Complete Guide to Turning off Windows Defender on Windows 11

Windows Defender is a free built-in comprehensive antivirus tool with reliable protection. You can learn how to turn off Windows defender on Windows 11 from this article. This article also provides you with a reliable way to protect your system and data.


by Jonna Updated on November 30, 2023

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Brief Overview of Windows 11 Windows Defender

Microsoft Defender Antivirus (formerly known as Windows Defender) is a free anti-malware program built into Windows 11 that protects your computer from viruses and malware. In addition to antivirus and anti-malware protection, Microsoft Defender provides account protection, online security, device performance and health monitoring, parental controls, and firewall and network security.

In newer versions of Windows 10 and Windows 11, Microsoft Defender Antivirus has been rebranded as a Windows Security application. Microsoft Defender works well in protecting your computer from viruses and various security threats, although in some cases it may require you to disable it.

Why Disable Windows Defender on Windows 11?

Turn off Windows Defender on Windows 11

Most Windows 11 users may want to keep Microsoft Defender Antivirus enabled if no other security solution is installed. Some may want to disable Windows Defender Antivirus temporarily or permanently, even if no other solution is installed. Reasons for wanting to disable it include:

👾 You intend to install a better antivirus software with more features and in-depth protection options.
🔋 You do not want Microsoft Defender to consume CPU and battery in the background.
🔰 To avoid conflicts or other problems between Microsoft Defender and third-party antivirus software.
🧱 Avoid Windows Defender blocking the installation of third-party software or applications.
💿 Don't want Defender to use a lot of device resources, from CPU to disk space and memory.

How to Turn off Windows Defender on Windows 11

You can disable Microsoft Defender Antivirus in Windows 11 in different ways. There are three ways to turn on Windows Defender (Windows Security) in Windows 11. While the easiest way is through Windows Settings, this is a temporary measure and Microsoft will automatically enable Windows Security after a reboot. If you want to permanently disable the Windows Security program, check out the instructions involving Group Policy Editor and Registry Editor.

Way 1. Disable Microsoft Defender from Windows 11 Settings (Temporarily)

The following is how to stop real-time protection in Windows 11. It is noteworthy that this way is used to stop the defender temporarily, if you want to turn off Windows Defender on Windows 11 permanently, please try the following two methods.

  1. Press Windows + I to open Windows Settings. Navigate to Private & security tab from the left sidebar. Under the Security section, click on Windows Security.

Windows Security Windows 11

  1. Then, you will see Windows Security’s home screen. Here, click on the Virus & threat protection option.
  2. Under the Virus & threat protection settings section, click on Manage settings to reconfigure Windows Defender on Windows 11.

Manage Settings

  1. Now, disable the Real-time protection toggle button on this page and other toggle buttons to temporarily turn off Windows Defender on your Windows 11 PC.

Turn off Real Time Protection

Way 2. Turn off Microsoft Defender via Group Policy Editor on Windows 11 (Permanently)

When you disable Windows Defender using the Windows 11 Settings application, Microsoft automatically re-enables it after a reboot. However, you can use the Group Policy Editor to make permanent changes that will persist even after a reboot.

  1. Before you start, you should disable "Tamper Protection" from Windows Security. Navigate to Windows Security -> Virus & threat protection -> Manage settings -> Tamper Protection.

Tamper Protection

  1. Then press Windows + R to open the Run dialog and type gpedit.msc to open the Group Policy Editor.
  2. Navigate to the following path and double-click on Turn off Microsoft Defender Antivirus in the right pane.
  • Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Microsoft Defender Antivirus

Turn off Microsoft Defender Antivirus

  1. In the pop-up window, select Enabled and click OK to apply the changes. When you are done, restart your Windows 11 computer. After the system restarts, Windows Defender antivirus is disabled on Windows 11.

Turn off Windows Defender in Group Policy Editor

  1. If you want to re-enable it, you don’t have to go back into Group Policy. Instead, you can click the Turn on button from the Windows Security app.

Turn on Windows Defender

Way 3. Turn off Microsoft Defender using Registry Editor on Windows 11 (Permanently)

Another way to permanently disable Windows Defender is through the Registry Editor. Follow the steps below to learn how to turn off antivirus on Windows 11.

  1. Press the Windows key once, type Registry Editor and select Run as Administrator to open the program.
  2. Navigate to the following path:
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender
  1. To edit or add a value to this folder, you need to change its owner first. By default, the owner is System. To change it, right-click on the folder and select Permissions.

Permissions of Windows Defender

  1. Then click Advanced tab in the Permissions for Windows Defender window. Next, click Change to the right of the Owner field.

Change Permissions

  1. Once another window opens, click Advanced -> Find Now. Select the Administrator account or Administrator group and click OK. Then click OK once more to confirm the changes.

Administrator Account

  1. Now check the boxes next to Replace owner on subcontainers and objects and Replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object, and click Yes in the Windows Security warning message that appears.

Advanced Security Settings

  1. Go back to the Group Permissions window, grant the user Full Control, and click Apply and OK to confirm.
  2. Now you can start editing the registry. In Windows Defender branch, create DWORD values (32 bit) with the following names and change their values into 1:
  • DisableAntiVirus
  • DisableAntiSpyware
  • ServiceStartStates

Better Way to Protect Your Data and Windows 11 System

This is how to disable Windows Defender from Windows 11, either temporarily or permanently. We do not recommend that you disable Windows Defender unless you have a backup antivirus or a malware removal tool for Windows 11.

After you disable Windows Defender, to prevent your system from failing to boot or even losing data due to a virus attack, we recommend that you back up your system regularly. This way, even if you encounter any problems with your system, you can quickly recover from the previously created system backup and use your system normally. If you create a disk backup, you can also retrieve all your data on the disk.

AOMEI Backupper Standard is a free backup software that helps you easily set different backup frequencies to automatically backup your system on a regular basis. You can also backup your system to different destinations according to your needs. It also supports various Windows systems.

Next, I will show you how to use the software with an example of System Backup. If you are a Windows Server user, you can choose AOMEI Backupper Server.

  1. Download AOMEI Backupper on your computer, install and open it. Navigate to Backup -> System Backup.
Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

System Backup

  1. It will select system partition and boot-related partitions automatically. And you just need to select a destination.

Select Destination

  1. Then click Start Backup to backup the Windows 11 system.

Start Backup

😬 Tips: Before clicking Start Backup, you can customize your backup task by clicking on the three options in the lower left corner of the program.
● Options: You can write comments for your backups, choose the compression level or set up email notifications.
Schedule Backup: This feature allows you to set the frequency of your backups, such as daily, weekly, monthly, Event triggers and USB plug in.
● Backup Scheme: It provides you with three backup methods - full backup, incremental and differential backup. It also supports deleting old backups to save your disk space. Differential backups and auto-delete backups are available in the Pro version.

Frequently Asked Questions about Turning off Windows Defender on Windows 11

#1. Why can’t I turn off Windows Defender on Windows 11?

If you find that you can't disable Windows Defender on Windows 11, it may be because you have not turned it off correctly. You can try the methods above to deactivate Windows Defender on Windows 11

#2. How do I completely remove Windows Defender?

To completely uninstall Microsoft Defender, open Control Panel, go to Programs then Programs and Features. Locate Microsoft Defender, right-click it, and select Uninstall.

Final Words

After reading this article, you can learn the reasons and 3 ways to disable Windows Defender on Windows 11, including one way to temporarily disable it and two other ways to permanently disable it.

To better protect your computer data and avoid problems such as system failure caused by viruses or malware, it is recommended that you keep the habit of backing up your system regularly. In addition to the Backup function, AOMEI Backupper helps you migrate systems and data on disk without any problems.

Jonna · Editor
Jonna joined AOMEI in 2021 and has become a professional in the areas of computer backup and restoration, disk cloning, file synchronization, etc. She maintains a keen eye for the latest technology trends, ensuring that the information provided is always in step with industry developments.