How to disable Windows Defender Windows 10: If Windows 10 is installed on your PC, most likely you have not felt the need to install a new antivirus, given the presence of Windows Defender , which is the “standard” antimalware software installed in the most recent versions of the Microsoft operating system. It is identified by industry experts as one of the best in the free sector and guarantees constant protection, also thanks to its perfect integration with the operating system.
If, however, you ended up on this guide, it is because you are determined to disable it or replace it with another antivirus. Did I guess? So let me give you a hand to achieve your goal: soon, in fact, I will show you all the steps necessary to disable Windows Defender Windows 10 in all typical usage scenarios. It will be my care to show you how to disable the software for a short period of time, how to add folders or files to the exceptions (to ensure that they are not scanned), how to disable it permanently and, in the last chapters, I will show you how to disable other elements security features on Windows 10, which you may not like.
Before going further, however, I must make a proper recommendation: disable Windows Defender and the other elements only if you are sure of what you are about to do and if you have the possibility to replace it, in the very short term, with another security software. In fact, leaving the computer “uncovered” and defenseless could make you vulnerable to viruses, spyware or other more “serious” malware (for example ransomware, those viruses that make files inaccessible except upon payment of ransom): don’t say I didn’t warn you! At this point, I have nothing else to do but wish you a good read and good work.
How to disable Windows Defender on Windows 10 momentarily
If it is your intention to temporarily disable Windows Defender on Windows 10 , so that you can restore it later, then this is the section of the tutorial that’s right for you. In fact, below I will show you how to disable the software for a short period of time and, subsequently, how to add some files (or folders) to its exceptions, so as to exclude them from real-time scanning and scheduled scans.
Temporarily disable the antivirus
To temporarily disable Windows Defender, click the button Start Windows 10 (in the form of an icon flag placed in the lower left of the screen) and presses on the symbol ⚙️ (located on the left of the menu bar) to open the settings of system.
In the new window that appears on the screen, press the Update and security item , select the Windows Security item from the left sidebar, then click on the item Virus and threat protection located in the center of the screen.
At this point, click on the Manage settings item located under the heading Settings for Virus and Threat Protection and, to disable Windows Defender protection, move all the levers on the page to OFF ( Real-time protection , Protection provided by the cloud and Automatic sending of sample files ).
To conclude and make the changes effective, confirm the will to proceed by answering the security windows that appear. If everything went the right way, Defender should have been disabled and, as confirmation, you should also see a notification in the lower right corner (a warning about the absence of virus and threat protection).
These changes, however, are not permanent: the protection offered by Windows Defender will be activated again, automatically, after a few minutes or in the event of a system restart.
However, if you wish, you can restart the antivirus “manually” at any time, going back to the Virus and threat protection screen I mentioned earlier, clicking on the Manage settings button and activating the Protection buttons again. real time , protection provided by the cloud and automatic sending of sample files .
Do you have any folders or files that you would like to avoid antivirus scanning? Instead of disabling antivirus, you can proceed with more precision (and without compromising security too much) by setting exceptions for folders (or files) to be excluded from the scan.
To do so, went back into Settings> Update and Security> Windows Security as I will show just now , click on the items from virus protection and threats and Virus Protection Settings and threats Finally, scroll down until you find the item Add or remove exclusions .
In this section, press the [+] Add an exclusion button and select the element to add, choosing between a file , a folder , a specific type of file or a process . In the first two cases, you must select the file or folder that you do not want to be scanned, through the File Explorer panel that opens immediately afterwards.
Choosing, instead, the option File type , you will be asked to indicate the extension to add to the exceptions: when you are finished, press the Add button to confirm the changes. Finally, in the case of a Process , you must specify the name of the process to be excluded from the scan and click on the Add button .
If you intend to remove the exceptions added previously, listed in the Settings> Update and Security> Windows Security> Virus and Threat Protection > Defender Virus and Threat Protection settings , as I showed you earlier, scroll down to the relevant section to the exclusions , then click on the exception of your interest and on the Remove button that appears immediately after.
How to disable Windows Defender on Windows 10 permanently
If you really don’t like Windows Defender, or if you want to prepare the system to host new antimalware software, you can permanently disable the integrated protection by intervening in the Windows registry . I recommend you do not stay without antivirus protection for a long time, especially if your computer is connected to the Internet: it takes just a few seconds to become infected and damage files, programs and operating system.
Having said that, it’s time to take action: first, press the combination of Win + R keys on the keyboard, so as to call up the Run panel … and, in the text field inside it, type the regedit command followed by the press the Enter button . If necessary, press the Yes button to confirm the next request relating to system security.
Once you have entered the Windows registry, i.e. the part of the system where the entire configuration of the system is stored, access the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows Defender key using the navigation bar located on the left (you can expand the folders by clicking on the > button located next to each of they). Once in the appropriate key, right-click in an empty spot in the right panel of the window and select the items New > DWORD value (32 bit) from the menu that appears.
At this point, indicate the word DisableAntiSpyware as the name , double click on the newly created key, specify the value 1 in the appropriate field that appears on the screen and press the Enter key on the keyboard. To confirm the changes, restart your computer.
If you followed all the steps correctly, Windows Defender will be permanently disabled and you will receive various notifications related to this “problem”. For further confirmation, go to Settings > Update and security > Windows Security > Virus and threat protection: if everything went as expected, Windows Defender should be disabled or inaccessible (and, consequently, unable to restart automatically), with attached wording ” Virus and threat protection is managed by your organization .”
Have you deactivated Windows Defender and are you looking for a protection software that can best protect the security of your computer? In this case, I recommend you read my guide on the best antivirus for Windows 10 or, if you don’t want to shell out a single euro, my in-depth analysis on the best free antivirus for Windows 10 .
If you have an afterthought and want to activate Windows Defender again, open the Registry Editor again and delete the DisableAntiSpyware key that you created a little while ago, right-clicking on it and then selecting Delete from the menu that appears. When you’re done, restart your computer, go to Settings> Update and security> Windows Security> Virus and threat protection and press the Restart button located at the top.
Note: if your intention is to replace Windows Defender with another antivirus, know that the procedure described above should be superfluous, since following the installation of new antivirus, Windows autonomously deactivates Defender.
How to disable Windows Defender SmartScreen
Among the elements that make up the Windows 10 security system, there is also Windows Defender SmartScreen , the component that deals with analyzing Store apps, websites and installation software running on your computer, checking if they have certification or not. Usually this is a very useful protection system, however it could be “annoying” if you try to install many non-certified programs.
If you decide to cancel SmartScreen protection for this reason, pay close attention to what you are doing, as your computer may be compromised by threats that are not detected (or not detected in time): never forget it!
Having said that, to totally disable SmartScreen, open the Windows 10 Start menu , click on the ⚙️ icon located in the sidebar and access the Update and security > Windows security > Control of browser apps section ; arrived in the dedicated window, affix the check mark next to the Deactivated item under the items Check apps and files , SmartScreen for Microsoft Edge and SmartScreen for Microsoft Store apps .
From now on, SmartScreen will no longer intervene when you download new files or new apps from the Microsoft Store, just as it will not check the websites you visit with Microsoft Edge. To reactivate this protection, simply go to the same section that I showed you a moment ago and activate the Warn items this time , so as to restart the notifications in case of suspected threats.
How to disable Windows Defender Firewall
Among the most effective security tools present on Windows, there is undoubtedly Windows Firewall , a system that prevents attackers and viruses from entering the computer and taking control of it by exploiting the Network. Deactivating it is never a wise move, unless you want to replace it with another third party product (in this case, it is advisable to avoid any kind of “interference”).
So, to disable the Windows firewall, press the Windows 10 Start button and press the pulsante button on the left side of the menu; once the settings window is open, go to the Update and security > Windows security > Firewall and network protection section .
At this point, a panel should appear on the screen containing the various network profiles that can be configured for the firewall: choose the one currently used on your computer (you can identify it by the word active , on many home PCs the profile used is Private network ) and , in the next screen, move the lever corresponding to the Windows Defender Firewall item to Disabled , confirming the desire to proceed by answering Yes to the next window.
Also check that the box next to Block all incoming connections , including those in the list of allowed apps, is not marked with a tick, otherwise remove it yourself.
If the solution shown above, for some reason, is not effective, you can disable the Windows 10 firewall using the Command Prompt in Administrator mode . To do this, open the Start menu , click in the Windows System folder , right-click on the icon for the Command Prompt , select the item Run as administrator from the menu that appears and press the Yes button to grant authorization to proceed.
At this point, type in the window one of the commands specified below, based on the profile for which you want to disable the firewall, and press the Enter key to confirm.
- netsh advfirewall set currentprofile state off – disable the firewall for the network profile in use;
- netsh advfirewall set allprofiles state off – disable the firewall for all network profiles;
- netsh advfirewall set domainprofile state off – disable the firewall for the domain profile;
- netsh advfirewall set privateprofile state off – disable the firewall for private network profiles;
- netsh advfirewall set publicprofile state off – disable the firewall for public network profiles.
If you need additional help, or want to know the other Windows Firewall configuration options for Windows 10 (for example, how to disable protection for a single file only), I suggest you take a look at my specific guide on how to disable the Windows 10 firewall .
How to disable Windows Defender Security Center
Now that you’ve turned off antivirus, SmartScreen and firewall, you no longer want to receive Windows Security Center notifications about computer security issues? No problem: you can disable Windows Defender Security Center by removing the icon from the system tray and silencing notifications. Remember, however, to activate one or more protection solutions as soon as possible, as otherwise you may be a victim of malware or other types of cyber threats.
However, to remove the Security Center icon and notifications, go to the menu Start , presses the button-shaped ⚙️ placed in it and went to the section Customizing . Once this is done, click on the item Taskbar located on the left and scroll down the page to identify the section Select the icons to be displayed on the taskbar : at this point, move the lever corresponding to the item Windows Security notification icon and the game to OFF it’s done.