How to Turn On or Off Windows Defender Tamper Protection

Tamper protection is an advanced Windows Defender feature. Here’s how to turn on or off Windows Security Tamper Protection.

Windows has a built-in antivirus called Windows Defender. In recent versions, Microsoft changed the name of Windows Defender to Windows Security. Like most other antivirus software, Windows Defender can protect itself from being modified by other programs or malicious software. This is called Tamper Protection.

Compared to other antivirus software, Windows Defender is pretty capable. The best thing is that it is lightweight and uses fewer system resources. Most of all, it works silently in the background without bothering users with unnecessary notifications and alerts.

For instance, McAfee constantly bothers its users with upgrade notifications, file access alerts, unnecessary alerts, etc. That is the reason why I created a detailed guide on how to remove McAfee in Windows.

The tamper protection is enabled by default in Windows Defender. However, you can modify the tamper protection setting in Windows.

Let me show you how to turn on or turn off Windows Defender tamper protection (Tamper Protection in Windows Security) without further ado.

The steps below work the same in Windows 10 and 11.

Table of contents:

What is Tamper Protection

To put it simply, tamper protection ensures that no other malicious or otherwise software changes Windows Defender settings or configurations.

In Microsoft’s own words:

Tamper Protection in Windows Security helps prevent malicious apps from changing important Windows Defender Antivirus settings, including real-time protection and cloud-delivered protection. If Tamper Protection is turned on and you’re an administrator on your computer, you can still change these settings in the Windows Security app. However, other apps can’t change these settings.

As you can see, the main purpose of the Tamper protection feature is to block software from making changes to Windows Security.

Turn off tamper protection

Windows Security allows you to turn off tamper protection from settings. This is generally useful if some other software conflicts with Windows Defender.

Though easy, unless you know what you are doing and are sure, don’t ever turn off tamper protection. You have been warned.

  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Search and open “Windows Security.”
  3. Click on “Virus & threat protection.”
  4. Press “Manage” under “Virus & threat protection settings.”
  5. Toggle button to “Off” under “Tamper Protection.”
  6. With that, the tamper protection is turned off.

Steps with a bit more detail:

1. Open Windows Security and go to the Virus & Threat Protection page. Click the Manage Settings link under Virus & Threat Protection settings section.

Windows security tamper protection 03

2. Toggle the switch under the Tamper Protection section to the Off position. Click “Yes” in the UAC prompt.

Turn off tamper protection

That is it. With that, the tamper protection is turned off.

Remember that Windows Security might turn on the tamper protection after your reboot Windows. This is a good thing as you don’t have to remember to turn on tamper protection manually.

Turn on tamper protection

The tamper protection feature of Windows Security is turned on by default. If it is turned off for some reason, you can enable it with just a couple of clicks. Let me show you how.

  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Search and open “Windows Security.”
  3. Click on “Virus & threat protection.”
  4. Press “Manage” under “Virus & threat protection settings.”
  5. Toggle button to “On” under “Tamper Protection.”
  6. With that, the tamper protection is turned on.

Steps with a bit more detail:

1. Open the Start Menu, search for Windows Security and click on it. This action will open the Windows Security app.

Windows security tamper protection 01

2. In the Windows Security app, click the Virus & Threat Protection option on the main page.

Windows security tamper protection 02

3. On the Virus & Threat Protection page, click the Manage Settings link under the Virus and Threat Protection Settings section.

Windows security tamper protection 03

4. This page hosts all the Virus & Threat protection settings. Scroll down, find the Tamper Protection section and toggle the switch under it to the On position.

Turn on tamper protection

The settings are saved automatically. From this point forward, no software can change Windows Defender settings without your knowledge.

That is it. It is that simple to turn on or off tamper protection in Windows.

I hope this simple Windows how-to guide helped you.

If you like this article, check out how to enable ransomware protection in Windows 10. With ransomware protection, you can protect important folders from being taken hostage by ransomware.

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