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Permanently disable Windows Defender Antivirus on Windows 10

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How to disable Windows Defender Antivirus using Registry

Alternatively, if you don’t have access to the Local Group Policy Editor, or you’re running Windows 10 Home, you can still modify the Registry to disable the Windows Defender Antivirus permanently.

Warning: This is a friendly reminder that editing the Registry is risky, and it can cause irreversible damage to your installation if you don’t do it correctly. It’s recommended to make a full backup of your PC before proceeding.

Disabling Tamper Protection

To turn off Tamper Protection on Windows 10 before you can disable Windows Defender, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Windows Security and click the top result to open the app.
  3. Click on Virus & threat protection.
  4. Under the “Virus & threat protection settings” section, click the Manage settings option.

  5. Turn off the Tamper Protection toggle switch.

After you complete the steps, disabling the built-in antivirus won’t re-enable automatically the next time you restart your computer.

Windows 10 includes a “TamperProtection” Registry key (located in this path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Features) to control the feature. Still, it’s not easy to edit; as such, it’s not recommended using it to disable the protection.

Disabling Windows Defender Antivirus

To disable the Windows Defender Antivirus permanently modifying the Registry, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for regedit and click the top result to open the Registry Editor.
  3. Browse the following path:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender

    Quick tip: You can now copy and paste the path in the Registry’s address bar to quickly jump to the key destination.

  4. Right-click the Windows Defender (folder) key, select New, and click on DWORD (32-bit) Value.

  5. Name the key DisableAntiSpyware and press Enter.
  6. Double-click the newly created DWORD and change the value from 0 to 1.

  7. Click the OK button.
  8. Restart device.

Once you complete the steps, the Windows Defender Antivirus will no longer protect your system against malware.

If you want to revert the changes, you can use the same instructions outlined above, but on step No. 6, right-click the DisableAntiSpyware key and select the Delete option.

Recommendation

While there are multiple methods that you can use to disable the Windows Defender Antivirus on Windows 10, we don’t recommend using a computer without anti-malware software.

However, you may come across some situations when disabling the feature could be the best action. If you’re installing third-party anti-malware, you don’t need to disable the Windows Defender Antivirus, as it’ll be disabled automatically during the installation process.

If you don’t like the Windows Defender Antivirus, you should consider these alternatives:

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:

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