender, one of the easiest and most effective ways to do so is from the “Registry Editor”, that is, from the computer’s database. This is because it is a factory-installed software, so if you simply disable it, it will be reactivated.

how to disable windows defender

It should be noted that before taking this step, it is important to disable all services of the native Windows firewall, such as real-time protection, account protection and network protection. Once this is turned off, the antivirus can be permanently removed.

You can access the Windows Defender configuration by pressing the Windows + R keys. Another alternative is to go from the search bar in the start menu and type “Run“.

  • Afterwards you will have to write the word “regedit” without quotation marks, followed by “Accept“.
  • In the “Registry Editor” window that opens, look for the following address by clicking on each drop-down menu: “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / Software / Policies / Microsoft / Windows Defender
  • Right-clicking with the mouse on the blank window, press “New” and search for the following: DWORD value (32 bits).
  • In the value that was created, put a name to identify it, for example: “deactivate antivirus“.
  • Then open it and right click, modify the value information by the number 1.
  • Finally, accept and you will have Windows Antivirus deactivated.

How to turn off Windows Defender alert notifications?

Sometimes it’s a little annoying when notifications about a computer alert appear all the time. Particularly, if this software finds a malicious code, it will issue a warning until it is previously reviewed and fixed, especially if the antivirus is disabled, since it does so as a defense mechanism.

  • Enter the “Control Panel” of the computer. If you don’t find this in the start menu. You can type it in the Windows search bar.
  • Then, in the configuration settings of your computer, go to the “System and Security” section.
  • Click the “Activity Center” next to a blue flag. Alternatively, click on “Security and maintenance”.
  • Another way to quickly access it is through the “Taskbar” where a white flag or shield appears.
  • Once there you can set up Windows Defender notifications.
  • To stop receiving notifications, just select the option “Deactivate antivirus protection messages” and you will automatically stop receiving antivirus alerts“.

How to turn on Windows Defender

Sometimes it is necessary for a computer to have an antivirus activated on its system. In this case Windows Defender is Microsoft’s default security program that helps protect your computer from various types of malware. If you disable it, you can reactivate it by following these steps:

  • On the “Home” screen and in the search field type “Windows Defender“. Click on the antivirus icon and open it.
  • Under the ‘Settings‘ tab, click the ‘Real-time protection‘ in the left pane.
  • Select “Use real-time protection (recommended)” followed by “Save changes“. This will activate and protect your computer again.

If I don’t have Windows Defender activated, what alternatives are there to protect my computer?

If you don’t want to use this firewall as an antivirus for your computer, you can download any other software that provides the necessary security to protect your computer from all kinds of malicious files and malicious software.

Many times they download different antivirus trying to look for the most effective, and even some people choose to install more than one thinking that is why the computer is more protected, but this is not recommended, as it only manages to overload the PC making its operation is compromised. For that reason in this list you will see the best antivirus for Windows 10, 8 and 7, so that you choose the one of your preference.

McAfee AntiVirus Plus

mcafee antivirus plus

It is an antivirus software specialized in computer security. This in addition to providing firewall protection, includes a backup of the computer at the time of installation on it.

One of the advantages of McAfee is that it prevents attacks before they happen through alerts on websites with links and downloads that it considers dangerous. It constantly performs scans and updates based on its database in the cloud where the device is protected, as it does so when the computer is idle.

Avast Free Antivirus


It is one of the most complete antivirus for Microsoft. It contains computer and browser security services, as well as antivirus, anti-phishing, anti-spyware and anti-spam software, among others.

It also incorporates other options that are very favorable, for example, includes a tool called Sandbox that allows the browser to store information virtually without risking the computer. Also the WebRep system, which through its operation determines the level of danger that could have that website you want to access, qualifying them with different colors.

If you ask yourself which is better “Windows Defender vs Avast” I prefer Avast, it is more complete.

AVG AntiVirus Free


It is an antivirus system available for the Windows operating system. Particularly AVG is able to remove any malicious element from the computer, such as spyware, malware, and others.

Through its warning system, it warns about unsafe internet links and blocks them, allowing your computer to be safe. It does the same with those emails that have harmful files.

Norton Antivirus


It is a software of computer security that defends to the equipment of any danger. This antivirus can clean the hard disk to free space and all the content that violates the security.

On the other hand, it keeps you safe from dangerous links and downloads when you surf the Internet and protects your login keys on the platforms you use the most. It also stops current and future threats, and even automatically blocks downloads if it finds threats.