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Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 11 permanently

How to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 11 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 11 temporarily and permanently.

Windows Defender unable to stop service

Start Task Manager on Windows 11. 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 11 task manager active

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

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 11 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 11 stop service error access denied

Start the application Services and right-click on Microsoft 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 11 services

Check status Windows Defender in Windows Security

Open the Windows Start menu. Type Windows Security.

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 11 Windows Security

Click on Virus & threat protection.

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 11 Windows Security active

Windows Defender is enabled.

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 11 virus and threat protection

If you install a third-party security product, you will see the following screen.

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 11 another security product installed

Windows Defender will automatically disable and not run if periodic scanning is turned off (which is the default when you install a third-party security product). However, when turning on periodic scanning, Windows Defender will run simultaneously with the third-party security product.

Disable Windows Defender in Windows 11 temporarily

In Windows Security, click on Virus & threat protection.

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 11 Windows Security active

Click on Manage Settings.

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 11 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 11 permanently

Step 1. Download Autoruns for Windows

Download Autoruns for Windows. Extract the zip file. You don’t need to do anything yet. You need Autoruns at a later stage.

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 11 Autoruns extract

Step 2. Turn off Real-time protection

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

Important: Turn off Real-time protection.

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 11 real time protection off

Step 3. Boot into safe mode

Click on Windows Start and search for msconfig. Run System Configuration as administrator.

You can also start the program Run. Type msconfig and click on OK.

Select the tab Boot. In the section Boot options, enable Safe boot. Click on OK.

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 11 Safe boot

Click on Restart.

Step 4. Check Windows Security in safe mode

Start Windows Security and ensure that it’s not loading anything.

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 11 empty

Step 5. Start Autoruns for Windows

In the previous step, you already did download and extract Autoruns for Windows. Browse to the Autoruns folder and start the executable Autoruns64.exe.

Step 6. Enable Windows Services in Autoruns

Go to the tab Services. It will not show many services. That’s because Windows services are not showing by default.

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 11 Autoruns services

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

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 11 Autoruns hide windows entries

Step 7. Uncheck Windows Defender Antivirus Service

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

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 11 Autoruns uncheck windows defender service

Step 8. Boot into normal startup

Start the application msconfig.

Select the Normal startup. Click on OK.

Click on Restart.

Verify that Windows Defender is kept turned off after Windows 11 restart

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

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 11 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.

Important: Do not click on the Virus & threat protection tile while it’s fetching information or the status is unknown. If you do that, it will enable Windows Defender. Keep waiting till you see it’s disabled.

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 11 Windows Security unknown

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

Turn off Windows Defender in Windows 11 Windows Security stopped

Revert the changes

Suppose you like to revert the changes. Then, click on the Restart Now button in Windows Security. Another way is to boot into safe mode, start Autoruns, and check the WinDefend service.

Keep on reading: Configure Azure AD Password Protection for on-premises »

Conclusion

You learned how to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 11 permanently. Make sure to follow the exact steps, as shown in the article. After doing that, Windows Defender will be kept turned off.

Did you enjoy this article? You may also like Uninstall Windows Defender on Windows Server. Don’t forget to follow us and share this article.

ALI TAJRAN

ALI TAJRAN

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 »

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