Windows 11 comes preinstalled with Microsoft Windows Defender Antivirus. As you may already be familiar with the app and its name, the purpose is to keep your devices safe and secure from any harmful and malicious content. However, users may be required to turn it off entirely due to several reasons.
You may need to install any third-party software that the Defender is blocking, or use other antivirus software and no longer need Windows Defender. For any reason, Windows Defender can be disabled both permanently and temporarily.
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This post discusses how you can disable Windows Defender Antivirus on Windows 11 both temporarily and permanently while discussing other myths that are said to work in disabling Defender, but do not.
Disable Windows Defender in Windows 11 Temporarily
Our first step will be to temporarily disable Defender in case it is only needed for this one time. Here’s how you can do it on Windows 11:
This will temporarily disable only the real-time protection component from your Windows Defender, which means that you should be able to install any app or program that was being prevented by it. However, Windows Defender will re-enable itself the next time the device is rebooted.
Disable Windows Defender in Windows 11 Permanently
There is a Group Policy Object (GPO) in Windows 11 by the name “Turn off Microsoft Defender Antivirus” which is supposed to turn off the Defender once enabled. However, this GPO is also reset when the Windows 11 device is restarted. Therefore, it is not a means to disable Windows Defender permanently.
I have tested most of the methods written on the Internet including Windows Registry manipulation, disabling services, and removal of Wdboot driver. However, none of these have worked for us so far.
There is one method that does seem to do the trick – taking ownership of Windows Defender files and folders and then removing all the permissions. We have directed this method to different parts so that you can keep track of the activity while performing it.
Before you begin, make sure that you have access to an administrator account.
Step 1: Boot into Safe Mode
The purpose of booting into Safe Mode is to avoid the running of unnecessary apps, programs, and services that may hinder the process. Here’s how to boot into Safe Mode in Windows 11:
Your device will now restart and boot into Safe Mode. Log in to the administrator account and continue to the next phase.
Step 2: Take Ownership
You must now take complete ownership of the Windows Defender executable files to disable it permanently. Here is how:
Your user account has now taken ownership of the Windows Defender files. It’s time to move on to the next phase of the process.
Step 3: Remove Permissions
Now that you have the ownership, it is time to remove the permissions of the other users and groups. Here is how:
The permissions have now been removed successfully.
Step 4: Reboot Normally
Now all you need to do is reboot the computer normally (Without Safe Mode). Here is how:
The computer will now reboot into normal mode. When it does, you can check and confirm that Windows Defender has been permanently disabled by verifying that the Virus & THreat Protection option in Windows Security has disappeared.
No Virus or Threat Protection option in Windows Security
Once Windows Defender has been deactivated, your device becomes vulnerable if you do not have another antivirus to protect it. Therefore, if you do intend to keep it disabled, we suggest that you consider these 17 aspects before making an antivirus purchase.
Subhan Zafar is an established IT professional with interests in Windows and Server infrastructure testing and research, and is currently working with Itechtics as a research consultant. He has studied Electrical Engineering and is also certified by Huawei (HCNA & HCNP Routing and Switching).
Can Windows Defender be permanently disabled?
Although Windows 10 does not include an option to uninstall Microsoft Defender Antivirus, it is possible to permanently disable the app using Group Policy or install a third-party solution. Or you can also disable the antivirus temporarily using the Windows Security app.
How do I completely remove Windows Defender?
Disable Windows Defender Permanently You have a few options when it comes to disabling Windows Defender. The first is the simplest: just install a third-party virus program on your PC to disable the Defender in part. For a more permanent solution, you can go through the registry or Local Group Policy window.
Is Windows Defender automatically on Windows 11?
Windows Defender is included in Windows 10/11 system and is not available for a standalone download now. If you can't find Windows Defender on your computer, you can update Windows 11/10 to the latest version.
How do I get rid of antimalware service executable Windows 11?
Disable via Windows GUI. ... .
Disable the via Registry Editor. ... .
Disable the entire Windows Defender component via Registry Editor. ... .
Disable via Command Prompt. ... .
Disable via Group Policy Editor. ... .
Install a third-party antivirus. ... .
Delete the Microsoft Defender Folder. ... .
Disable the Windows Defender Service..