How to Disable Microsoft Defender Antivirus on Windows 11

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Microsoft Defender Antivirus is the default anti-malware solution built into Windows 11 to protect your device and data against viruses, ransomware, spyware, and many other types of malware and malicious individuals.

Although it is one of the best antivirus software, you may still have reasons to want to permanently disable it. The only problem is that as Microsoft continues to step up and prioritize security, the company is making it harder to disable antivirus.

In previous versions of the operating system, you could permanently disable the anti-malware application using various methods, including registry and group policy, but these options no longer work. However, if you need to disable Microsoft Defender Antivirus on Windows 11, you still have two choices. You can disable real-time protection, which only works temporarily, or install another antivirus which will permanently disable the default anti-malware (as long as there is another active protection.)

This guide will walk you through the various methods to disable Microsoft Defender Antivirus on Windows 11.

How to Disable Microsoft Defender Antivirus from Windows Security

You do not need to permanently disable the antivirus when making changes to the system. You can always temporarily disable protection.

To temporarily disable real-time virus protection on Windows 11, follow these steps:

  1. Open Begin.
  2. To research Windows Security and click on the top result to open the application.
  3. Click on Protection against viruses and threats.
  4. In the “Virus & threat protection settings” section, click the Manage settings option.

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  1. turn it off “Real-Time Protection” toggle the switch to temporarily disable Microsoft Defender Antivirus.

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After completing the steps, real-time virus protection will be temporarily disabled on the computer to install other applications or make system changes without conflicts.

You can still use the same instructions described above to re-enable the antivirus, but on step 5turn it on Real-time protection rocker switch.

This option is not a permanent solution, but it is the best option for disabling antivirus to install programs and make system changes that would otherwise cause conflicts.

How to disable Microsoft Defender Antivirus from a third-party app

Although you cannot uninstall Microsoft Defender Antivirus to install another solution, you also do not need to disable it because it will automatically turn off when the system detects the installation of another antivirus.

To disable Microsoft Defender Antivirus by installing third-party security software, follow these steps:

  1. Open the antivirus download page.
  • Quick note: We randomly choose to install Bitdefender. However, the process will be similar for the other solutions.
  1. Click it To download to save the installer to the device.

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  1. Double click on the file to start the installation.
  2. Check the option to accept the license terms (if applicable).
  3. Click it Install button.

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After completing the steps, the system will automatically disable the antivirus.

Check that the antivirus is disabled

To confirm that the default antivirus has been disabled on Windows 11, follow these steps:

  1. Open Begin.
  2. To research Windows Security and click on the top result to open the application.
  3. Click on Settings at the bottom of the page.
  4. In the “Security providers” section, click the Manage Suppliers option.

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  1. Under the “Antivirus” section, Microsoft Defender Antivirus should appear permanently disabled.

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After completing these steps, the default antivirus will no longer protect your computer against malware.

Enable Periodic Scan

If you choose to run another antivirus, you can add an extra layer of security by enabling periodic scanning.

On Microsoft Defender Antivirus, periodic scanning is a feature that you can manually enable after installing a third-party solution. Once enabled, Microsoft’s anti-malware app will remain disabled, but it will periodically activate to scan and detect any malware that your favorite app might not be able to detect.

To enable periodic scanning on Windows 11, follow these steps:

  1. Open Begin.
  2. To research Windows Security and click on the top result to open the application.
  3. Click on Protection against viruses and threats.
  4. Click it “Microsoft Defender Antivirus Options” setting.
  5. turn it on Periodic scan rocker switch.

Microsoft Defender Antivirus Periodic Scan

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After completing the steps, Windows 11 antivirus will remain disabled, but it will periodically activate to perform a malware scan.

Although there are still a few methods to disable the default antivirus on Windows 11, using a computer without anti-malware protection is not a good idea. However, in some situations, disabling the security feature may still make sense.

Also, you can find different workarounds on the internet. However, they probably won’t work, or you might end up spending a lot of time and breaking your installation due to the many system changes they require.

If you are looking for an alternative to Microsoft Defender Antivirus, you should consider these options:

More resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common Windows 10 and Windows 11 questions, visit the following resources:

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