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How to Turn off Windows Defender

If you have been using Windows 10, you must already be aware of the fact that Windows Defender is pretty good antivirus software. It takes care of all the basic security needs. You can rest easy when performing financial transactions online. Windows Defender saves you needless worry.

I know some of you might complain about its inefficiencies when dealing with viruses like a trojan horse, computer worms or some rootkits, but this is only the case when a user does not keep the software updated with the latest patches released by Microsoft. 

However, in case you need additional protection and as a result, have decided to install third-party antivirus software, it would be a good idea to turn off Windows Defender altogether. You don’t want unnecessary conflicts between two or more antivirus software.

Here are the simple and easy-to-follow steps to turn off Windows Defender on your Windows 10 machine

Step 1: Go to System Settings

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To locate “Virus and Threat Protection Settings”, you first need to find System Settings. Move to the bottom-left of your screen and click on the Windows icon. Here, click on the gear icon (placed second last on the list of icons, refer image). 

Step 2: Click on “Update and Security” Option

A new screen is known as “Windows Settings” will pop open. Locate the “Update and Security” option and click on it.

Step 3: Select Windows Security

In this new window, move to the left side of the screen and locate “Windows Security”. Click on it to explore Protection Areas.

Step 4: Click on Virus and Threat Protection

Next, move to the right side of the screen and beneath Protection Areas, find and click on “Virus and Threat Protection”. 

Step 5: Go to Virus and Threat Protection Settings

The next step is to locate the “Virus and Threat Protection Settings”. Scroll down and you will find a tab with the same name. Click on “Manage Settings”. This is the last step. 

Step 6: Turn Off Real-Time Protection

Under “Virus and Threat Protection Settings”, you will see a switch for turning off Windows Defender. This switch is located under the tab named “Real-time protection”. This is how you turn off the inbuilt antivirus software in a Windows 10 machine. 


After disabling Windows Defender, you are free to install a new third party antivirus software. It is always advised to not install multiple security software as they mostly do not work well together. To turn it back on, simply follow the same steps and turn the switch under the “Real-time protection” tab on.

Also Read- How to Delete Backup Files in Windows 10?

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