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How to Turn on or Off Windows Defender Real-Time Protection

Windows Defender Antivirus uses real-time protection to scan your downloads and the programs you run on your device. This guide will show you how to turn on or off Windows Defender Real-time protection on Windows 10 PC.

How to turn on or off Windows Defender Real-time Protection

To turn on or off Windows Defender Antivirus in Windows Defender Security Center app. Here is how:

Step 1: Open Windows Defender Security Center app.

You can quickly open it by clicking the shield icon in the taskbar.

Open Windows Defender Security Center app

Step 2: Click on Virus threat protection tile on the left menu bar. Click Virus & threat protection settings.

Virus threat protection

Step 3: Toggle the Real-time protection switch to On or Off for what you want to set.

Real-time protection

You can also turn on Windows Defender Antivirus in Settings app.

To do: Go to Settings app, click Update & security, select the Security tab, and then choose the antivirus program you want to use. Windows Defender Antivirus will then automatically turn on.

If you're running Windows 10 for Enterprise, turn on Windows Defender Antivirus by uninstalling all of your existing antivirus programs.

Enable or Disable Windows Defender Real-time Protection in Group Policy

Local Group Policy Editor is only available in the Windows 10 ProEnterprise, and Education editions.

Step 1: Open the Local Group Policy Editor.

Press Win+R to open Run dialog, then type in gpedit.msc, then press Enter.

Open the Local Group Policy Editor

Step 2: In the left pane of Local Group Policy Editor, navigate to the location below.

Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/Windows Components/Windows Defender/Real-time Protection

In the right pane of Real-time Protection, double-click on the Turn off real-time protection policy to edit it.

Real-time Protection

Windows Defender alerts you when malware or potentially unwanted software attempts to install itself or to run on your computer. To enable Real-time protection: Select Not Configured or Disabled, click on OK. Windows Defender will prompt users to take actions on malware detections.

Turn on real-time protection

If you select enabled option, Windows Defender will be turned off and will not prompt users to take actions on malware detections.

Turn off real-time protection

When finished, close Local Group Policy Editor.