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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.
Table of contents
- Windows Defender unable to stop service
- Check status Windows Defender in Windows Security
- Disable Windows Defender in Windows 11 temporarily
- How to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 11 permanently
- Step 1. Download Autoruns for Windows
- Step 2. Turn off Real-time protection
- Step 3. Boot into safe mode
- Step 4. Check Windows Security in safe mode
- Step 5. Start Autoruns for Windows
- Step 6. Enable Windows Services in Autoruns
- Step 7. Uncheck Windows Defender Antivirus Service
- Step 8. Boot into normal startup
- Verify that Windows Defender is kept turned off after Windows 11 restart
- Revert the changes
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.
Right-click the Windows Defender Antivirus Service and click Stop.
An error will show up that the operation could not be completed. Access is denied. It’s unable to stop the service.
Start the application Services and right-click on Microsoft Windows Defender Antivirus Service. You can see that the following options are greyed out:
Check status Windows Defender in Windows Security
Open the Windows Start menu. Type Windows Security.
Click on Virus & threat protection.
Windows Defender is enabled.
If you install a third-party security product, you will see the following screen.
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.
Click on 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.
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.
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.
Click on Restart.
Step 4. Check Windows Security in safe mode
Start Windows Security and ensure that it’s not loading anything.
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.
Click in the menu bar on Options. Uncheck Hide Windows Entries. It will show the Windows services in the list view.
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.
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.
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.
Give it a couple of minutes. After that, you will see that Virus & threat protection is disabled.
Note: The first attempt might not work, and you have to do the steps a second time before it will turn off Windows Defender permanently.
Microsoft releases a big Windows 11 OS update once a year. After it’s installed and the Windows 11 OS is up to date with the new version, it sometimes triggers the Windows Defender service settings and starts automatically again. This means you must go through the steps to ensure that Windows Defender doesn’t start.
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 »
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.
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