How to turn on / off Windows Defender in Windows 10

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In this article, we’ll be focusing on how to turn on / off Windows Defender in Windows 10. Defender, as the name suggests, is a built-in Windows 10 anti-virus. It provides real-time protection against viruses and malware that could damage your computer, steal your personal information, or even cause financial loss.

There was a time when Windows users had to get third-party antivirus software for their computers. Fortunately, Microsoft developed Windows Defender and it is so good now that you don’t have to bother installing other software. It is considered to be one of the best options available in the world for cyber threats.

Windows Defender is switched on by default for obvious reasons. However, there may be times when you would want to turn it off temporarily, or even permanently. There are occasions when this software does not allow you to install certain unknown software, or create files with a .dat file extension.

It also hinders software activators and key generators, as it considers them potentially harmful. In cases like these, you may want to turn Windows Defender off for a while.

Also, it could be that you prefer using third-party anti-malware software, in which case, you would want to turn it off completely.

How to turn on / off Windows Defender in Windows 10

If you want to know how to turn off Defender in Windows 10, take a look at the steps below:

  • Click on the Windows search icon at the lower-left corner of your screen. If you do not have a search icon on your computer, you can also click on the Windows icon at the bottom-left corner of the screen and immediately start typing;
  • In the search box, type “Windows Security Settings”. After typing this, you will see the corresponding option at the top of the search panel under “best match”. Click on it;

How to turn on off Windows Defender in Windows

  • This will open up the Windows Security page where you’ll find a bunch of protection areas. In this list, click on “Virus & threat protection”;

How to turn on off Windows Defender in Windows

  • The “Virus & threat protection” page will open. Next, scroll down until you find  “Virus & threat protection settings”. Under it, you will see “Manage settings”. Click on it;

How to turn on off Windows Defender in Windows

  • Now the “Virus & test protection settings” page will open. Under the “Real-time protection” heading, you will find a toggle button. By default, it should be on;

How to turn on off Windows Defender in Windows

  • Then, click on the toggle button, which will turn off Windows Defender. The system may first ask for permission to carry out the changes. If it does so, you can click on “Yes”;
  • Once you’ve turned Windows Defender off, the following message will pop-up just above the toggle button: “Real-time protection is off leaving your device vulnerable”;

How to turn on off Windows Defender in Windows

  • Now, if you want to know how to turn on Windows Defender in Windows 10, all you need to do is click on the toggle button again to activate it. That’s it!

Wrap Up

Windows Defender is a critical piece of software that comes integrated with Windows 10. It protects you from viruses, malware, spyware, and other forms of cyberattacks. It is a highly capable protective solution that Microsoft keeps updating in response to new threats.

If you have a Windows 10 computer, you don’t need any other software to defend your system. And so, you can leave Windows Defender turned on, which is the default setting.

However, when you do need to turn off Windows Defender, Windows provides a quick and easy way to do so. All you need to do is enter the Windows Security settings page and you can go on from there.

Now that you know how to turn off Windows Defender Windows 10, if you’re turning this software off temporarily, make sure to turn it back on using the same procedure. This will keep you protected at all times. However, if you prefer using third-party antivirus software, you can then turn Windows Defender off forever.

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