How to turn off real-time protection in Microsoft Defender on Windows 10

How to turn off real-time protection in Microsoft Defender on Windows 10

By default, Windows 10’s built-in antivirus program called Microsoft Defender scans your PC for threats in real time. Occasionally, you may want to disable this feature (temporarily or when you are using your own antivirus solution). Here’s how to turn off real-time protection in Microsoft Defender on Windows 10.

Some important notes

If you install another antivirus for Windows 10, Windows Defender turns off its own real-time protection and gives way to a third-party app doing the job. However, if you don’t have another antivirus program installed and want to temporarily disable Windows Defender’s real-time background scanning, you can still do this.

Warning: Only disable this feature if you know what you are doing. If you don’t run another anti-malware program, you could get malware when real-time background scanning is turned off. Windows Defender will stop looking for malware.

How to turn off real-time protection in Microsoft Defender on Windows 10

First, open the Start menu and type Windows Security. Press Enter or the Windows Security shortcut to launch it.

Open Windows Security

In Windows Security , click Virus & Threat Protection in the sidebar. Then select Manage Settings.

Click Virus & Threat Protection

In Virus & Threat Protection Settings , locate the Real-Time protection option and click the switch with the letter On to switch it to the Off position .

Turn off the Real-Time protection option

Real-time protection is turned off. Windows Security will also display a creepy-looking message above this switch, indicating that your device is now vulnerable to attack. Windows will automatically re-enable real-time protection after a short time.

Windows will automatically re-enable real-time protection after a short time

Close the Windows Security window and the settings are saved. If you want increased real-time protection, just visit the Virus & Threat Protection Settings page again and turn the switch back on to the On position . Always be safe!

Note: If you want to completely disable Windows Defender, please refer to the article: Disable Windows Defender on Windows 10 for details on how to do it.

1