How to Switch off Microsoft Defender in Windows 7, Vista and XP

September 7, 2010, By Fouad Bajwa

How-to Switch off Microsoft Defender in Windows versions 7, Vista and XPWindows’ anti-virus protection can be a pain in the back sometimes and you might not be interested in keeping it running as a background process utilizing your system resources for no apparent reason.

Or maybe you have some other alternative and would like to turn-off Microsoft Defender in  Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP, we’ll teach you how to switch it off.

We have to agree that computers running Windows are more prone to being infected with viruses that cause heavy damage (including data loss or even physical damage). That’s why Microsoft came up with Windows Defender, a built-in virus protection solution for their operating systems.

But Windows Defender is far from being perfect; we can’t look at it as a very pragmatic solution that guarantees you’re perfectly safe when browsing the Internet. Chances are that Windows Defender won’t help you much against viruses, despite the fact that Microsoft was able to design and ship a somewhat user friendly piece of software.

Should I turn off Windows Defender?

Don’t get us wrong, turning off Windows Defender is a personal decision that you make. We’re not telling you to do it, but if you need reasons to shut Microsoft’s Virus Protection you need to know that if you plan to install a third-party program to keep you protected, the two of them will fight for system resources and in some cases drive your system nuts (slow loads, all sorts of errors). More clearly it makes it hard for either of the programs to do their jobs effectively. WD needs to go.

How to turn off Windows Defender

Windows 7

  1. Go to the Windows Icon on Start Menu.
  2. In the search box, type “Defender”.
  3. From the list choose “Windows Defender”.
  4. Click “Tools”.
  5. Under “Tools and Settings” click on “Options”.
  6. Click “Administrator”.
  7. Uncheck the box next to “Use This Program”, click “Save” and then “Yes”.

Windows Vista

  1. Open up Windows Defender.
  2. Click “Tools” and then on “Options”.
  3. Look for the section labeled as “Administrator Options” and Uncheck the box next to “Use Windows Defender”.
  4. UAC will ask you to confirm whether you want to turn it off so confirm and click “Close”.

Windows Xp

  1. Start Menu, Click “Control Panel” and then click the “Windows Defender” icon.
  2. Click “Tools” and then “Options”.
  3. Uncheck the box next to “Use Windows Defender” and click “Save” and “Yes”.

Now Restart Your Computer – For all Windows versions above, you must restart the system before the changes will take effect.

Most experts would tell you that you’d be happier with software coming from a security specialized company that devotes its entire resources to keeping users’ computers and systems totally safe. We reckon it does add that bit of extra cost but it also ensures that your investments are secure and well protected from viruses or any other malicious activities, especially while extensively using the Internet.

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