How to Turn Windows Defender Real-time Protection On or Off in Windows 8 and 8.1

information   Information
Windows 8 comes with a new version of Windows Defender which is the re-branded "Microsoft Security Essentials" (MSE). Windows Defender helps protect your PC from viruses, spyware, and other threats. You can choose what data Windows Defender should scan anytime, or you can use real-time protection. Real-time protection notifies you right away, whenever suspected malicious software (malware) or other potentially unwanted software tries to install itself or run on your PC.

This tutorial will show you how to turn Windows Defender real-time protection on or off while still leaving Windows Defender turned on for manual scans 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.

Note   Note
Windows Defender monitors several things on your PC in real time:

  • Any files you try to download, run, or access. Many files and apps work with web browsers and can be downloaded, installed, or run by the browser itself. However, malware might be included with these files and installed without your knowledge. Windows Defender scans your downloads to make sure they don't contain malware.
  • Any apps that run on your PC. Some malware looks for vulnerabilities in the apps that you've installed. For example, spyware can run in the background when you start an app. Windows Defender monitors when apps start and what operations they perform while running to help protect your PC.


Windows Defender uses green, yellow, and red color codes to show your PCs security status. If Windows Defender detects a potential threat, it notifies you and assigns an alert level to the threat. For more info about the different alert levels, see Understand Windows Defender alert levels. Depending on the alert level, Windows Defender might automatically take action for you, or let you decide how to handle it.

Action What it does Why choose this action?
Quarantine Moves the software to another location on your PC, and then prevents it from running until you choose to restore it or remove it from your PC. Quarantine the software if you want to research its origin and purpose before running it.
Remove Permanently deletes the software from your PC. Remove software if it's identified as a known threat to your personal info or the PC itself.
Allow Adds the software to the Windows Defender allowed list and lets it run on your PC. Add software to the allowed list if you recognize and trust the software and its publisher. Windows Defender will no longer notify you about risks that this software might pose to your privacy or the PC.


warning   Warning
In order for Windows Defender to run, it will require that the Windows Defender Service remain "Started" (running) and set to "Automatic".

How to Start, Stop, and Disable Services in Windows 8

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 uninstalled or disabled.





OPTION ONE
To Turn Off Windows Defender Real-time Protection in Windows 8

1. If Windows Defender is turned off, then so is real-time protection. You do not need to do anything else if so.

2. Open the Control Panel (icons view), and click/tap on the Windows Defender icon.

3. In Windows Defender, click/tap on the Settings tab, Real-time protection in left pane, uncheck the Turn on real-time protection box, and on Save Changes. (see screenshot below)

Click image for larger version

4. If prompted by UAC, then click/tap on Yes.

5. You will now notice the message from Action Center notification area icon letting you know that Widows Defender real-time protection has been turned off. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: If you click on this message balloon while open, it will turn on Windows Defender real-time protection again.

Name:  Windows_Defender_Turn_On-Off-2.jpg
Views: 33305
Size:  23.6 KB

6. You will now notice Windows Defender security status as red to indicate that real-time protection has been turned off. You can close Windows Defender if you like. (see screenshot below)

Click image for larger version





OPTION TWO
To Turn On Windows Defender Real-time Protection in Windows 8

NOTE: This is the default setting.

1. If you haven't already, Windows Defender must be turned on. If you just now turned on Windows Defender, then that action will also turn on real-time protection, and you will not need to do anything else.

2. Do step 3, 4, 5, or 6 below for what you would like to do.

3. Open the Control Panel (icons view), and click/tap on the Windows Defender icon.

A) Click/tap on the Home tab, click/tap on the big red Turn on button, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)

Click image for larger version

4. Open the Control Panel (icons view), and click/tap on the Windows Defender icon.

A) Click/tap on the Settings tab, click/tap on Real-time protection in left pane, check the Turn on real-time protection box, and click/tap on Save Changes. (see screenshot below)

Click image for larger version

B) If prompted by UAC, then click/tap on Yes.

C) Go to step 7 below.

5. 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 7 below. (see screenshot below)

Name:  Windows_Defender_Turn_On-Off-4.jpg
Views: 33324
Size:  29.6 KB

6. Open the Control Panel (icons view), and click/tap on the Action Center icon.

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 7 below. (see screenshot below)

Click image for larger version

Note   Note
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.

Click image for larger version


7. 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 screenshots below)

Click image for larger version

Click image for larger version



That's it,
Shawn