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If you're looking for a permanent solution to disable Windows Defender, in this guide, we show you how to turn it off using Group Policy and the Registry.

How to disable Windows Defender using Local Group Policy
If you're running Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education, you can use the Local Group Policy Editor to disable Windows Defender Antivirus on your computer permanently using these steps:
  1. Use the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command.
  2. Type gpedit.msc and click OK to open the Local Group Policy Editor.
  3. Browse the following path:
    Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender Antivirus
  4. On the right, double-click the Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus policy.
  5. Select the Enabled option to disable Windows Defender.
  6. Click Apply.
  7. Click OK.
Once you've completed the steps, restart your computer to apply the changes.
You'll notice that the shield icon will remain in the taskbar notification area, but that's because the icon is part of the Windows Defender Security Center and not part of the antivirus.
At any time, you can enable the Windows Defender Antivirus again using the steps, but on step No. 5, make sure to select the Not Configured option. Then reboot your device to apply the changes.

How to disable Windows Defender using the Registry

Alternatively, if you're running Windows 10 Home, you won't have access to the Local Group Policy Editor. However, you can modify the registry to permanently disable the default antivirus using these steps:
Warning: This is a friendly reminder that editing the Registry is risky, and it can cause irreversible damage to your installation if you don't do it correctly. It's recommended to make a full backup of your PC before proceeding.
  1. Use the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command.
  2. Type regedit, and click OK to open the Registry.
  3. Browse the following path:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender
    Quick Tip: You can now copy and paste the path in the new Registry's address bar to quickly jump to the key destination.
  4. If you don't see the DisableAntiSpyware DWORD, right-click the Windows Defender (folder) key, select New, and click on DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  5. Name the key DisableAntiSpyware and press Enter.
  6. Double-click the newly created DWORD and set the value from 0 to 1.
  7. Click OK.
After completing the steps, restart your device to apply the settings, and then the Windows Defender Antivirus should now be disabled.
If you no longer want to keep the security feature disabled, you can enable it again using the same steps, but on step No. 6, make sure to right-click the DisableAntiSpyware DWORD and select the Delete option.

How to disable Windows Defender using the Security Center app

In the case that you're simply looking to disable the Windows Defender Antivirus temporarily, then you can use these steps instead:
  1. Open Windows Defender Security Center.
  2. Click on Virus & threat protection.
  3. Click the Virus & threat protection settings option.
  4. Turn off the Real-time protection toggle switch.

How to permanently disable Windows Defender on Windows 10

If you're looking for a permanent solution to disable Windows Defender, in this guide, we show you how to turn it off using Group Policy and the Registry.

How to disable Windows Defender using Local Group Policy
If you're running Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education, you can use the Local Group Policy Editor to disable Windows Defender Antivirus on your computer permanently using these steps:
  1. Use the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command.
  2. Type gpedit.msc and click OK to open the Local Group Policy Editor.
  3. Browse the following path:
    Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender Antivirus
  4. On the right, double-click the Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus policy.
  5. Select the Enabled option to disable Windows Defender.
  6. Click Apply.
  7. Click OK.
Once you've completed the steps, restart your computer to apply the changes.
You'll notice that the shield icon will remain in the taskbar notification area, but that's because the icon is part of the Windows Defender Security Center and not part of the antivirus.
At any time, you can enable the Windows Defender Antivirus again using the steps, but on step No. 5, make sure to select the Not Configured option. Then reboot your device to apply the changes.

How to disable Windows Defender using the Registry

Alternatively, if you're running Windows 10 Home, you won't have access to the Local Group Policy Editor. However, you can modify the registry to permanently disable the default antivirus using these steps:
Warning: This is a friendly reminder that editing the Registry is risky, and it can cause irreversible damage to your installation if you don't do it correctly. It's recommended to make a full backup of your PC before proceeding.
  1. Use the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command.
  2. Type regedit, and click OK to open the Registry.
  3. Browse the following path:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender
    Quick Tip: You can now copy and paste the path in the new Registry's address bar to quickly jump to the key destination.
  4. If you don't see the DisableAntiSpyware DWORD, right-click the Windows Defender (folder) key, select New, and click on DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  5. Name the key DisableAntiSpyware and press Enter.
  6. Double-click the newly created DWORD and set the value from 0 to 1.
  7. Click OK.
After completing the steps, restart your device to apply the settings, and then the Windows Defender Antivirus should now be disabled.
If you no longer want to keep the security feature disabled, you can enable it again using the same steps, but on step No. 6, make sure to right-click the DisableAntiSpyware DWORD and select the Delete option.

How to disable Windows Defender using the Security Center app

In the case that you're simply looking to disable the Windows Defender Antivirus temporarily, then you can use these steps instead:
  1. Open Windows Defender Security Center.
  2. Click on Virus & threat protection.
  3. Click the Virus & threat protection settings option.
  4. Turn off the Real-time protection toggle switch.

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