Windows Defender – How to Turn it On or Off in Windows 7

In one of our previous tutorials I’ve shown how Windows Defender works in Windows 7. For those of you who use other security solutions with similar or better functionality, it might be useful to know how this program can be turned off. In this article I will teach you how to turn Windows Defender on or off, depending of your needs.

How to Turn Off Windows Defender

Start Windows Defender and click on the Tools button.

Windows Defender

Under the Settings section you will find the Options link. Click on it!

Windows Defender

In this area you will find a lot of configuration options. Scroll down to the end of the list and click on Administrator. Deselect the ‘Use this program’ check-box and press the Save button.

Windows Defender

NOTE: You will might receive an UAC (User Account Control) prompt. Click on Yes to continue.

Now you will receive a notification saying that ‘This program is turned off’. Click Close.

Windows Defender

How to Turn On Windows Defender

Open Control Panel in the Classic View, then click on the Windows Defender icon.

Windows Defender

Windows 7 will notify you that the application it’s turned off. Click on the ‘click here to turn it on’ link and Windows Defender will be enabled again.

Windows Defender

NOTE: You can only turn Windows Defender on or off if you have administrative permissions. This setting will apply to all users defined on your computer.


As you could see from this tutorial, it is very easy to turn Windows Defender on or off. If you disable it, make sure that a proper security alternative is installed. For more information about this tool and how to secure your Windows computer, check the articles recommended below.