How to disable Microsoft Defender in Windows 11

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Philippe Gloaguen
@philippegloaguen
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support.microsoft.com

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If you need to disable Microsoft Defender for any reason, here's how to do it on Windows 11.

You may be aware that Microsoft Defender is the antivirus pre-installed with Windows 11. And it's useful to have it as it forms a solid line of defense to protect you from malicious malware.

But there are times when you'd rather keep Microsoft Defender disabled. Like when you want to download software, which you know is safe, but Microsoft Defender doesn't allow it. So let's see how to disable Microsoft Defender in Windows 11.



How to temporarily disable Microsoft Defender with Windows Security

You might like the protection that Microsoft Defender provides, but want to disable it for some time to test an app. You can do this via the Windows Security app in Windows 11:

  • Click the Search icon on the taskbar and search Windows security.
  • click on Windows security in Best match or click apri in the right pane in Windows security app.
  • On the page that opens, click Virus and threat protection.
  • click on Manage settings in Virus and threat protection settings.
  • Turn off the blue switch in Real-time protection.
  • Click Yes in the UAC prompt (to do this you need to be an administrator on your PC).
  • When finished, Microsoft Defender will be disabled.

Once you've finished testing an app, be sure to re-enable Microsoft Defender to protect your PC. Fortunately, if you forget to turn it back on, Windows will do it automatically after a set amount of time.

Conclusion

Now you know the way to disable Microsoft Defender in Windows 11. But it's best if you don't disable it too often, as it does a good job of protecting your PC and comes free with Windows 11. If you want to get rid of Microsoft Defender, you can instead install a third party antivirus and Windows will automatically disable its own security.



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