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How to Turn Off Windows Defender Temporarily in Windows 10

If Windows Defender is blocking a file or application, you can disable it temporarily. Here’re the steps to turn off Windows defender temporarily.

Windows Defender is the built-in default antivirus protection in Windows 10. It is enabled by default and provides you the much needed real-time protection along with other useful features like ransomware protection. Unlike other third-party antivirus software, Windows Defender is pretty unintrusive. In fact, unless it finds a threat or wants to show occasional automated scan results, it won’t bother you in any way. Put simply, for most Windows 10 users, the built-in Windows Defender is pretty good at protecting you from known and unknown threats.

As good as the Windows Defender is, there might be times when you need to turn it off temporarily. This is especially true for false positives. For example, recently I tried to download a Nirsoft application. However, Windows Defender thought of it as a threat and completely blocked it. When Windows Defender is actively blocking you from opening or download a file or application or performing certain actions, you can temporarily turn off Windows Defender to get the job done. Once you are done with the action, you can turn on Windows Defender.

In this quick and simple post, let me show the steps to turn off Windows Defender temporarily in Windows 10.

Steps to Turn Off Windows Defender Temporarily

To turn off Windows Defender temporarily, you have to disable its real-time protection and cloud protection. Since we are effectively disabling the active protection, you are in turn disabling the Windows Defender. Here are the exact steps you should follow.

  1. First, open the Start menu. Press the Windows key on your keyboard to do so.
  2. In the start menu, type “Windows Security” and press Enter.
  3. After opening the Windows Security panel, select the “Virus & Threat protection” option.
  4. In the screen, select “Manage Settings” under the “Virus & threat protection settings” section.
  5. Now, turn off “Real-time protection”.
  6. Click “Yes” in the UAC prompt.
  7. Next, turn off “Cloud-delivered protection”.
  8. Click “Yes” if you see a UAC prompt.
  9. Close the Windows Security window.

That is all. You’ve successfully turned off Windows Defender in Windows 10. You can now run programs or open files that are previously blocked by Windows Defender.

Once you are done with that, turn on Windows Defender by turning on both “Real-time protection” and “Cloud-delivered protection” features. Restarting the system will automatically enable these features. If you are constantly disabling Windows Defender to run or open a file, I recommend you exclude it in Windows Defender settings.


If you are using third-party antivirus software, you can also disable Windows Defender permanently.

Windows Defender Tamper Protection

If a program or file prompts you to or for any other reason, don’t ever turn off the Windows Defender tamper protection. The tamper protection feature blocks any program from modifying Windows Defender in any way. Usually, malicious programs try to make you disable the tamper protection feature and then proceed to change Windows Defender settings to whitelist itself or damage it in some other way to be undetectable. Put simply, don’t ever disable tamper protection unless you really, I mean really, know what you are doing.

That is all. I hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible.

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