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How to Turn Windows Defender On or Off

Authored by:
Support.com Tech Pro Team
This Guided Path® was written and reviewed by Support.com’s Tech Pro team. With decades of experience, our Tech Pros are passionate about making technology work for you. We love feedback! Let us know what you think about this Guided Path by rating it at the end.

Introduction

Some programs will advise you to disable your antivirus while installing software. Maybe you installed or removed another antivirus program and need disable or enable your Windows defender. This guide will walk you though the steps needed to enable or disable your Windows Defender protection.

Windows Defender Logo

1 Enable or Disable Defender

Windows Defender will be on by default but if you want to make sure (or you want to turn it off) go ahead and follow these steps.

  1. Click the Start button.
    Windows 10 start button
  2. Click the Settings button on the left side of the start menu
    Windows 10 settings button
  3. Click Update and Security.
    Windows 10 Update and security button
  4. On the left side click Windows Defender.
    Windows 10 control panel window with Windows Defender tab selected
  5. Slide the button under Real-time Protection to On or Off.

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Some programs will advise you to disable your antivirus while installing software. Maybe you installed or removed another antivirus program and need disable or enable your Windows defender. This guide will walk you though the steps needed to enable or disable your Windows Defender protection.

Windows Defender Logo

Windows Defender will be on by default but if you want to make sure (or you want to turn it off) go ahead and follow these steps.

  1. Click the Start button.
    Windows 10 start button
  2. Click the Settings button on the left side of the start menu
    Windows 10 settings button
  3. Click Update and Security.
    Windows 10 Update and security button
  4. On the left side click Windows Defender.
    Windows 10 control panel window with Windows Defender tab selected
  5. Slide the button under Real-time Protection to On or Off.