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If you’re already running a full anti-malware suite, you might not even realize that Windows Defender is already installed with Windows, & is probably wasting precious resources. Here’s how lớn get rid of it.

Now, just lớn be clear, we’re not saying that we hate Windows Defender. Some spyware protection is better than none, & it’s built in & free! But… if you are already running something that provides great anti-malware protection, there’s no need to have sầu more than one application running at a time.

In Windows 10, go lớn Settings > Update và Security > Windows Defender, & turn off the “Real-time protection” option.In Windows 7 và 8, open Windows Defender, head khổng lồ Options > Administrator, and turn off the “Use this program” option.

Windows Defender is a reasonably solid antivirus app that comes built inkhổng lồ Windows 7, 8, & 10. It may not be the best antivi khuẩn app in terms of the pure number of threats it stops, but Defender arguably does have a security advantage in being so tightly integrated into Windows và in being well-behaved when it comes lớn other important apps.

That said, what you use is up lớn you. Most other antivirus apps are pretty good about turning Defender off when you install them, và turning it baông chồng on if you uninstall them. It never hurts lớn make sure, though. Running more than one real-time protection app can cause conflicts and waste system resources.

Run Malwarebytes Alongside Your Antivirus for Maximum Protection

Before you go ahead & disable Windows Defender for good, it’s worth pointing out that these days the really active sầu threats are from spyware, adware, crapware, và the worst of all: ransomware. That’s where Malwarebytes comes in.


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Malwarebytes not only protects your computer from malware, but does a better job of cleaning up an infected computer than anything else on the market.

And to lớn protect your browser against zero-day exploits, Malwarebytes also includes Anti-Exploit & Anti-Ransomware features, which can stop drive-by attacks cold. And best of all, you can run Malwarebytes alongside your existing antivirus khổng lồ keep yourself fully protected.

How khổng lồ Disable Windows Defender in Windows 10

Starting with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update in the Summer of năm 2016, Windows Defender can actually run alongside another antivirut app. When you install another ứng dụng, Windows Defender itself isn’t disabled—just its real-time protection component is. That means your third-các buổi party tiện ích handles real-time protection, but you can still run a manual scan with Defender whenever you want.

RELATED: How to Use the Built-in Windows Defender Antivirus on Windows 10

If you want lớn make sure that Windows Defender’s real-time protection is disabled—or re-enabled after uninstalling a third-tiệc nhỏ antivi khuẩn app—hit Start, type “defender,” and then select “Windows Defender.”

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In the main “Windows Defender” window, cliông chồng the “Settings” button in the top right of the window.

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You’ll be presented with the “Settings window.” chú ý that you can also get here from Settings > Update & Security > Windows Defender. Just make sure that the “Real-time protection” toggle is set the way you want.

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There is one more thing you should be aware of regarding Windows 10’s real-time protection. If you disable it và have no other antivi khuẩn phầm mềm installed, Defender will turn real-time protection back on automatically when you restart Windows. This does not happen if you’re running a third-các buổi tiệc nhỏ antivirus app. There’s no real fix for this, but if for whatever reason you vì chưng want to keep real-time protection off, but we vì chưng have sầu a kind of work-around for you. You can simply exclude your entire system drive from being scanned.

Head to Settings > Update và Security > Windows Defender & cliông chồng the “Add an exclusion” links. Tap the “Exclude a Folder” button and select your C: drive.

And if you have sầu additional drives on your PC, you can exclude those, too.

Please note that this is something we don’t really recommend. Excluding those drives is basically lượt thích turning off antivirut protection. But, it’s there if you need it.

Disable Windows Defender in Windows 7 or 8

In Windows 7 and 8, you have sầu to completely disable Windows Defender when you want lớn run another antivirus ứng dụng. You can’t just disable real-time protection the way you can in Windows 10. Again, Defender should get disabled automatically when you install a third-party phầm mềm and re-enabled should you uninstall that ứng dụng later. But it doesn’t hurt khổng lồ make sure.

Open up Windows Defender by hitting start, typing “defender,” & then clicking “Windows Defender.”

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Switch to lớn the “Tools” page on the thực đơn, và then click the “Options” liên kết.

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Switch to the “Administrator” tab in the left-hand pane, & then toggle the “Use this program” check box however you want. When you’re done, clichồng the “Save” button.

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Windows Defender then confirms that you’ve turned it off. Awesome!

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Stopping the Windows Defender Service or Uninstalling Defender

There are tips floating around out there for stopping the Windows Defender service from starting automatically when you start your PC, & even a complicated process for completely uninstalling Windows Defender altogether. We don’t recommkết thúc them. Here’s why.

First, if you disable Defender—or it gets automatically disabled when you install a third-tiệc nhỏ app—it actually uses very few system resources. There’s really not much point in stopping the service. This is particularly true in Windows 10 where you can disable the real-time protection, but still have sầu the added safety of using Defender for manual scanning as a back up khổng lồ your regular antivirus tiện ích.

RELATED: 7 Ways To Free Up Hard Disk Space On Windows

Second, if you stop the service—or go through the process of uninstalling it—any Windows update is likely khổng lồ restore Windows Defender & unvì all that work anyway. Plus, Defender takes up very little disk space & there are better ways to không tính phí up disk space on Windows.

Make Sure You’re Still Using Antivirut (và Anti-Malware)

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RELATED: Do I Really Need Antivirut If I Browse Carefully & Use Comtháng Sense?

While it’s handy being able lớn enable và disable Windows Defender, please vì chưng make sure that you’re still running a good antivi khuẩn app. Many people will tell you that you can go without antivirut if you’re careful, và that just isn’t true. If you really hate antivirus, Windows Defender is the least intrusive sầu program you can use—so you should probably leave it on.