How To Turn On (or Off) Windows Defender In Windows 8 and 8.1

Windows Defender is essentially a security suite designed for Windows 8. The software protects a machine from viruses, malware, and spyware. When the program is active, it provides real-time protection against threats. Users can scan their machines for viruses manually, too. Sometimes, users want to choose their own security software for a computer. They will need to disable Defender before proceeding to avoid issues.

Here’s a simple guide for toggling Windows Defender ON and OFF:

Step 1: Check if Defender is currently turned on.

In Windows 8, a user should start by searching for Defender. Defender will open and run if already enabled. An error message could appear that says the software is turned off, though. Typically, this means that another program is providing malware and virus protection instead of Defender. Two security suites shouldn’t run side-by-side because system performance will degrade, which is why Defender could be disabled.

Step 2: Disable and uninstall the alternate security suite.

Users can check the Action Center to see which program is providing protection for the system. From there, that particular software should be disabled and then uninstalled. Navigating to the Control Panel and then to Uninstall A Program is necessary. A given program can then be uninstalled from a machine. Without a doubt, users shouldn’t leave their PCs unprotected for too long or something could go wrong here.

Step 3: Return to Defender and enable protection.

After uninstalling the previous program, users should return to step one. They will want to find Windows Defender and open the program. A prompt will appear that allows users to turn Defender back on. By clicking the link, Windows 8 and 8.1 will start running the software again. Definitions should be updated to ensure that Defender operates with the latest security definitions and settings.

How To Turn Off Windows Defender

Fortunately, Windows Defender can be turned off with ease. Users will need to navigate to their Control Panel. Windows Defender must then be chosen, followed by the Administrator tab in Settings. A checkbox is available with the text “Turn on Windows Defender”. If a user unchecks that box and saves the changes, then Defender will disable itself and stop running on that machine.

With the right steps, users can toggle Windows Defender on and off in Windows 8. Turning the program off is more simple than turning it back on. Either option requires less than five minutes of action, though. In the end, users need to protect their PCs with a security suite, whether it’s Defender or a third-party option.

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