Windows Defender is Windows 10´s built-in antivirus and malware protection which per default is turned on. We show you how to deactivate Windows Defender without using another antivirus-solution.
Method One: Using Group Policy to Turn Off or On Windows Defender
Method Two: Using a REG File to Turn Off or On Windows Defender
How Windows Defender protects Windows 10
- Real-time protection monitors all file-activities on your PC and alerts you when virus-infected files get found. It also protects Windows 10 settings from being changed automatically by 3rd party software.
- On-demand filesystem scans analyze any file on the selected drives. You can also schedule scans with a hidden option.
Important: Windows 10 usually turns off Windows Defender automatically when another antivirus-protection gets installed. In most scenarios, there should be no need to deactivate Windows Defender in Windows 10. Usually you should not run your system without any malware protection, especially when Windows 10 is connected to the Internet.
In some cases you might however want to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10:
- When installing another antivirus solution, Windows Defender does not get deactivated automatically
- You run Windows 10 in a sandboxed environment like a Virtual Machine
- You run Windows 10 in a testing environment and know what you are doing
1. Open the Windows 10 Local Group Policy Editor
Press the hotkey Windows + R and type gpedit.msc. In the left sidebar navigate to the following folder:
Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/Windows Components/Windows Defender
2. Open the Turn off Windows Defender dialog
Double click on Turn off Windows Defender to open the settings dialog.
3. Turning off / on Windows Defender
Turning off Windows Defender: Select Enabled and click on OK.
Turning on Windows Defender: Select Not Configured or Disabled and click on OK.
With the REG-file below you can apply the setting with a double-click. It will switch the following registry key.
0 = On
1 = Off
1. Download custom REG file to turn Windows Defender on / off
Right click on the following links and choose Save link as… to download the custom REG files.
2. Double-click on REG-file to turn Windows Defender on / off
When prompted for confirmation by the Open File – Security Warning Dialog, select run. Before doing so you can check the REG-file with a text editor to see what it will do.
When prompted for confirmation by the User Account Control, select YES.
3. Activating Windows Defender
If you are trying to turn on Windows Defender, you need to open the Windows Defender interface and click on Start now. Otherwise Windows Defender will stay deactivated.