How to Disable Windows Defender in Windows 7

This brief tutorial will take you through the steps required to disable Windows Defender in Windows 7.

Note: If you’re using Windows Vista, see this tutorial on how to disable Windows Defender in Vista.

If you’d rather use your own spyware and trojan remover, having Windows Defender also running can be a bit of a moot point. This tutorial will show you how to disable it.

  1. If you open the Windows Task Manager and select the Services tab, you’ll notice WinDefend is running. This is Windows Defender. There are a couple ways to disable it, but the one I outline will show you how to re-enable it should you need/want to.
  2. the Windows Task Manager

  3. Click the “Start Orb” and type in defender into the text box. Select Windows Defender from the items that appear in the window above.
  4. running a search from the Search panel

  5. Select Tools from the main Windows Defender screen.
  6. Windows Defender with a circle around Tools
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  7. Select Options from the Settings section.
  8. the Windows Defender Tools section with a circle around Settings
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  9. From the left navigation pane, select Administrator.
  10. the Windows Defender Settings with a circle around Administrator
    click to enlarge

  11. Now remove the check mark from the box labeled Use this program. Click the Save button in the bottom right corner.
  12. disable Windows Defender in Windows 7 by removing the Usage This Program check mark
    click to enlarge

  13. Click Yes when prompted to make the change.
  14. Disable Windows Defender in Windows 7 confirmation dialog box
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  15. And now Windows Defender is turned off. You can use the “click here to turn it on” link if you want to re-enable it (just launch Windows Defender the same way you did in step #2 above).
  16. a Confirmation dialog box

  17. Now if you check the Services section of the Task Manager you’ll see that Windows Defender has been stopped.
  18. the Task Manager
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  19. That’s it – you’re done!

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8 thoughts on “How to Disable Windows Defender in Windows 7”

  1. Thanks very much. I now have Kapersky and it was doing my head in trying to figure out how to disable Defender ;o)

  2. Great job. The question is why with so may brilliant minds do they make it so difficult to do such an easy task?

  3. Thanks, this clears up the annoying Windows Update always popping up asking for Windows Defender update!!

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