How to Disable Windows Defender Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Disabling Windows Defender in Windows 11 may sound like a daunting task, but fear not, it’s simpler than it seems. Just follow a few steps and you’ll have it turned off in no time. Just remember, turning off Windows Defender can leave your computer vulnerable, so be sure you know what you’re doing!

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Disable Windows Defender Windows 11

Before we start, let’s understand why you might want to disable Windows Defender. It could be because you want to install another antivirus program, or you need to run a specific application that’s being blocked by Defender. Whatever the reason, here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Open Windows Security

Open the Windows Security app by clicking on the shield icon in the taskbar or searching for it in the start menu.

The Windows Security app is your hub for all things security on your Windows 11 computer. From here, you can manage various settings, including those for Windows Defender.

Step 2: Go to Virus & threat protection settings

Click on "Virus & threat protection" and then on "Manage settings" under the "Virus & threat protection settings" section.

This section lets you tweak the settings for virus and threat protection, including disabling real-time protection, which is essentially what Windows Defender is.

Step 3: Turn off Real-time protection

Toggle the switch under "Real-time protection" to Off.

When you turn off Real-time protection, Windows Defender is disabled temporarily. However, it will turn back on automatically after a short while, so if you’re looking for a permanent solution, keep reading.

After you complete these steps, Windows Defender will be disabled. However, it’s important to note that it will turn back on automatically after a while. If you’re looking for a permanent solution, you may need to use Group Policy or the Registry Editor, but that’s a bit more advanced.

Tips: How to Disable Windows Defender Windows 11

  • Always have another antivirus program ready to install before disabling Windows Defender.
  • Keep in mind that disabling Defender might expose your computer to threats.
  • If you’re not comfortable with turning off security features, consider configuring exceptions in Defender instead of turning it off.
  • Remember that disabling Defender is not a permanent solution; it will turn itself back on.
  • Be cautious when installing applications that require you to disable your antivirus; make sure they’re from a trusted source.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Windows Defender?

Windows Defender is the built-in antivirus protection in Windows 11 that helps protect your computer from malware and other threats.

Can I install another antivirus with Windows Defender enabled?

Yes, you can, but Windows Defender will likely turn itself off to prevent conflicts between the two programs.

Will my computer be unprotected if I disable Windows Defender?

If you don’t have another antivirus program installed, then yes, your computer will be vulnerable to threats.

How can I permanently disable Windows Defender?

Permanently disabling Windows Defender usually requires editing Group Policy or the Registry, which we don’t cover in this article due to its complexity.

Why does Windows Defender turn back on automatically?

Windows Defender is designed to be a baseline protection for your computer, so Windows will turn it back on to ensure you’re not left unprotected.


  1. Open Windows Security.
  2. Go to Virus & threat protection settings.
  3. Turn off Real-time protection.


Disabling Windows Defender in Windows 11 is a straightforward process if you’re looking to install another antivirus program or run specific software unimpeded. Whether you’re a tech whiz or a casual user, the steps outlined above will help you complete this task with ease. However, remember the importance of having some form of protection on your PC at all times. As we move more of our lives online, the threats become more sophisticated, and having a line of defense is crucial. After disabling Windows Defender, be sure to install another reliable antivirus program to keep your data and privacy secure. If you’re unsure about any steps or have concerns about your computer’s security, reach out to a professional for guidance. Stay safe, and happy computing!

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