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Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10 permanently

How to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10 permanently? Sometimes you want to disable Windows Defender for testing purposes. If you have an Antivirus application running, Windows Defender will be automatically disabled. That’s because your Antivirus software will take over the security from now on. This article will teach you how to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10 temporarily and permanently.

Windows Defender unable to stop service

Start Task Manager on Windows 10. Find the Windows Defender service that is running. Search for the task name Antimalware Service Executable and the service Windows Defender Antivirus Service.

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10 task manager active

Right-click the Windows Defender Antivirus Service and click Stop.

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10 task manager stop service

An error will show up that the operation could not be completed. Access is denied. It’s unable to stop the service.

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10 stop service error access denied

Start the application Services and right-click on Windows Defender Antivirus Service. You can see that the following options are greyed out:

  • Start
  • Stop
  • Pause
  • Resume
  • Restart
Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10 services

Check status Windows Defender in Windows Security

Open the Windows Start menu. Type Windows Security.

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10 Windows Security

Click on Virus & threat protection.

Windows Defender is enabled.

If you installed another security product, you would see the following screen.

Disable Windows Defender in Windows 10 temporarily

In Windows Security, click on Virus & threat protection.

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10 Windows Security active

Click on Manage Settings.

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10 manage settings

Click the toggle button under Real-time protection to turn off Windows Defender Antivirus.

Doing that, you can see that:

  • The service is still running in the background
  • A reboot will automatically enable Windows Defender

How can you disable Windows Defender service completely and keep it disabled after a reboot? Find out in the next step.

How to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10 permanently

As shown in the previous step, make sure that Real-time protection is Off.

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10 real-time protection off

Autoruns for Windows

Download Autoruns for Windows. Extract the zip file and start the executable Autoruns64.exe. If you are running Windows 10 32-bit, start Autoruns.exe.

Go to the tab Services. There will be not many services shown. That’s because Windows services are not showing by default.

Enable Windows Services in Autoruns

Click in the menu bar on Options. Uncheck Hide Windows Entries. This will show the Windows services in the list view.

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10 Autoruns hide windows entries

Search for WinDefend and uncheck the checkbox. Unchecking will prevent the Windows Defender automatic startup after every reboot.

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10 Autoruns uncheck windows defender service

Restart your Windows 10 system.

Verify that Windows Defender is kept turned off after Windows 10 restart

After a restart, start Task Manager. There is no more Windows Defender service running.

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10 not active

Start Windows Security and have a look at Virus & threat protection. You will see that there is a spinning icon, or the status is showing as unknown. That’s because it’s fetching the information.

Give it a couple of minutes. After that, you will see that Virus & threat protection is disabled.

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10 Windows Security stopped

Revert the changes

If you like to revert the changes, click on the Restart Now button in Windows Security.

Keep on reading: Disable Windows Firewall with PowerShell »


In this article, you learned how to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10 permanently. Make sure to follow the exact steps, as shown in the article. After doing that, Windows Defender will be kept turned off.

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ALI TAJRAN is a passionate IT Architect, IT Consultant, and Microsoft Certified Trainer. He started Information Technology at a very young age, and his goal is to teach and inspire others. Read more »

This Post Has 38 Comments

  1. Still working April 2021 on 20H2 (19042.906).
    Boot into safe mode first or it will not work!

  2. This sucks. It doesn’t work anymore. I just want to shut it down as it keeps running in the background when I really don’t need it. It comes with all the stupid shit they put in windows 10 that you want to turn off because you don’t need it but you can’t.

    1. Here’s what i did.
      no matter what I’ve tried damn thing always came back. finally, I used the gpedit.exe in safe mode w\network and it worked 😁.

      I also used winruns for good measure… pretty much I used everything that was possible and at the end did gpedit.
      the damn windows antivirus behaves like virus in itself. several programs stopped running because it removed something on its own.

  3. Unfortunately, it no longer works. You can start autoruns in safe mode and uncheck windefend, but defender still runs.

  4. So sad, but even Autorans not helps.. Access denied.
    And I sure I didn’t missed any guide steps..

  5. You Sire, are the best, BEST, BESTESSST, BEST !!!!!!!!!
    Thanks so much for saving the day 🙂 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Thanks again,
    Currently in dec 2020, your tip is the only one that works on the entire internet to disable WD permanently

  7. There is one final step which worked
    one of these extra steps helped
    this is for ver 20h2, other ver may vary
    I disabled WD in group policy
    in registry under WD 2 keys need to be set to 1
    disableantivirus disableantispyware to 1 using ExecTI
    your steps kill WD but still some remnants keep running
    Finally confirm with app like speccy to see WD disabled

    kudos to your tip, without it there was no hope
    thanks so much

    1. It’s great that you didn’t give up. That’s what I do like to see! You’re welcome, and thanks for sharing what worked for you. It can help others.

  8. VER 20H2 questionable, speccy app says win def enabled still
    I followed all the steps, unchecked in autorun
    All of you should verify in speccy or any other similar app
    Author please verify and update any solutions

  9. Thanks a lot… Am some happy now I can disable anything I feel like ??,,, I mean any thing.. These Autoruns???‍??‍?

  10. Thanks for the tutorial, finally this worked for me,( P.S i turned off real time protection but after i while it started back, for those with “state denied access”, turn off protection again and start autorun again, everything will work.

    1. damn man, access is still denied. Is it because of 3rd party antivirus.? I turned real time scanning off, but I am not able to do shit….
      Can anyone help…….
      Also I have updated the windows…. is it anyway related to october updates????

    1. I just tested it on two Windows 10 systems by following the steps in the article. Windows Defender is disabled permanently on both the Windows 10 systems:

      Windows 10 version 1909
      Windows 10 version 2004

  11. It did work after I restarted my PC but then I shut my PC down and later when I opened again it was still showing on task manager.

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