How to Disable Windows Defender in Windows 11

If you are about to start using some third-party antivirus software, you may want to disable the built-in system protection and install that latest antivirus hit. While doing it, this is when some difficulties may appear. In this article, we’ll tell you how to disable Windows Defender in the new operating system by Microsoft.

How to Disable Windows Defender in Windows 11

The Microsoft Defender antivirus (previously known as Windows Defender) is a free tool integrated into Windows 11 to protect your computer from viruses and other malware. In addition to combating viruses and similar programs, Microsoft Defender also offers you to secure your account, improve your safety online, monitor your computer’s performance and health, use parental control options, add a firewall for extra protection, and ensure network safety.

If you are using a third-party antivirus software, you may want to disable the built-in system protection and install that latest antivirus hit. When you try to install a third-party antivirus, some difficulties may appear.

Go to view
🛡 How to Disable Windows Defender in Windows 11 🛡

🛡 How to Disable Windows Defender in Windows 11 🛡

Disable it with group policy settings

For starters, disable the system protection and then run the Group Policy Editor. Click on StartSettingsPrivacy and securityWindows Security.

Settings – Privacy and security – Windows Security

Then go to “Virus threat protection”“Manage settings”, and disable “Tamper Protection” here.

Disable Tamper Protection

To run the group Policy Editor, find “Edit group policy” with the search feature and click on it.

Edit group policy

In the program’s window, go to Computer ConfigurationAdministrative TemplatesWindows ComponentsMicrosoft Defender Antivirus. Look to the right to find the setting “Turn off Microsoft Defender Antivirus”.

Windows Components - Microsoft Defender Antivirus

Right-click on it and select “Edit”. In the window that opens, check the option “Enabled”, then click “Apply” and OK.

Disable Microsoft Defender

After that, modify the setting “Allow antimalware service to remain running always”, check the option “Disabled”, click “Apply” and OK.

Allow antimalware service to remain running always

After that, open the folder “Real-time Protection” and open the setting “Turn off real-time protection”. Check the option “Enabled” – click “Apply”OK.

Turn off real-time protection

Now that the group policy is configured, you need to set up Task Scheduler to prevent certain services from running, and to avoid errors after the Windows 11 antivirus has been disabled. Use the search feature to find “Task Scheduler” and open it.

Jump to Task Scheduler LibraryMicrosoftWindowsWindows Defender. One after another, disable these four tasks:

  • Windows Defender Cache Maintenance
  • Windows Defender Cleanup
  • Windows Defender Scheduled Scan
  • Windows Defender Verification

Right-click on each one and select “Disable”.

Disable Windows Defender tasks in Task Scheduler

After you do it, the Defender will no longer start together with Windows.

Disable it by modifying the registry

Another way to disable protection is by modifying the registry.

Right-click on the Start menu and select Run, and then type “regedit” in the corresponding field and click OK.

Run regedit

In the Registry Editor window that appears, follow this path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender

To edit or add a value to this folder, you need to change its owner first. By default, the owner is “System”. To change it, right-click on the folder and choose “Permissions”.

Change folder owner

In the window that opens - “Permissions for Windows Defender” - open the tab “Advanced” and click “Change” in the “Owner” field.

Change folder owner in Windows registry

Another window opens. Click “Advanced” - “Find Now” - select the Administrator account or the Administrators group, then click OK, and OK one more time to confirm the changes.

Replace with the Administrators group

Now check the boxes next to “Replace owner on subcontainers and objects” and “Replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object”, and click “Yes” in the Windows Security warning message that appears.

Replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object

Going back to the group permissions window, grant the users with full control and click “Apply” and OK to confirm it.

Group permissions - full control

Now you can start editing the registry. In Windows Defender branch, create DWORD values (32 bit) with the following names: DisableAntiVirus, DisableAntiSpyware, ServiceStartStates, and change their values into one.

DisableAntiVirus, DisableAntiSpyware, ServiceStartStates

After that, close the registry editor and restart the computer. After the restart, the Defender will be disabled. If you ever need to start it again, go to “Virus and threat protection” and click “Turn on”.

Disable it with Autoruns for Windows

One more method involves using Autoruns for Windows to disable Microsoft Defender. Download this utility from the official Microsoft website and extract it from the archive.
Download Autoruns for Windows

For starters, you need to disable permanent protection and boot in safe mode. Open SettingsPrivacy and securityWindows SecurityVirus threat protection - Manage settings, and disable Real-time Protection.

Turn off real-time protection

To boot the computer in safe mode, use the search to find “System Configuration”, open the “Boot” tab, check the box for “Safe boot” - “Minimal” - Apply - OK - and hit “Restart”. When the computer boots in safe mode, open Windows Security to check if Microsoft Defender is running.

Boot the computer in safe mode

Then go to the folder containing Autoruns for Windows and start Autoruns64.exe In the program’s window, jump to the tab “Services” - by default, Windows services are hidden. To make them visible, open “Options” and uncheck the box for “Hide Windows Entries”.

Hide Windows Entries

Now search the list of services for Windows Defender and uncheck this box - this will disable automatic startup for Windows Defender every time the computer reboots.

Disable Windows Defender

After that, close the utility and boot the computer into the normal mode. Open “System Configuration”, check “Normal startup” here - Apply - OK - Restart. When the computer boots, start Task Manager and check if the Windows Defender service is running.

Run the operating system in a normal mode

Open SettingsPrivacy and securityWindows SecurityVirus threat protection - Home. Here, you can see a circle of loading dots or the protection status is displayed as “Unknown”. This is when the Defender is checking its settings.

Protection status – disabled

Here is an important thing to keep in mind. Don’t click on the Defender tile while it is updating its information or displaying the unknown status. If you do it, the Defender will be enabled again, so wait until it says “Turned off”.


Now you know how to turn off Microsoft Defender in Windows 11. To have the Defender disabled after you restart the computer, make sure to follow carefully every step of this tutorial. If all of these methods failed to disable Microsoft Defender, you can try looking for third-party tools on the Internet - they are quite numerous.

Vladimir Artiukh

Author: , Technical Writer

Vladimir Artiukh is a technical writer for Hetman Software, as well as the voice and face of their English-speaking YouTube channel, Hetman Software: Data Recovery for Windows. He handles tutorials, how-tos, and detailed reviews on how the company’s tools work with all kinds of data storage devices.

Oleg Afonin

Editor: , Technical Writer

Oleg Afonin is an expert in mobile forensics, data recovery and computer systems. He often attends large data security conferences, and writes several blogs for such resources as, Elcomsoft and Habr. In addition to his online activities, Oleg’s articles are also published in professional magazines. Also, Oleg Afonin is the co-author of a well-known book, Mobile Forensics - Advanced Investigative Strategies.

Recommended For You

Hello! This is AI-based Hetman Software virtual assistant, and it will answer any of your questions right away.
Start Chat