How to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10 Home and Pro (step-by-step)

This tutorial will show you step by step how to permanently or temporarily turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10 Home and Pro.

We'll be using tools that are already built-in Windows 10. So you don't need any third-party software.

Windows Defender Antivirus

Windows Defender is free antivirus software built-in to Windows 10.

It offers protection against all kinds of malware, such as computer viruses, spyware, trojans, and other malware types.

Windows Defender is free, doesn't show advertisements, and doesn't need any configuration.

It offers:

Windows Defender Antivirus automatically turns off when you install third-party antivirus software (e.g., Bitdefender, Kaspersky, etc.).

How to permanently disable Windows Defender in Windows 10 using Group Policy Editor

1. Right-click on the start menu button.

2. Click on Run.

Open Run window in Windows 10

Or press the [Windows] + [R] keys on your keyboard.

3. Enter gpedit.msc.

Open Windows Local Group Policy Editor

4. Press [Enter] or click on the OK button.

The “Local Group Policy Editor” will appear.

5. Under Computer Configuration, you open Administrative Templates.

6. Open Windows Components.

Open Windows Components in Local Group Policy Editor

7. Scroll down and click on Windows Defender Antivirus.

Windows Defender Antivirus in Local Group Policy Editor

8. On the right side, you double-click on Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus.

The Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus policy in Local Group Policy Editor

9. Select the Enabled option.

Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus in Windows 10

10. Click on the Apply button at the bottom of the “Local Group Policy Editor” window.

11. Click on the OK button.

12. Close the “Local Group Policy Editor” window.

13. Restart your PC.

Windows Defender is now permanently disabled.

You can turn Windows Defender Antivirus back on using the same steps, but in step 9, you must select the Not Configured option. After that, you will need to restart your PC to apply the changes.

How to permanently disable Windows Defender in Windows 10 using Registry Editor

Microsoft has issued the following warning regarding Registry Editor:

“Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious, system-wide problems that may require you to reinstall Windows to correct them. Microsoft cannot guarantee that any problems resulting from the use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use this tool at your own risk.”

That's why you must first create a system restore point so that you can revert your computer's state (including system files, installed programs, Windows Registry, and system settings) to that of a previous point in time, which can be used to recover from system malfunctions or other problems.

How to use system restore in Windows 10 (step-by-step) (link opens in a new tab).

1. Right-click on the start menu button.

2. Click on Run.

Open Run window in Windows 10

Or press the [Windows] + [R] keys on your keyboard.

3. Enter regedit.

Open Registry Editor in Windows 10

4. Press [Enter] or click on the OK button.

5. Browse to the following path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender
Go to Windows Defender in Registry Editor

6. If you don't see DisableAntiSpyware in the Windows Defender folder, then right-click on the Windows Defender folder, go to New, and then click on DWORD (32-bit) Value.

Create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value for Windows Defender

7. Name the new key DisableAntiSpyware.

8. Press [Enter].

9. Double-click on DisableAntiSpyware.

10. Change the value from 0 to 1.

11. Click on the OK button.

Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus in Windows 10 using Registry Editor

12. Close the “Registry Editor” window.

13. Restart your PC.

Windows Defender is now permanently disabled.

You can turn Windows Defender Antivirus back on using the same steps, but in step 6, you right-click on the DisableAntiSpyware key and then you click on Delete. After that, you will need to restart your PC to apply the changes.

How to temporarily disable Windows Defender in Windows 10 in Windows Security

1. Open Windows Security.

Three ways to open Windows Security:

Open Windows Security in Windows 10

2. Click on Virus & threat protection.

Windows Defender Virus and threat protection

3. Under Virus & threat protection settings, you click on Manage settings.

Windows Defender Virus and threat protection settings

4. Under Real-time Protection, you click on the toggle button to switch it to Off.

Temporarily disable Windows Defender in Windows 10

Windows Defender is now temporarily disabled.

Windows Defender will automatically turn itself back on the next time you start your PC.

You can also turn Windows Defender Antivirus back on using the same steps and click on the toggle button to switch it back to On.


References:

YouTube: How to permanently turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10 Pro (step-by-step)

YouTube: How to permanently turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10 Home and Pro (step-by-step)

WindowsCentral.com: How to permanently disable Windows Defender on Windows 10

Microsoft.com: Turn off antivirus protection in Windows Security

Microsoft.com: Windows Defender Antivirus