How to disable or turn off Windows defender in Windows 10, 8 or 7

Windows Defender is a free anti-malware software provided by Microsoft which comes along with your installation of Windows 10, 8 and 7 OS. It helps to remove viruses, spyware, root kits and other malicious software on your computer. It acts as a defender and provides basic protection against dangerous threats of viruses.

I don’t recommend this inbuilt software of Microsoft when it comes to total security of a computer, but If you don’t have an antivirus installed on your pc, then it is better to enable Windows Defender rather than keeping it off. At least your pc is protected to some extent from viruses.

How to disable or turn off Windows defender in Windows 10, 8 or 7But most of you like me use a third-party antivirus app which provides total protection against viruses and spyware. So in order to take full advantage of this third party antivirus software we have to disable or turn off the Windows defender.

I will show you some methods by which you can easily turn off or disable Windows defender. But before that let me tell you that this post is going to get updated in future based on technological updates. So don’t forget to subscribe to my email list and bookmark this post for future reference.

The methods which I am going to explain below are most common in Windows 10, 8 and 7 operating systems with minor tweaks here and there. This post covers 4 methods:-

1. The Real Time Protection Method. (Temporary)
2. The Local Group Policy Method. (Permanent)
3. The Services Method. (Permanent)
4. The Registry Editor Method (Permanent)

So follow the steps mentioned below properly in order to temporarily or permanently disable or turn off Windows Defender on your pc or laptop.

1. The Real Time Protection Method

There is a default option in Windows 10. In this option you can temporarily disable or turn off Windows Defender by following the below mentioned steps:-

1. First you have to open Settings.

2. Then, click on Update and Security.

3. Then, click on Windows Defender.

4. You will get this Window as mentioned below. Just turn off the Real Time protection option and you are done.

How to disable or turn off Windows defender in Windows 10, 8 or 7

Now you can see that in Real-time protection option the message is clearly stating that
This helps find and stop malware from installing or running on your PC. You can turn this off temporarily, but if it's off for a while we'll turn it back on automatically.
So this message clearly states that once you restart your pc the Real-time protection will get on again. That's why I have said this is a temporary method.Now I will show you some permanent methods.

2. The Local Group Policy Method

Local group policy editor is the part of Windows 10 OS. This method is same for Windows 10 users as well as Windows 7 users.  Follow the steps mentioned below to disable Windows Defender using Local Group Policy:-

1. Press Windows + R key on your keyboard. This is a short cut to open Run box.


2. Type gpedit.msc in the Run box and press Enter key or click OK button as shown above. This will open the Local Group Policy Editor.

3. You have to first find the settings in the Local Group Policy Edit. You can find the settings by following this path:
Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender
turn off Windows defender in Windows 10, 8 or 7

4. Double click Windows Defender on the left pane and you will see the settings in right pane of the window as mentioned in the image above.

5. Double click on Turn off Windows Defender and you will get the below window.

6. Select Enabled radio button as show in the image below to disable Windows Defender.


7. Click on Apply button and then click OK.

8. Restart your PC for changes to take effect.

Once you are done with all the steps mentioned above you have successfully disabled or turned off Windows Defender on your Windows 10 or Windows 7 pc.

Whenever you want to enable it again, what you have to do is you have to follow the same steps again, but in step 6 instead of selecting Enabled option you have to select Not Configured and click Apply and OK. This way you can enable or turn  it on again.


3. The Services Method

Following are the steps to turn off Windows through Service Method. This method is recommended for Windows 7 users. Even Windows 8 and Windows 10 users could give it a try with this method.

1. Press Windows + R key on your keyboard to open Run Box. Type services.msc and press Enter key or click OK button to open Services window. Alternatively you can also go to Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services to open Services window.


2. You will get the Services window as shown below in the image. Locate Windows Defender in the Name column and double click on it to open properties.

Dsable Windows defender in Windows 10, 8 or 7

3. You will get the properties window after double click as shown below. In start up type select Disabled from the drop down menu as shown in the image below.


4. Click Apply and then click OK.

Once you are done with all the steps mentioned above you have successfully turned off Windows Defender.

4. The Registry Editor Method

In this method we need to change the registry. So I would like to warn you to keep a back up of registry settings before implementing this method, so that if something goes wrong you can restore the registry from your back up.

Following are the steps in the registry editor method.

1. Press Windows + R key to open Run box.


2. Type regedit in the Run box and press Enter key or click OK. If you get a User Account Control prompt. Click Yes and the registry editor will open.

3. Locate the following path in the Registry Editor.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender
After locating the path you will see this window as mentioned below in the image.
Dsable Windows defender in Windows 10, 8 or 7
4. Double click Windows Defender on the left pane you will see DisableAntiSpyware in the right pane of the window. (If you can see, then skip step 5 and 6).

5. If you can't see DisableAntiSpyware, then you will have to generate a key. Right click anywhere in the registry editor in the right pane and select New, click on DWORD (32) bit Value.

6. Rename the key as DisableAntiSpyware.


7. Double click DisableAntiSpyware and if the Value Data field is 0, then set it to 1 and click OK button.

8. Restart your pc or laptop for changes to take effect.

Once you are done with all the steps mentioned above you have disabled the Windows Defender successfully.

So these were the 4 methods which I have shown to you to accomplish this task. Do let me know through comments how this article has helped you and which method you have used to turn off or disable Windows Defender on your laptop or pc.

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