How to Remove Windows Defender: A General Guide

Greetings, readers! In today’s article, we will discuss a common problem faced by Windows users – how to remove Windows Defender. Windows Defender is a built-in antivirus program in Windows 10 designed to protect your system from malware, viruses, and other cyber threats. However, some users prefer to use third-party antivirus programs and want to disable or remove Windows Defender.

Removing Windows Defender is not as simple as uninstalling a typical program because it is an essential part of the Windows operating system. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to remove Windows Defender in Windows 10.

Steps to Remove Windows Defender in Windows 10

Step 1: Open Registry Editor

The first step is to open the Registry Editor by pressing the Windows + R key combination and typing “regedit” in the Run dialog box. Once the Registry Editor is open, navigate to the following key: “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender”.

Step 2: Disable Windows Defender

In the Windows Defender folder, right-click on the “DisableAntiSpyware” value and select “Modify”. Change the value data from “0” to “1” and click “OK”. This will disable Windows Defender.

Step 3: Turn off Windows Defender Services

Press the Windows + R key combination and type “services.msc” in the Run dialog box. In the Services window, scroll down and double-click on “Windows Defender Antivirus Service”. Change the “Startup type” to “Disabled” and click “OK”.

Step 4: Disable Windows Defender Scheduled Tasks

Open Task Scheduler by searching for it in the Start menu. In the Task Scheduler window, navigate to “Task Scheduler Library\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Defender”. Right-click on each task and select “Disable”.

Step 5: Disable Windows Defender Notification

Press the Windows key and type “Windows Security”. Open the Windows Security app and click on “Virus & threat protection”. Click on “Manage settings” under “Virus & threat protection settings” and turn off the “Tamper Protection” setting.

Step 6: Use Group Policy Editor

Press the Windows + R key combination and type “gpedit.msc” in the Run dialog box. In the Local Group Policy Editor window, navigate to “Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Defender Antivirus”. Double-click on “Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus” and select “Enabled”.

Step 7: Block Windows Defender Firewall Rules

Open the Windows Defender Firewall by searching for it in the Start menu. Click on “Advanced settings” in the left pane and select “Outbound Rules”. Click on “New Rule” and select “Program”. Select the “This program path” option and browse to “C:\Program Files\Windows Defender\MsMpEng.exe”. Block the program from connecting to the internet.

Step 8: Use PowerShell

Press the Windows key and type “Windows PowerShell”. Right-click on the “Windows PowerShell” app and select “Run as administrator”. Enter the following command and press Enter: “Set-MpPreference -DisableRealtimeMonitoring $true”.

Step 9: Remove Windows Defender Files

Open File Explorer and navigate to “C:\Program Files\Windows Defender”. Delete all the files and folders in the Windows Defender folder.

Step 10: Disable Windows Defender Enrollment

Press the Windows key and type “Settings”. Open the Settings app and click on “Update & Security”. Click on “Windows Security” and click on “Device security”. Click on “Core isolation details” and turn off “Memory integrity”.

Step 11: Restart Your Computer

Restart your computer to apply all the changes.

Step 12: Install Another Antivirus Program

Install the third-party antivirus program of your choice.


Now that you have followed the twelve steps to remove Windows Defender, you might be wondering why it is not as simple as uninstalling a typical program. Windows Defender is an essential part of the Windows operating system and provides real-time protection against malware, viruses, and other cyber threats. Microsoft does not allow users to uninstall Windows Defender completely to ensure the security of the system. However, users can disable or remove Windows Defender by following the steps mentioned above.

Tips and Tricks

Tip 1: Backup Your Registry

Before making changes to the Registry Editor, it is recommended to backup your registry. In case something goes wrong, you can restore your registry using the backup.

Tip 2: Use a Reliable Antivirus Program

Removing Windows Defender means you are relying on another antivirus program to protect your system. Make sure you install a reliable antivirus program that provides real-time protection against all cyber threats.

Tip 3: Avoid Downloading Unknown Programs

The easiest way to protect your system from malware and viruses is to avoid downloading unknown programs from untrusted sources.

Tip 4: Keep Your System Updated

Always update your system and applications to the latest version to ensure the security of your system.

Tip 5: Enable Firewall

Enable the Windows Firewall or use a third-party firewall to block incoming and outgoing traffic to protect your system from cyber threats.

Tip 6: Scan Your System Regularly

Scan your system regularly using your antivirus program to detect and remove malware, viruses, and other cyber threats.

Tip 7: Avoid Public Wi-Fi

Avoid using public Wi-Fi or unsecured networks to protect your system from cyber threats.

Tip 8: Use Strong Passwords

Always use strong, unique passwords to protect your online accounts from hacking attempts.

Tip 9: Use Two-Factor Authentication

Enable two-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security to your online accounts.

Tip 10: Be Skeptical

Be skeptical while clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown sources. Always verify the authenticity of the source before proceeding.

In conclusion, removing Windows Defender requires following a few simple steps to disable or remove it from your system. As we have discussed above, it is not recommended to remove Windows Defender entirely because it provides real-time protection against cyber threats. However, if you prefer to use a third-party antivirus program, you can disable or remove Windows Defender following the steps mentioned above. Remember to follow the tips and tricks mentioned above to protect your system from cyber threats.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Removing Windows Defender


1. Improved Speed: Windows Defender is a default Windows antivirus that runs constantly in the background, which can slow down your system. Removing it can free up memory and potentially improve the speed of your computer.

2. More Control: By removing Windows Defender, you can choose your own antivirus program and have more control over your computer’s security. You can opt for a paid antivirus with more features or a free antivirus with fewer features.

3. Compatibility: Some incompatible software may not work with Windows Defender, and by removing it, you can ensure that other antivirus programs work without any conflict.

4. Privacy: Windows Defender collects data on usage and behavior to improve its features, but some people may not want their data monitored. By removing it, you can protect your privacy in this way.

5. Ad Blockers: Some third-party antivirus programs come with ad blockers that can help in blocking annoying pop-ups and ads on your computer.

6. Better protection: Since Windows Defender only provides basic security, you can opt for third-party antivirus programs that offer more advanced protection like firewalls and anti-spam filters.

7. Customization: With third-party antivirus programs, you can customize your security settings according to your needs and preferences.

8. Alerts: Third-party antivirus programs can provide additional alerts and notifications to inform you about potential security threats.

9. Technical Support: Paid antivirus programs come with technical support, which can be useful if you need assistance with any issues or problems.

10. Additional features: Many third-party antivirus programs come with additional features, such as password managers, system optimizers, and VPN services, that can improve the overall performance and security of your computer.


1. Lack of Security: By removing Windows Defender, you may be putting yourself at risk of malware and other security threats, especially if you do not install another antivirus program.

2. Cost: If you choose a paid antivirus program, it can add to your expenses since you will have to pay for the license or subscription fee.

3. Compatibility Issues: Some antivirus programs may not be compatible with older operating systems, which means you may need to upgrade your system to use them.

4. Resource Intensive: Some third-party antivirus programs can be resource-intensive and may slow down your computer.

5. False Positives: Third-party antivirus programs can sometimes give false positives, flagging harmless files as malicious, and may cause inconvenience and frustration.

6. Confusing Settings: Third-party antivirus programs can sometimes have complex settings that can be difficult for non-technical users to understand and configure.

7. Pop-ups and Ads: Some free antivirus programs may come with pop-ups and ads that can be annoying and distracting.

8. Updates: Antivirus programs require frequent updates to stay up-to-date with the latest threats and fixes, which can be time-consuming.

9. Renewals: Antivirus program licenses and subscriptions need to be renewed periodically, and failure to renew them can leave your computer unprotected.

10. Technical Issues: Antivirus programs can sometimes conflict with other software and cause technical issues that require troubleshooting.


Q1: What is Windows Defender?

A1: Windows Defender is an in-built antivirus program for Windows operating systems.

Q2: Why would someone want to remove Windows Defender?

A2: People might want to remove Windows Defender if they are using another antivirus program and don’t need both running at the same time.

Q3: Can I disable Windows Defender instead of removing it?

A3: Yes, you can disable Windows Defender in Windows settings.

Q4: How do I open Windows Defender settings?

A4: Open the Start menu, search for “Windows Security,” and click on the app that appears.

Q5: Can I uninstall Windows Defender like other programs?

A5: No, you cannot fully uninstall Windows Defender, but you can disable it.

Q6: Will disabling Windows Defender affect my computer’s security?

A6: It depends on what other security measures you have in place.

Q7: What are the steps to remove Windows Defender?

A7: You cannot remove Windows Defender, but you can disable it. Follow the steps in Q3 to open Windows Defender settings and turn off the antivirus.

Q8: Is it safe to disable Windows Defender?

A8: If you have another reliable antivirus program installed, it should be safe to disable Windows Defender.

Q9: Will disabling Windows Defender improve my computer’s performance?

A9: Disabling Windows Defender might free up some system resources, but it will not significantly improve performance.

Q10: How can I disable Windows Defender temporarily?

A10: Open Windows Defender settings and toggle off Real-time protection.

Q11: Can I re-enable Windows Defender after disabling it?

A11: Yes, you can turn on Windows Defender protection again at any time.

Q12: What should I do if I mistakenly disabled Windows Defender?

A12: You can go back into Windows Defender settings and turn the antivirus back on.

Q13: Can I remove Windows Defender from my computer completely?

A13: No, Windows Defender is a built-in program and cannot be completely removed.


Removing Windows Defender can be a tricky task, but this article has provided you with everything you need to know to successfully uninstall it. Remember to consider the risks involved with disabling or removing antivirus software before making any changes to your system. Always ensure that you have a backup plan in place in case something goes wrong during the removal process.


Thank you for taking the time to read this article on how to remove Windows Defender. We hope that you found it informative and useful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Remember, if you do decide to remove Windows Defender, it is important to have an alternative antivirus solution in place to ensure the safety and security of your device. Until next time, stay safe and take care.