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How To Turn On Or Off Windows Defender

Turning Windows Defender Anti-virus OFF and ON

Windows Defender

  • This is an antivirus built-in to the Windows operating systems. It was designed for Windows 8 and was later included in Windows 8.1 and 10. Just like any other antivirus program, Windows Defender is meant to protect computers against viruses, malware, spyware and other threats.
  • We are living in the digital era where the internet is fraught with suspicious malware and viruses. These malicious programs are being used to hack into systems or snoop on your online activities. The fact that these malware’s are so subtly directed at you means that more often than not, you may not even be aware of their intrusion and presence.

We have been told time and again to avoid visiting suspicious sites or even avoid suspicious attachments in your email. But even with all these, you are not 100% safe. Which is why Windows Defender should always be there; it cushions you from any virus and malware attacks and makes your computer experience safer and delightful. It offers automatic updates and alerts to you of any incoming, suspicious components.

If you are using Windows 10 this anti-virus is built-in to the operating system already. Thus you do not have to buy or install anything.  It also works with no special configurations or subscriptions. This is an added advantage because you are always assured of real-time protection, without any hassles.

Key Features

  • This anti-virus is aided and enhanced by SpyNet, which is a group that brings Windows Defender users together to work together by sharing information about spyware.
  • They help identify and report threats.  This further helps to update the system and protects your computer from threats. Some, if not all of the largest cyber attacks we have seen in the recent years started with a strange malware that users welcomed unsuspectingly.
  • The effect of these malware’s is such once they infect an internal system they spread pretty fast and compromise the security of all users who may be connected to the computer through a common network.
  • But with SpyNet, users are able to share information on anything suspicious they have come across.  Scammers and hackers always rely on tricking users to open an infected file, or even share it with the others.
  • Each time they click ‘download’, their personal information gets compromised and thus begins the series of unwanted activities.  Windows defender will always alert you in real time, sometimes even block emails that have unverified or suspicious attachments.

If you are using McAfee and you want to remove McAfee then here is a guide you can follow to remove McAfee from your system very easily.

Uses Of Windows Defender

  • Protection from viruses
  • Malware protection and removal
  • Spyware detection and removal
  • Boot-time protection
  • Real-time protection
  • Cloud-based protection
  • Network inspection
  • Free automatic updates

Check If Windows Defender Is Running

  • Go to the Taskbar
  • Go to the More Options menu
  • Look for the Windows Defender icon
  • If Windows Defender is turned off and your computer has a threat the shield icon will have a small cross at the bottom right corner
  • Click on the icon to launch the Windows Defender app


  • Type Defender into the Start Menu search bar
  • Select the top result which will be Windows Defender
  • This will launch the Windows Defender app


If you go the Windows Defender app and the words and keys are mostly in red that means the app is not running. When the app is running the buttons are mostly green in color.

Monitor What Windows Defender Is Protecting

  • Go to the  Settings  icon on this screen
  • this will open the main Settings app on the PC 
  • Check to see if Windows Defender real time button is switched on
  • Click Windows Protector option and find out what it is protecting.

Advantages Of Windows Defender

  • Helps protect your computer from pop-ups or advertisements
  • Helps protect your computer from slow performances
  • Helps protect your computer from security threats
  • Has real time protection that works as soon as a threat is detected with no disruption or interruptions as you work
  • It also works offline. This offline Windows Defender is known as standalone system sweeper beta. It runs from a bootable disk and is designed to scan infected systems while they are offline.

Windows Defender runs in the background all the time when it is ON and notifies you of potential threats and viruses. In order for it to run make sure the service is turned on and set on automatic.

If you wish to install a third-party antivirus program, you may need to turn off Windows Defender.

Here is How:

  • If you have a third party app running you can turn it off or uninstall it to avoid any software clashes and allow the Windows Defender app to run smoothly.
  • To Turn On or Off Windows Defender use Group Policy
  • To Turn On or Off Windows Defender using a REG file

If you want to protect your computer with 360 Total Security then check out the given guide.

Uninstall Third Party Apps

Go to Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features > select the app > right-click > Uninstall

Note that if you turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10 it will only be temporary. Windows 10 may turn the application back on again if there is a virus or any other kind of threat.

Improvements in Windows Defender

Microsoft has recently upgraded and updated Windows Defender.  This has been done by linking it to MSCEP. This stands for Microsoft System Center Endpoint Protection.

The recent updates to the app are:

  • (ELAM) compatible – this stands for Early Launch Antimalware. Once the secure booth has confirmed that the OS is recognized ELAM will register the antimalware to guarantee the security of all components. Luckily, Windows defender is very compatible with ELAM.
  • The updated Windows Defender reports the origin of the threats, even the movement patterns of the infecting virus all over the system. Windows Defender will then analyze this information and act to thwart or tackle such threats in future.
  • (UAC) integration; this stands for User Account Control. Windows Defender will always notify or act immediately to protect the compromise of the information.


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