How to disable Windows Defender Antivirus on Windows 10

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Windows 10 comes with the Windows Defender Antivirus antimalware feature to protect your computer and data from unwanted viruses, spyware, ransomware, and many other types of malware and hackers.

Important: Windows 10 now automatically deletes the DisableAntiSpyware key from the Registry, which causes Windows Defender Antivirus to activate again automatically after a restart even after changing the Group Policy or Registry settings, as such the instructions below may or may not working in the latest version of the OS.

How to disable Windows Defender Antivirus using Windows Security

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Windows Security and click the top result to open the experience.
  3. Click on Virus & threat protection.
  4. Under the “Virus & threat protection settings” section, click the Manage settings option.
  5. Turn off the “Real-time protection” toggle switch.

Once you complete these steps, the antivirus will disable the real-time protection allowing you to install apps, or perform a specific task, that you couldn’t before because the security feature was blocking the action.

If you want to enable the real-time protection again, restart your computer, or use the same instructions, but on step No. 5, make sure to turn on the settings.

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