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Permanently disable Microsoft Defender Antivirus on Windows 10

Microsoft Defender Antivirus is the Windows 10 built-in anti-malware solution designed to protect your device and data from unwanted viruses, ransomware, rootkits, spyware, and other forms of malware and hackers. Although it’s one of the best antivirus software options for Windows users, there could be scenarios where you may need to disable the protection permanently (or temporarily).

For instance, if you are not confident about a security solution provided by a giant corporation. You have to make system changes that may conflict with the antivirus. You’re setting up a kiosk computer that won’t connect to the network, and security is not an issue. Or you are a network administrator, and you have to comply with the organization’s policies on specific devices.

Regardless of the reason, since Windows 10 does not include an option to uninstall or disable the Microsoft Defender Antivirus, it’s still possible to disable it permanently using Group Policy or installing a third-party solution, or temporarily using the Windows Security app.

In this Windows 10 guide, we’ll walk you through the different methods you can use to disable Microsoft Defender Antivirus permanently (or temporarily) on your device.

How to disable Microsoft Defender Antivirus using Windows Security

If you only need to complete a specific task (such as installing an app), it’s unnecessary to permanently disable Microsoft Defender Antivirus. You can just turn it off temporarily.

To turn off the Windows 10 antivirus protection temporarily, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Windows Security and click the top result to open the app.
  3. Click on Virus & threat protection.
  4. Under the “Virus & threat protection settings” section, click the Manage settings option.

    Microsoft Defender manage settings

    Source: Windows Central

  5. Turn off the Real-time protection toggle switch to disable Microsoft Defender temporarily.

    Disable Defender Antivirus Temporarily

    Source: Windows Central

Once you complete the steps, the Microsoft Defender Antivirus will temporarily disable the real-time protection, allowing you to install apps or make specific system changes without the anti-malware solution flagging the action.

The next time you restart the device, the antivirus will re-enable again automatically. Or you can use the same instructions outlined above, but on step No. 5, make sure to turn on the Real-time protection toggle switch.

This is not a permanent solution, but it’s the best way to disable the Windows 10 virus protection to make system changes or install an application that will usually be blocked by the solution.

This post was written by Mauro Huculak and was first posted to WindowsCentral

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