Disable Windows Defender Real-Time Protection in Windows 10

Starting with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update in the Summer of 2016, Windows Defender can actually run alongside another antivirus app. When you install another app, Windows Defender itself isn’t disabled—just its real-time protection component is. That means your third-party app handles real-time protection, but you can still run a manual scan with Defender whenever you want.
If you want to make sure that Windows Defender’s real-time protection is disabled—or re-enabled after uninstalling a third-party antivirus app—hit Start, type “defender,” and then select “Windows Defender.”

In the main “Windows Defender” window, click the “Settings” button in the top right of the window.

You’ll be presented with the “Settings window.” Note that you can also get here from Settings > Update & Security > Windows Defender. Just make sure that the “Real-time protection” toggle is set the way you want.

There is one more thing you should be aware of regarding Windows 10’s real-time protection. If you disable it and have no other antivirus app installed, Defender will turn real-time protection back on automatically when you restart Windows. This does not happen if you’re running a third-party antivirus app. There’s no real fix for this, but if for whatever reason you do want to keep real-time protection off, but we do have a kind of work-around for you. You can simply exclude your entire system drive from being scanned.

Head to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Defender and click the “Add an exclusion” link. Tap the “Exclude a Folder” button and select your C:\ drive.

And if you have additional drives on your PC, you can exclude those, too.

Please note that this is something we don’t really recommend. Excluding those drives is basically like turning off antivirus protection. But, it’s there if you need it.


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