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Windows Defender is Microsoft’s official antivirus and anti-spyware/malware for the Windows operating system. It is preinstalled with Windows Vista and all later versions of Windows such as Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10.
If you don’t like Windows Defender and want to use a third-party antivirus or security program on Windows, you can use this tutorial to disable Windows Defender.
It may seem a little confusing that permanently closing Windows Defender is more difficult than it should be. Finally, Windows 10 allows you to disable Defender. You can access it by clicking on Settings, Update and Security, then on Windows Defender.
Disable Windows Defender permanently:
Disabling Windows Defender using group policy
The Group Policy Editor is only a part of Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise. To disable Windows Defender using Windows Defender, do the following:
- Tap on the Windows button to open the Start menu.
- Enter gpedit.msc and press Enter.
- Confirm the UAC prompt to continue.
- You can find the setting by following this path: Local IT Policy > Computer Configuration >
- Administration Models > Windows Components > Windows Defender Antivirus.
- You will find the “Disable Windows Defender Antivirus” policy there.
- Double-click on the strategy.
- In the window that opens, set the policy status to Enabled and click OK to save the change.
Disable Windows Defender via the registry.
If you are using Windows 10 Family, you do not have access to the local group policy editor. However, you can change the registry to permanently disable the default antivirus by following these steps:
Warning: This is a friendly reminder that modifying the registry is risky and can cause irreversible damage to your installation if you do not do it properly. It is recommended to create a full backup of your PC before continuing.
Use the Windows key + the R key combination to open the Run command.
Type regedit and click OK to open the registry.
Look for the following path:
Tip: You can now copy and paste the path into the address bar of the new registry to quickly reach the key target.
If the MOT DWORD DisableAntiSpyware does not appear, right-click the Windows Defender button (folder), select New, then click the DWORD value (32-bit).
Name the DisableAntiSpyware key and press Enter.
Double-click on the newly created MOT DWORD and set the value from 0 to 1.
Of course, you can do the above steps without any protection against spyware. It is recommended to disable Windows Defender only if you are using another trusted antivirus software. This tip can also be useful when you try Windows 10 in the virtual machine.
If your motivation to disable Windows Defender is to install another antivirus, don’t worry. Windows automatically disables Windows Defender’s real-time protection as soon as it detects another security program on your desktop.
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