How to turn off Windows Defender ?

How to turn off Windows Defender

Microsoft launched Windows Defender/AntiSpyware several years ago as inbuilt antivirus software to protect your system. Windows Defender is available from Windows XP to Windows 7 operating system. On Windows 8 and Windows 10, the Windows Defender software has been developed furthermore to protect your system against malware as well. While this AntiSpyware works effectively to protect your system against viruses, malware, and other unwanted pests.

What is Windows Defender

If you are having paid third-party antivirus software then you can shift to that software by turning off Windows Defender. But, if you like to switch for free antivirus software then it’s better to stick with Windows Defender itself as it contains many impressive tools. Windows Defender contains real-time analysis tools such as cloud-based protection, malware removal, minus ads or limitations that the user expects from freeware.

AntiSpyware doesn’t contain any premium version so you will not get nagging messages or pop-ups asking you to upgrade. You need not install anything to get Windows Defender as it is inbuilt of the operating system (OS). The necessary updates of AntiSpyware are handled by Windows updates. The Windows operating system Windows 10 will give you full access to the antivirus platform.

Even though Windows Defender is free and effective but probably it will not be the most advanced for the highest security needs. If you are having highly sensitive data in your computer then you must go with the even more strong antivirus software’s available in the market. But if you are an average user then AntiSpyware will work perfectly.

How to check Status of Windows Defender

To check, whether Windows Defender is on or off, just look at the notifications area along the taskbar (where the battery, sound, network, date and time are present). The icon resembling castle wall or four parts braked shield is the icon for windows defender. Sometimes it may be within the hidden items which have two symbols of “^” click that arrows button. If you see the icon or there is no cross symbol beside it that means windows defender is running. There you found Windows Defender on and you need to disable Windows Defender then follow below steps.

Notifications area on the taskbar, click on the circled symbol to see the extra notification icons.

Guide to Check status of Windows Defender

How to enable or disable Windows Defender in Windows 7 & 8

If you are willing to install third-party antivirus software to protect your system then you must disable Windows Defender. But the Windows Defender will automatically turn off when third-party software of antivirus is installed. But sometimes it may not turn off happen and will cause conflicts between the software’s and AntiSpyware will tend to misbehave. To avoid all the consequences, turn off antivirus manually. Sometimes, you need to temporarily turn off the AntiSpyware for troubleshooting purpose. As the turn off procedure for Windows Defender with Windows 7 & 8 operating system and Windows 10 operating system are different. So, first, we will look into the steps that to be followed for Windows 7 & 8, next we will know the steps for Windows 10. In this guide, I will show you how to enable or disable AntiSpyware in Windows.


  • Initially click on the start menu (or on the start screen in Windows 8) and type Defender on the search bar. Shortcut for opening the search bar is by simultaneously pressing the Windows button on the keyboard and letter “Q”.  When you type “Defender” then you can see the “Windows Defender” option on the top of the list, click on that.
  • Click and type according to the numbers given on the image.

Guide to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 7 & 8

  • A Window will be opened, look for the tools option on the menu bar. Click on that option then you will see the next window.

Guide to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 7 & 8

  • Under the settings category, you can see options, click on that button. You will be directed to the next window.

Guide to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 7 & 8

  • On the left of the window, you can see an option under that select administrator.

Guide to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 7 & 8

  • Now on the right–side of the window you can see two options with checkboxes. Uncheck all the options.
Guide to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 7 & 8
  • Click on the save button present at the button of the window.

Guide to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 7 & 8

  • All the settings are saved and now restart your computer to makes all the changes to your system.

Note: If you have turned off auto-updates for your Windows operating system and if you want to look for the updates. Then check step 2 where you can see the option.

The whole procedure is start menu >search for defender 
>tools >options >administrator > uncheck all > save

How to disable Windows Defender in Windows 10

  • Open the start menu by clicking on the Windows logo present in the bottom left corner of the screen. The start menu will pop – up.

Guide to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10

  • Click the gear-shaped settings icon on the lower left part of the start menu. The settings window is opened.

Guide to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10

  • On the opened window, find and click on the update and security options present on the bottom row of the window.

Guide to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10

  • Click on the Windows Defender option present on the left side of the window.

Guide to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10

  • You can click on the blue switch to turn off the AntiSpyware which is present under real-time protection.  You also disable Window’s Defender cloud-based protection which is present below real-time protection by clicking on the blue button.

Guide to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10

  • Now, AntiSpyware for Windows 10 is completely turned off. You can now run any third-party antivirus software to run it effectively.
In short for the selection of options would be as Windows button > settings 
> Update & security > Windows security > virus & threat protection > 
click on blue buttons of real-time protection and cloud-based protection to
switch off Windows Defender.
  • Some of the antivirus software available in the market are
  1. Avira
  2. Kaspersky
  3. McAfee
  4. Norton
  5. AVG
  6. Avast
  7. Bitdefender
  8. ESET
  9. G Data

If you want to enable AntiSpyware, please follow the above steps and click the off buttons in step 8.


  • Click on Windows or stbart option which is present on the bottom – left corner of the screen. The menu will open – up.
  • Search for regedit on Windows and you will find the option on the top of the search results, click on that. A pop – up window will open and click on the YES button to proceed.
  • You will proceed to the new window, you have to expand the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder by clicking to expand it.
  • Next, expand the SOFTWARE folder, scroll down and expand the policies folder, expand the Microsoft folder, click on Windows Defender folder.
  • Right-click on the Windows Defender folder, you can see the options.
  • Now select the NEW option and selecting it will get some more option parallel to it.
  • On the next scroll down select DWORD (32BIT) VALUE.
  • Enter “DisableAntiSpyware” as the file name and press enter button
  • Now, open the DisableAntiSpyware by clicking on it and a pop – up window will open.
  • Enter the VALUE DATA as 1 and click on the OK button.
  • Close all the tabs and restart your computer.
The main tabs in the procedure are start or windows option > search regedit 
> HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > software > policies > Microsoft > right click on 
Windows Defender > new > DWORD (32 BIT) Value > enter “DisableAntiSpyware >
click enter > click on DisableAntiSpyware> set value data as “1” > click OK.

NOTE: If you want to enable Windows Defender then follow all the above steps and make the value data of DisableAntiSpyware as “0”.


When you are trying to turn off AntiSpyware, if you are facing any problem or have any queries, write to us in the comment section. Mention the problem in detail to help you out. If you like this article please like, share and follow our facebook page and keep visiting our website for such tutorials and guides to get rid of such type of errors.

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