Permanently Disable Windows Defender In Windows 10

Anyone who thinks that common sense is the only antivirus you ever need might be right, but most of us mere mortals have to rely on software to avoid getting our HDD hijacked by a trojan. There are a lot of good antivirus software available for Windows, and this niche of the market has been full for decades. However, nothing beats having the OS augmented with some built-in security. Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Defender have proved themselves to be worthy additions to the OS. In Windows 10 as well, Windows Defender has been very effective against spyware attacks, which occur frequently in pre-release build of Windows. Despite this usefulness, you can’t deny that Windows Defender hogs up a lot of system resources, and if you are already using a third-party antivirus, it might be a good idea to turn Defender off. Unfortunately, there is no straightforward method of doing this in Windows 10 TP.

If you disable Window Defender using the obvious method of closing it, or hitting the ‘Disable’ button on the program’s main UI, you will notice it coming back on the next time the system is rebooted. This can be avoided though. Here is how you can disable the Defender permanently, or for as long as you want.

Windows Defender Disable Permanently in Windows 10

Steps to Disable Windows Defender

  1. Go to Run.
  2. Type in ‘gpedit.msc’ (without quotes) and hit Enter. This will open up a new menu, where group policy editor options are listed.
  3. Head to the ‘Administrative Templates’ tab, located under ‘Computer Configuration’.
  4. Click ‘Windows Components’, followed by ‘Windows Defender’.
  5. Find the ‘Turn off Windows Defender’ option, and double-click it.
  6. Apply your changes before exiting the GPE menu.

If you are regretting this choice though, Defender can always be turned back on. Just perform all the above steps, but in step 5, choose the ‘Turn Windows Defender On’ option.

Of course, the above steps will leave you without any protection from spyware. It is only advisable to disable Windows Defender if you are using another trusted antivirus. You might also find this tip useful if you are just trying out Windows 10 in Virtual Machine.