Microsoft Defender protects your computer against viruses, but you can turn it off if you need to.
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Formerly known as Windows Defender, Microsoft Defender is an antivirus protection program that’s included with Windows 10.
You can enable or disable Microsoft Defender at any time.
There are third-party apps that are free or require a paid subscription that also offer antivirus services.
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With so much of our lives spent online, and crucial files stored on our devices, it’s important to have protection against viruses that can wreak havoc.
For Windows 10 users, there’s a built-in antivirus protection program called Microsoft Defender Antivirus. Here’s what you need to know.
What is Microsoft Defender?
Microsoft Defender Antivirus, formerly known as Windows Defender, is an antivirus protection program that’s included with Windows 10. Unlike other antivirus programs like McAfee, Microsoft Defender is free and doesn’t require any additional installation. It’s also routinely updated.
Microsoft Defender’s features include automatically backing up files to OneDrive, expansive parental control settings, and the elimination of any need for passwords, which have been replaced by face recognition and fingerprint technology (known as Windows Hello).
Microsoft Defender offers tracking prevention to help you manage how websites track your data and to give you more control over your privacy settings when browsing the web. It also has a password generator, plus a password monitor that lets you know if any of your passwords have been compromised.
When set to active mode, Microsoft Defender acts as the primary antivirus app on your device. It scans files, remediates threats, and lists detected threats in security reports on the Windows Security app.
How to enable Microsoft Defender
Microsoft Defender is automatically included with Windows 10, but if your computer is linked to a group or organization (such as through your workplace), you may need to double-check that Microsoft Defender is actually enabled on your device.
1. Click the Start button on your Windows computer.
2. Type Group policy into the search bar.
3. Click on Edit group policy.
4. Click Computer Configuration, and then click Administrative Templates.
5. Click Windows Components, and then select Microsoft Defender Antivirus.
6. Scroll down to the bottom of the list and look for Turn off Microsoft Defender Antivirus. Click on Disabled or Not configured (whichever one is visible on your device). Note that while this might seem contradictory, you’re on the right track.
7. Click Apply, then click OK.
How to turn off Microsoft Defender in 3 ways
You may want to temporarily disable Microsoft Defender if you’re trying to install a third-party software or program onto your computer and the antivirus is blocking the installation. Another reason to turn off Microsoft Defender is if you want to use another antivirus program.
Important: When Microsoft Defender is turned off, the security of your computer may be at risk for malware attacks.
Temporarily disable via Windows Security
1. Click the Start button on your Windows computer, then click the …read more
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