How To Disable Windows Defender on Windows 11

Sometimes, you have to disable antivirus, like Windows Defender. It’s not recommended, but you can still turn off Windows Defender the easy way.

disable windows defender

Windows 11 and its previous versions like Windows 10 have the built-in antivirus called Windows Defender. With decent features, Windows Defender still provides good security to protect you from harmful viruses. Although, at particular times, you need to turn Windows Defender off.

There are reasons or cases when you actually need to disable an antivirus like Windows Defender. You want to install or use a program that is somehow interrupted by Windows Defender, you have a privacy concern, or you simply want to use another third-party antivirus or anti-malware program.

Is it safe to disable Windows Defender?

Your PC will no longer be protected from viruses that Windows Defender can block or prevent access. It’s definitely not safe to turn off Windows Defender unless you want to use another third-party antivirus program. Data like credit card information and passwords might get stolen, unauthorized access by hackers, or receive ransomware out of nowhere.

It’s always important to use an antivirus or anti-malware program and have it activated, monitoring your PC all the time, especially if your computer is connected to the internet all the time. Turning off an antivirus will leave your PC vulnerable.

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How do I disable Windows Defender on Windows 11?

You can turn off Windows Defender by opening the Settings app > Privacy & security > Open Windows Security. Under Virus & threat protection settings, click Manage settings. Set the toggle off for the Real-time protection option.

Turning off Windows Defender can be done in a few methods, but the easiest is by using the app itself. This can be applied to Windows 10, too, although you might see a few differences in the user interface.

Simply open the Settings. You can do it through the Start menu, or search it.

turn off windows defender windows 11

Go to Privacy & Security. Select Open Windows Security to open Windows Defender.

windows 11 settings privacy & security windows security

Windows Defender is opened. Select the Virus & threat protection tab. Select Manage settings under Virus & threat protection settings, which is also under the scan button.

virus and threat protection

Here, you can disable Windows Defender by setting the toggle off on Real-time protection. Windows will then ask for your confirmation, simply select Yes.

virus & threat protection settings

After turning off Windows Defender, you’ll see a warning message saying Real-time protection is off, leaving your device vulnerable. On the same page, you can also disable cloud-delivered protection, along with other options that are not recommended to be turned off but can be turned off if you wish to.

real-time protection

Once you disabled Windows Defender virus protection, you would see a notification that says “Turn on virus protection. Virus protection is turned off. Tap or click to turn on Microsoft Defender Antivirus.”

disable windows defender

How to enable Windows Defender

If you wish to enable Windows Defender to protect your PC, simply set the toggle on under Real-time protection which can be accessed by doing the above methods, and also set the toggle on under other options, too, like the cloud-delivered protection.


Windows 11 has the Windows Defender antivirus to keep your device safe from harmful threats, and you might never want to turn it off unless you really need to. Don’t like Windows Defender? You can also use third-party antivirus programs instead of just turning off Windows Defender.

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