How to Turn off & on Windows Defender in Windows 10, 7 and 8.1

Turn On Window Defender on Window 10, 8 and 7

Windows Defender is the indigenous antivirus software which comes pre-installed with the Windows operating system. It offers protection to laptops and desktops from malware and other forms of virus infections which may get into them when a user downloads a file or software using a wired or wireless internet connection.

However, sometimes the software stops operating on its own. More often than not, this happens due to the installation of antivirus software. Generally, other forms of antivirus software have a tendency of turning off Windows Defender for the fact that two types of software operating at once can cause several technical issues.

Steps to Turn on Windows Defender and How to Turn off Windows Defender

Users may feel the need to turn on off Windows Defender for a variety of factors. Of all the reasons, the principal reason why users tend to do so is to run certain applications on their computers. That said, it is also important to make sure that it is turned on.

Because it is manufactured by the same company, which also makes desktops and laptops, it fares better than the other third-party applications.

Turn off Windows Defender Windows 10

If you are using Windows 10 on your personal computer, you can disable Windows Defender malware protection software on it in three different ways, depending on the version of Windows 10 you are using. These methods are discussed below.

Method 1: By utilizing the Group Policy

  • Open the Start Menu by tapping on the key with the icon of Windows.
  • Enter gpedit.msc and then hit the enter key.

gpedit

  • You will see a UAC prompt now. Select the “Confirm” option to proceed to subsequent steps.
  • Now, follow this path: Local Computer Policy->Computer Configuration->Administrative Templates->Windows Components->Windows Defender.

Window Defender Template

  • Next, you will see the option to turn off the Windows Defender software. Click on the policy for two times.

Turn Off Window Defender

  • Enable the policy that comes up and. Following this, click on OK to save the new configuration.

Method 2: Using the Windows registry

  • Open the Start Menu by tapping on the key with the icon of Windows.
  • Enter regedit.exe and then hit the enter key.

regedit

  • You will see a UAC prompt now. Select the “Confirm” option to proceed to subsequent steps.
  • Now go to this key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender.

Regedit Window Defender

  • The following screen will show a prompt to deactivate AntiSpyware. Click on it twice and choose its value as 1 to make sure that the Windows Defender antimalware program is turned off.

Add value

  • In case you do not see the preference, then think about right-clicking on the program and click on New followed by Dword (32 bit). Name it as DisableAntiSpyware.

If you ever feel the need to activate the software once again, all you need to do is remove the key and choose its value as 0.

Method 3: Using Task Scheduler

If the two methods given above fail to deliver you the desired outcome, you can try out an alternative method to accomplish the task: disabling the program using the Task Scheduler option. Follow the steps given below.

  1. Open the Start Menu by tapping on the key with the icon of Windows.
  2. Enter taskschd.msc and then hit the enter key.
  3. You will see a UAC prompt now. Select “Confirm” to go to the subsequent steps.
  4. Now follow this path: Library->Microsoft->Windows->Windows Defender.
  5. The above step will display the option “Windows Defender Scheduled Scan”. Click on this option twice using the left mouse button.
  6. Next, navigate to the tab with the conditions that follow.
  7. Choose the option which corresponds to the selection of the task if the computer is ideal for certain duration of time. Set a larger duration of time to make sure that the software does not cause any performance issue for a larger duration of time.

How to turn on Windows Defender in Windows 10

Have you disabled Windows Defender computer protection software on your machine and are looking for ways to turn it back on once again? If yes, then follow the step by step procedure given below.

  1. Click on the “Start” button which is located on the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. Alternatively, you can also press the windows key on the keyboard to open the start menu.
  2. Type “Windows Defender” in the search box which comes up on the screen.
  3. Push the option that says “Tools”, followed by “Options”.
  4. Now push the option “Administrator” using the left mouse button of your mouse and check the box with the option “Use this program”. Next, click on “Save” to save the new change made by you.

How to run on Windows Defender on Windows 7

  1. Go to the Control Panel. Look for the option which corresponds to “Windows Defender”. Once you see the option, click on it twice.

Control Panel Window Defender

  1. You will most likely get to read it on the information window of Windows Defender that it is disabled or turned off. Click on the options to turn it back on again.
  2. Next, either click on the red cross at the top right-hand side of each of the windows that are open on the screen or press Alt+F4 keys together to cancel out all the open windows.
  3. Restart the computer.

As soon as you restart the computer, you will find that the Windows Defender antivirus software is running normally on your computer.

How to turn off Windows Defender on Windows 7

  • Go to the Control Panel. Look for the option which corresponds to “Windows Defender”. Once you see the option, click on it twice.

Control Panel Window Defender

  • Click on “Tools”; next, click on “Options”.

Window Defender Tool

  • In the left pane, you would see the option “Administrator”. Click on this option.

Administrator Window Defender

  • Uncheck the box which reads “Use this program”

Uncheck program

  • The previous step will bring up the window with Windows Defender information. At first, click on ‘Save” and thereafter, choose the option which reads “Close”.

Click Close

  • Close all the open windows on your computer and restart the computer system.

As soon as the computer system restarts, you will see that the software is turned off.

How to turn on Windows Defender Windows 8.1

Unlike Windows 10 or Windows 7, the process to enable Windows Defender on Windows 8 and 8.1 is a little tricky. This is due to the complexity involved in the operation of this operating system. Given the fact that both the looks as well as functionalities of these operating system differ from the previous version, Windows 7, users prefer to use these operating systems for personal uses rather than using them in offices.

There are three methods to enable Windows Defender on your computer. If you are looking for ways to activate Windows Defender on your computer with Windows 8.1, then follow the steps given below.

Method 1: Using the Action Center

  • Proceed to “Control Panel” and type “Action Center” in the search box which appears on the screen.

Action Center

  • On completing the previous step, you will see the “Action Center” screen. Click on it.
  • Thereafter, push “Turn on now” option on the screen which ensues.

Action Center Turn on

Method 2: Using the Group Policy Editor

  • Bring the Local Group Policy Editor on the screen by using the procedure suggested in the aforementioned steps.
  • Now, look for the option which relates to disabling the Windows Defender software.
  • Next, choose the option which reads “Disabled or Not Configured”, followed by “OK”.

Method 3: Using Windows Defender Service

  • Bring up the search button by either hitting the Windows key on the keyboard or by pushing the “Start” button.

Type Services

  • Type “services” in the box and then select settings among the options that come up on the screen. This will show you the list of available services on the screen.

Services List

  • Double-click on the option which reads “Windows Defender Service” using the left mouse button of your mouse.
  • When the properties window of the service shows up on the screen, select the “Automatic” option from the drop-down menu to make sure that it is automatically enabled whenever you turn your machine on.

Select automatic

So, these are the steps to activate or enable the Windows Defender software on different kinds of operating systems on the Windows platform. Look nowhere and try out the aforementioned steps whenever you wish to turn off or turn on the indigenous antimalware program designed by windows, depending on the version of OS on your machine.