At some point, you might have been interested in turning off Windows Defender, the antivirus built into your PC, or some of the protections it has built in, because Defender is a modular defense that offers protection at different levels and which greatly facilitates the user’s ability to decide what level of protection you want to have.

Defender is an integrated antivirus, but also a firewall or a parental control manager among others. Defender offers protection against viruses, malware and spyware, and Microsoft uses the large number of users to regularly update the threat database. Having said that, at some point you might be interested in disabling it and here are the steps you need to take.

How to turn off Windows Defender

If you want to turn off Windows Defender, the first thing you need to do is go to the Windows Start menu and find the “Update & Security” section. You can also directly search for “Windows Defender” among installed applications.

Once in “Update & Security” you need to look in the left bar for the symbol of a shield and look at the section that opens in the window where it says “Open Windows Security” in the main menu . We will see different sections and click on one of them to open the “Safety at a Glance” menu.

Under the option that allows a computer scan and where it warns us of possible current threats, the text “Antivirus and threat protection settings” appears and just below the title “Manage settings” on which to click.

A new window opens with a list that details all the protections that Defender offers and you just have to uncheck the one you do not want to have active. At this point, Windows 10 will ask you for administrator permissions to do so and if at any point you want to re-enable them, you can do so in the same place. Here are the options you will find:

Real-time protection: Scan your computer for malware and prevent it from installing or running on your computer. When you turn off the option, Windows will turn it back on after a while for your safety. Cloud-based protection: Exchange data with Microsoft servers to learn about the types of threats you may encounter and protect yourself against them. Automatic sample submission: PC sends samples of suspicious files from your computer to analyze them and, in the event of a threat, protect you and others with this detection. Tamper Protection: Prevent others from changing your computer’s security settings. Folder Access Control: A system that protects your files and folders on your hard drive from unauthorized modifications. It is a type of real-time protection, which tries to help you against ransomware and helps you recover OneDrive backups.

Another complementary possibility is that which goes through the access to the “Firewall” (firewall) in the section “Network protection” from the main screen to try to block suspicious incoming connections to your computer when you are on private or public networks. Here, click on each of the options to enable or disable it.

And finally, you have the option “Application and browser control”, with which you can manage what Windows does when it finds infected applications and files, be able to block, warn or do nothing, and similarly when ‘it finds them in Microsoft Edge or the Windows Store. Each of the three options can be disabled separately.

With all these steps, you can turn off the security offered by “Windows Defender”, especially in specific cases, because it is impractical to leave our PC unprotected permanently or for long periods of time.