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How to disable Windows Defender in Windows 10 permanently

If you try to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10 the same way you did it in Windows 8.1 by opening its Settings, you will not be able to do so.

The only option available is to disable Real-time protection for a while and then (approximately after 15 minutes) Windows Defender turns on again. But there is a way to disable it permanently if you wish to do so for some reason.

Turn off Windows Defender real time protection

Turning off Windows 10 Defender completely

Windows Defender in Windows 10

There are 2 ways to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10. The first method is to use Group Policy Editor, and in the second one, you should use Windows registry editor.

1st method

To disable Windows Defender with Group Policy Editor, hit Windows+R keys and enter gpedit.msc into Run dialog box then hit enter. Run Group Policy Editor

In Group Policy Editor navigate to Computer Configuration — Administrative Templates — Windows Components — Windows Defender.

Windows Defender Policies

On the right side of the editor you’ll see “Turn off Windows Defender variable”, double click it.

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10

Set “Enabled” for the “Turn off Windows Defender” then click Ok and close Group Policy Editor. It actually shuts down Windows Defender sevice:

This policy setting turns off Windows Defender. If you enable this policy, Windows Defender does not run, and computers are not scanned for malware or other potentially unwanted software.

Once you’re done, the Windows Defender service will be disabled and if you try to open it, you’ll see a message “This app is turned off by group policy”. To re-enable Windows Defender, just set “Disabled” for the same variable.

Windows 10 Defender successfully turned off

2nd method

Second way to turn the Microsoft’s antivirus off in Windows 10 is to use registry editor:

Turn off Windows 10 Defender in Registry Editor

  1. Hit Windows+R keys and enter regedit into Run dialog
  2. In Registry Editor navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\ Policies\ Microsoft\ Windows Defender
  3. If you see DisableAntiSpyware parameter on the right side, double click it, then change value to “1” to disable Windows Defender.
  4. If there’s no such parameter, just create new DWORD, name it DisableAntiSpyware and set its value to “1”.
  5. Close registry editor.

That is it. In some cases, you should restart your computer for changes to take effect.

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