How To Stop Microsoft Defender Antivirus Service

While Microsoft Defender Antivirus means well, it could create issues at times which is why many Windows users want to know how to stop Microsoft Defender Antivirus Service. Nowadays, you should be able to stop Microsoft Defender Antivirus Service on your Windows PC via Settings, Registry Editor and Local Group Policy Editor. Continue reading to learn the way to regulate the operation of Microsoft Defender Antivirus Service to your liking. 

Stopping Microsoft Defender Antivirus Service: Breakdown

Note: In most of the cases, you could stop services on your computer via Services (Press Windows key, type services.msc and hit Enter). However, in the case of Microsoft Defender Antivirus Service,  the Stop button is usually grayed out as a precaution. Because of that, you should not count on Services to stop Microsoft Defender Antivirus Service. 

Via Settings

  • Step 1: Press Windows + I to open Settings.
  • Step 2: Select Update & Security then choose Virus & threat protection in Windows Security. 
  • Step 3: Hit Manage Settings under Virus & threat protection settings and toggle off the Real-time protection switch.

Via Registry Editor 

  • Step 1: Press Windows key, type Regedit and hit Enter to open Registry Editor. In case you mess up, select File then choose Export to create the backup of the Registry.
  • Step 2: Proceed to navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft
  • Step 3: Select Windows Defender, look to the right, right-click an empty space, hover your mouse over New and pick DWORD (32-bit) Value
  • Step 4: Name the new key as DisableAntiSpyware, double-click it and set its value as 1. 
  • Step 5: Restart your computer.

Via Local Group Policy Editor

  • Step 1: Press Windows key, type gpedit.msc and hit Enter.
  • Step 2: Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender Antivirus.
  • Step 3: Look to the right, double-click Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus and pick Enabled.
  • Step 4: Select Apply, choose OK and restart your computer.


  • If Microsoft Defender displays a warning, it is best to follow the recommended action.
  • Whether in a private or public connection, ensure to turn on your firewall.
  • Always keep your security software up-to-date
  • Only download materials from trusted sites.
  • Avoid opening suspicious links and attachments sent to you via mail. 

How Do I Check My Current Security Provider?

If you have more than one security provider, you can view which one is currently running in Windows Security.

  • Step 1: Open Settings, select Update & Security and choose Windows Security.
  • Step 2: Hit Open Windows Security.
  • Step 3: Click the gear icon at the bottom left then pick Manage providers under Security Providers. Soon, a list of available security providers is going to appear alongside the status of each provider.

Microsoft Defender Not Working: Fixes 

If you had stopped Microsoft Defender using the Registry Editor, change the value data of Disable spyware to 0. If you had stopped Microsoft Defender using Local Group Policy Editor, set the Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus policy to Disabled. If Microsoft Defender still won’t work, try the following troubleshooting ideas.

Uninstall Third-Party Antivirus Software

  • Step 1: Press Windows key, type Control Panel and press Enter.
  • Step 2: In Control Panel, change View by to Category then hit Uninstall a program under Program.
  • Step 3: Find third-party antivirus software, right-click it and pick Uninstall.
  • Step 4: Follow on-screen instructions to initiate the uninstallation.
  • Step 5: After the uninstallation finishes, restart your computer. 

Restart Security Center Service

  • Step 1: Open Services
  • Step 2: Locate Security Center, right-click it and pick Restart.
  • Step 3: Launch Microsoft Defender and see how things turn out.

Perform SFC And DISM Scans 

  • Step 1: Press Windows key, type cmd and hit Run as administrator. 
  • Step 2: In Command Prompt (Admin), run each of the following commands to perform SFC and DISM scans:
    • SFC /scannow
    • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
    • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
    • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
  • Step 3: Exit CMD, restart your computer and determine whether the issue persists.

How Come Microsoft Defender Keeps Saying That I Am Using Other Antivirus Providers?

The root of the problem is the presence of a third-party antivirus provider. If you have cross-checked and you can’t see third-party software, try any or all of the following: 

  • Run the winmgmt /salvagerepository command line in Command Prompt (Admin) to refresh Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).
  • Re-enable Microsoft Defender Antivirus by running the command C:\Program Files\Windows Defender\mpcmdrun.exe -wdenable in Command Prompt (Admin).
  • Run the commands down below in Command Prompt (Admin) to rebuild the WMI repository:
    • winmgmt /backup c:\wmi_repository.bak
    • winmgmt /resetrepository

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