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Why & How to Disable Windows Defender on Windows 11

Sep 12, 2023

Windows Defender is a built-in antivirus and security program on Windows PC. It helps protect your computer against malware, viruses, and other threats.  
While disabling Windows Defender is generally not recommended, however, some advanced users prefer to download and use specialized antivirus or security tools that provide more features or customization options than Windows Defender. 
As we all know, severe software conflicts can cause BSOD. That’s way these users may choose to disable Windows Defender to avoid conflicts and ensure that only one antivirus solution is active on the system. So for anyone who intend to install other antivirus software on their Windows 11, this article could come in handy.

Turn off Windows Defender temporarily in Settings

This might need to be done when you are performing some system work which needs to turn the feature of Windows Defender off momentarily. Remember to re-enable it as soon as the work finishes.

Disable Windows Defender permanently via Group Policy Editor

It is important to note that disabling Windows Defender should only be done after careful consideration and if you have an alternative security solution that you trust and regularly update. To disable Windows Defender in Group Policy Editor:
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender Antivirus

Disable Windows Defender permanently via Registry Editor

Disabling Windows Defender through Registry Editor is a more permanent solution. Again, if you do decide to disable it, make sure to have an alternate antivirus solution installed and regularly update and scan your system for potential threats. 
However, it is important to note that accidental changes to the registry can make your computer inoperable or malfunction. Therefore, this should only be done if you are experienced with it, and back up your registry before performing.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows Defender

Sum up

This is how to disable Windows Defender to avoid software conflicts between your installed antivirus software. It is not recommended to disable Windows Defender permanently as it provides important security features for your system. Only disable it when you have other antivirus software better than it.
It is also important to practice safe browsing habits, keep your operating system and software up to date, and use additional security measures such as strong passwords and regular backups to ensure comprehensive protection against cyber threats.