How to Disable Defender Antivirus & Firewall in Windows 10

Last updated on December 18th, 2018

This tutorial shows the way to completely disable Defender Security Center and all the Defender protection services (Antivirus, Firewall, Threat protection) in Windows 10. Before you continue to apply the steps mentioned below, you must know that Windows 10, enables by default the Defender Antivirus and the Defender Firewall, if no any other security program has installed on the computer.

Disable Defender Security Antivirus

That means that if you install another security program to protect your PC, Windows Defender will be disabled automatically by Windows 10 and there is no need to perform any other action to disable Defender. So, follow the steps in this tutorial only if you face problems with Windows Defender protection or if you want to permanently remove the Windows Defender antivirus and/or firewall for other reasons.

How to Disable Windows Defender Security Center (Antivirus, Firewall, etc.)

Step 1. Turn OFF Windows Defender Antivirus Real Time Protection.

To turn off Real-time Protection, double click at Windows Defender icon image in the taskbar, click Virus & threat protectionimageand then at Virus & threat Protection settings set to OFF the Real-time Protection and the Cloud-delivered protection.

 Turn off Defender real-time protection

Step 2. Modify Registry Permissions and Disable Defender Antispyware & Antivirus Protection.

1. Open Registry editor. To do that:

1. Simultaneously press  the "Win" Image-201_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb1_t  + "R" keys to load the Run dialog box.
2. Type regedit and press Enter to open Registry Editor.

registry editor

2. Navigate (from the left pane) to this registry location/key:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender

3. (IMPORTANT): Before you continue, first take a backup of the "Windows Defender" registry key settings, and then use the backup file if something goes wrong. To take a backup of 'Windows Defender' key:

1. Right click on "Windows Defender" key and select Export.

disable windows defender firewall

2. Type a filename for the registry backup file (e.g. "Windows Defender") and Save the file at your Desktop. *

* Note: If needed, double click at the exported .reg file, to restore your registry back!

defender registry

4. Right click at the Windows Defender key and select Permissions.

fix Cannot Enable Windows Defender

5. At 'Permissions for Windows Defender' window, click Advanced.

Cannot start Windows Defender

6. Click Change Owner.

Cannot start Security Essentials

7. Type Administrators and press OK.

disable defender

8. Check the "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects" checkbox and click Apply.

Disable Windows Defender Registry

9. Then double-click to open Administrators entry.

Windows Defender won't turn on

10. Select the Full Control checkbox and press OK three (3) times.

change permissions registry

11. At the right-pane of Windows Defender key:

11a. Open the DisableAntiSpyware REG_DWORD value and change the Value data from 0 to 1 disable Windows Defender Antispyware protection. Click OK when done. *

* Note: If you cannot edit (modify) the value data, then close and re-open Registry Editor or make sure that the "Real Time Protection' remains off  (step-1).

disable defender windows 10

11b. Then open the DisableAntiVirus REG_DWORD value and change the Value data from 0 to 1 disable Windows Defender Antivirus protection. Click OK when done.

disable defender antivirus windows 10

12. Proceed to the the next step to disable Windows Defender Services.

Step 3. Disable Defender Security Center, Antivirus & Firewall Services.

1. To Disable the Windows Defender Security Center Service, modify the Start REG_DWORD value, from 2 to 4 at the following registry key:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\SecurityHealthService

disable defender security center windows 10

2. To Disable the Windows Defender Antivirus Service,modify the Start REG_DWORD value, from 2 to 4 at the following registry key:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WinDefend

3. To Disable the Windows Defender Antivirus Network Inspection Service, modify the Start REG_DWORD value, from 2 to 4 at the following registry key:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WdNisSvc

4. To Disable the Windows Defender Firewall Service, modify the Start REG_DWORD value, from 2 to 4 at the following registry key:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MpsSvc

5. Close registry editor and restart your computer.

You 're done! Let me know if this guide has helped you by leaving your comment about your experience. Please like and share this guide to help others.

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