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How to turn off Windows Security in Windows 11?

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  • 5 min read

Windows 11 comes with many features to make your life easier. One such feature is Windows Defender, the operating system’s built-in anti-malware application.

It is recommended that you turn it on. However, there are a few occasions where you may need to disable it as it hinders the normal functioning of some applications.

In this article, we’ll explain how to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 11. We have covered this topic in a YouTube video that you can watch below, or can read the article:

To turn off Windows Defender in Windows 10, check out our article here.

Here’s what we will cover in this guide:

Install an alternative antivirus

Probably, the simplest way to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 11 is to install any third-party antivirus. Remember to always go for reputed ones like Kaspersky, McAfee or Norton, that can protect your device from threats.

When you turn on real-time protection in that antivirus, Windows Defender will automatically turn off.

Also read: Linux vs Windows: Should you prefer Linux for a low-spec PC?

Manually disable Windows Defender in Windows 11

The second way is to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 11 manually. Follow the steps below to do this:

Step 1: Click on the Start menu and search ‘Windows Security.’ After that, click on the software to open it.

Step 2: Now, select the Virus and threat protection option.

Step 3: Then, click Manage settings under the Virus and threat protection settings option.

Step 4: Turn off the toggle under the Real-time protection heading.

Note: Once you have turned off the toggle, your device will be vulnerable to malware infections. Therefore, we recommend that you choose this option for a short period and turn it back on when the task is done.

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Use Windows Registry to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 11

The third way to disable Windows Defender in Windows 11 is with the help of Windows Registry. But first, head back to Windows Security > Virus and threat protection and turn off the toggle under Tamper Protection.

When this toggle is turned on, any malicious software that might gain entry into your device won’t be able to change the essential Microsoft Defender Antivirus settings including real-time protection or cloud-delivered protection.

After that, follow the instructions given below:

Step 1: Head to the taskbar search bar, type ‘Registry Editor’ and press Enter.

Step 2: Now, copy and paste the following path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender

Step 3: Look for a registry named ‘DisableAntiSpyware.’ If it doesn’t exist, create a new DWORD (32-bit) value and name it ‘DisableAntiSpyware.’

To create a new DWORD (32-bit) value, right-click on a space and then go to New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.

Step 4: Now, double-click this key, change its value to 1 and ensure that the base is hexadecimal. Once you have confirmed these points, press OK to confirm the settings.

In case, you want to revert these changes, follow the same procedure and then change the value from 1 to 0 (zero).

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Use Command Prompt to disable Windows Defender

Finally, the fourth way to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 11 is via the Command Prompt.

Step 1: Press the Start button and then type ‘cmd’ or ‘Command Prompt’. Now, click on the application to open it.

Step 2: Now, copy and paste this code to disable Windows Defender:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender /v DisableAntiSpyware /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

To re-enable Windows Defender, copy the following code:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender /v DisableAntiSpyware /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

By using these four methods, you can easily disable Windows Defender in Windows 11.

Also read: Is NCSA a scam?

Kumar Hemant

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: