How to Turn On or Off Windows Defender in Windows 8 and 8.1
Windows 8 comes with a new version of Windows Defender which is the re-branded "Microsoft Security Essentials" (MSE). When Windows Defender is on, you're notified when viruses, spyware, malware (malicious software), or potentially unwanted software try to install or run on your PC.
This tutorial will show you how to turn on or off Windows Defender in Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 8.1, and Windows RT 8.1.
You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do the steps in this tutorial.
Some 3rd party antivirus (AV) programs may turn off Windows Defender when they are installed to be used instead, and will not allow Windows Defender to be turned back on until the 3rd party AV has been completely uninstalled.
To Turn Off Windows Defender in Windows 8
Open the Control Panel (icons view)
, and click/tap on the Windows Defender
In Windows Defender, click/tap on the Settings
in left pane, uncheck the Turn on Windows Defender
box, and on Save Changes
. (see screenshot below)
If prompted by UAC
, then click/tap on Yes
You will now notice the message from Action Center
notification area icon letting you know that Widows Defender has been turned off. (see screenshot below) NOTE: If you click on this message balloon while open, it will turn on Windows Defender again
5. Click/tap on Close. (see screenshot below)
To Turn On Windows Defender in Windows 8
NOTE: This is the default setting.
1. Do step 2 or 3 below for what you would like to do.
2. Click/tap on the Action Center icon in the taskbar notification area, click/tap on either one of the Turn on spyware protection or Turn on virus protection links, and go to step 4 below. (see screenshot below)
A) Click tap on the Turn on now buttons for either one of the Virus protection or Spyware and unwanted software protection messages, close Action Center, and go to step 4 below. (see screenshot below)
If you do not have the Virus protection
or Spyware and unwanted software protection
messages in Action Center like above, then:
A) Expand Security
, and click/tap on both the Turn on messages about virus protection
and Turn on messages about spyware and unwanted software protection
links like below to see them.
Windows Defender will now open with it's security status as green
to let you know that both Windows Defender and real-time protection
has been turned on. (see screenshot below)