Windows Defender, also known as Microsoft security essential is a built-in antivirus software that comes with Windows 10 and Windows 8.1. With the frequent definition updates and the intelligence of Operating System and its vulnerability assessment, in recent time the Windows Defender becomes a handy and free AV solution. Most of the users use it because they believe that Microsoft built it well because they know how their OS works. In some cases, you may need to remove or disable the Windows Defender, this post shows how to do that.
As third party Anti Virus software comes with extra features and great protection, it is highly recommended to install the best third party protection antivirus software on your computer. Before installing it, here is the way on how to remove windows defender from Windows 10 and Windows 8.1.
We can’t remove the Windows defender like other programs on Windows control panel, because it is a built-in service. Also, when you try to install other third-party antivirus software on Windows 10/8.1, it will detect the running Windows Defender and disable it automatically. But you can manually disable it before installing other third-party antivirus applications.
Remove/Disable Windows Defender on Windows 10
As said earlier it can’t be removed or uninstalled, instead, you should stop/disable the protection service.
1.) Search for Windows Defender, and open ‘Windows Defender Security Center’ as below.
2) Expand the Menu and click on ‘Virus & threat protection’. Open the protection settings where we can disable the Windows Defender.
3) Turn off the real-time protection. It will disable the Windows Defender on the computer (we call it ‘uninstall’ though).
You must be the administrator of the computer to make the above changes. Windows will give the warning on disabling the real-time protection, you must accept it.
That was the easiest and straightforward method to manually disable Windows defender on a Windows 10 or 8.1 PC. There are few advanced methods such as modification in the registry, stopping few Windows services and Group policy changes in a domain environment, but those are not applicable here.
Remove on Windows 8.1
The below steps are applicable for Windows 8 or 8.1 which has the older version (interface) of Windows Defender.
1) Go to search ( in Windows charm bar) and type defender and click on it.
2) Once Windows defender is opened, I’m sure it will be green because it is running currently. Go to the ‘Settings’ tab and select ‘Administrator’.
Remove the tick from ‘Turn on this app’ to remove windows defender on Windows 8.1.
Make sure to save the changes, a warning message will appear as below and Windows defender screen will be changed to red.
That’s it, we have successfully removed Windows Defender on Windows 8.1 (also in Windows 8).
How to Re-enable or Start Windows Defender in Windows 8.1
By any chance, if you have changed your mind to re-enable or start the Windows Defender on Windows 8.1 again, follow these steps.
You can’t use the same above method to re-enable Windows defender, because when the service is running, the MS security essential console will not open.
Usually, when Windows defender stopped and none of the third party antivirus software are installed on your computer, you will be getting a warning message from the action center as shown below.
Right click on the action center warning message and turn on spyware protection or anti-virus protection. This will restart/re-enable Windows Defender on Windows 8.1