How To Disable Windows Defender in Vista

If you have 3rd-party applications to handle your malware protection, you might want to disable Windows Defender. Here we’ll walk through the process of turning it off.

1. If you use Microsoft Security Essentials for Virus and Malware protection, it will automatically disable Windows Defender. Other commercial products may do the same thing as well. To make sure it’s disabled, click on Start and type windows defender into the Search box and hit enter.

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2. When Windows Defender comes up, click on Tools at the top of the screen.

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3. Then under Settings click on Options.

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4. Now under Options, uncheck the box next to Use this program then click Save.

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5. Then a window comes up letting you know it’s off and that you’re using a different program.

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6. To verify it’s completely disabled, click Start and type services.msc into the Search box and hit Enter.

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7. Scroll down to Windows Defender in the right panel and double click on it.

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8. In the Windows Defender Properties screen change the Startup type from Manual to Disabled, then click OK.

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That’s all there is to it. Now you can use your favorite anti-malware application and not have to deal with Windows Defender running in the background and updating it. You probably won’t notice much of a performance gain, but if you have more faith in other programs, this will allow you to use it and not have conflicts with Windows Defender.

If you want to use it again later for any reason, just go back and reverse the above steps.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Data Processing April 13, 2011, 8:02 am

    Thanks for your tip! I am wondering if Windows Defender is a good alternative for Anti Virus?

  • Amelia @ Ethical Hacking July 9, 2011, 9:12 am

    Thanks for this tip. I don’t use Windows Defender.

    I suggest you save the CPU and RAM used by Windows Defender and use another security tools. There are tons of freeware to choose from.

  • web services August 10, 2012, 4:20 am

    This is a great tips.

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