How to Turn Windows Defender On or Off?

by Ugnius Kiguolis - -


Issue: How to Turn Windows Defender On or Off?

Hello, I know that Windows Defender is supposed to protect my computer. However, I am unsure if it’s on or off right now. Besides, can I use Windows Defender alongside another security software? If not, maybe you can explain how to turn on or off Windows Defender?

Solved Answer

Guide on how to Turn Windows Defender On or Off

Windows Defender is a product of Microsoft, and it is meant to protect the system from spyware and malware. It is very similar to Microsoft Security Essentials software, which was available for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 users. Windows Defender now comes as part of Windows operating system with Windows 8/8.1/10. Typically, Windows Defender turns itself off when you install another anti-malware or antivirus program for computer protection. Usually, it is not recommended to use two same-purpose programs for computer protection (this rule does not apply for usage of anti-malware/anti-spyware + antivirus software), because that can be counterproductive and cause problems instead of solving them.

Therefore, the in-built Microsoft’s security software is set to automatically turn itself off once the user installs another anti-malware or antivirus program. Microsoft recommends removing (or, in case of WindowsDefender, turning off) the previous security product before installing and using new one. Sometimes it can be unclear how to manage Windows Defender settings and enable/disable. That is the reason why Ugetfix team decided to prepare a tutorial that explains how to turn Windows Defender on or off.

How to Turn Windows Defender On or Off?

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How to check if Windows Defender is running?

  1. In the menu tray, click on a button that looks like a small arrow pointing upwards. Here, you should see a Shield icon. Usually, it is enough to find this icon to see whether the Defender is on or off. In case it’s off, the Shield icon should have a little X on its bottom right side.
  2. To find out whether it’s really off, click on the Shield icon to launch the program. If you couldn’t find this icon, just type Windows Defender in Windows search (click on Start Menu and type that phrase into the search box at the bottom of the menu).
  3. After launching the program, you can immediately see the answer to your question. If the Defender is on, you will see green color on the image of a computer and also some statements proving it. In case its off, you will see a lot of red colors and also statements that your PC is at risk.

Turn Windows Defender ON

  1. The in-built security software could be turned off because of another security software that you recently installed. Before you turn Windows Defender ON, make sure all other security programs are disabled or uninstalled from the system.
  2. You can launch Windows Defender using instructions provided above. Once you open the program, click on a large button that says Turn on.

Quick Tip: If you want to find out what the defender protects, click on Settings. This menu can be used to turn real protection as well as cloud-based protection on and off, enhanced notifications and more.

Turn Windows Defender OFF

  1. Open Windows Defender using instructions we provided earlier.
  2. Open Settings panel.
  3. Turn Real-time protection off.

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About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The problem solver

Ugnius Kiguolis is the founder and editor-in-chief of UGetFix. He is a professional security specialist and malware analyst who has been working in IT industry for over 20 years.

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