How to enable or disable Windows Defender.
IMPORTANT: This article applies only to specific products and/or operating systems. Check Applicable Products and Categories for details.
Windows Defender is a free virus protection application which is preinstalled with the operating system. Follow these steps to enable or disable Windows Defender.
IMPORTANT: It is recommended that you keep Windows Defender enabled unless you have another virus protection application ready to install. You will want to disable Windows Defender just before another virus protection application is installed so that the two applications do not conflict.
- Click the Start button, and in the Start menu, click Settings.
NOTE: The Windows Logo + I key combination will also take you to the Settings screen.
- In the Settings window, click Update & Security.
- In the Update & Security window, click Windows Defender.
- In the Windows Defender screen, under Real-time protection, toggle the slider to either Off (to disable) or On (to enable).