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How to Disable & Enable Your Antivirus Temporarily?

The antivirus program or firewall you’re using might be preventing certain functions and restricting action. The need to temporarily deactivate your Windows firewall or antivirus software generally arises when:

  • You need to identify if these are the root cause of any problems like connectivity issues
  • Perform download updates, etc.

Disabling Third-Party Antivirus Protection

Most antivirus programs and firewalls active on your computer will have an icon displayed on the Windows Taskbar near the clock and other options. In ideal circumstances, you can disable the antivirus by right-clicking this icon and choosing the “Turn Off” or “Disable” option. 

In case the above option isn’t working, you’ll need to open the antivirus software or firewall and manually disable it from settings.

If you require more comprehensive instructions on how to deactivate a specific antivirus software or firewall, you can use the Help feature in the software or look for information on the software company’s official website.

Another option is to reboot Windows 10/11 in Safe Mode, as antivirus software will not load in safe mode.

Disabling Windows Defender Antivirus Protection 

Windows Defender is a default built-in feature for Windows 10 and Windows 11 designed to protect the system. To deactivate the real-time protection of Windows Defender antivirus, you can do so by following one of the two methods below:

Method 1: Via Windows Security Settings

To turn off Windows Defender via Windows Security Settings, complete the following steps: 

  1. Open Windows Settings by pressing Windows + I.
  2. Navigate to: Update & Security > Windows Security > Virus & Threat Protection.
  3. In the right window, find and select the Manage settings under the “Virus & threat protection settings” section.
  4. Deactivate the “Real-time protection if off, leaving your device vulnerable” option. 

This method allows you to disable the antivirus on Windows 10/11 temporarily. To reactivate the real-time antivirus protection, you can either restart your computer or repeat the steps above to turn the option back on.

Method 2: Disable Windows Antivirus through Group Policy

To turn off Windows Defender via Group Policy, complete the following steps: 

  1. Press Windows + R to launch the command prompt
  2. Type “gpedit.msc” in the Run dialog and press Enter to open Group Policy.
  3. Follow this path: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Microsoft Defender Antivirus.
  4. In the right window, locate and double-click on the “Turn off Microsoft Defender Antivirus” option and select the Enabled option.
  5. Click on Apply and then OK to save the changes. 

If you wish to reactivate Windows Defender antivirus, you can follow the same steps above and select the Not Configured option.

By : December 21, 2023
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