How do I disable my antivirus program in Windows?

Tip: This document contains information about temporarily disabling an antivirus program, not how to uninstall an antivirus or other program in Windows.

Antivirus programs and companiesThe answer to this question depends on the antivirus program that is installed on your computer. However, all antivirus protection programs can be temporarily disabled by following the steps below.

  1. Locate the antivirus protection program icon on the Windows Notification area. Below are some examples of what your program icon may look like.

    McAfee, Norton, and AVG examples.
  2. Once the antivirus icon has been located right-click the icon and select disable, stop, or something similar. In some cases you may need to launch or open the program control center and disable the program from the menu that appears.

If following the above recommendations do not help you with disabling your antivirus scanner you can also boot into Safe Mode, which will not load any third-party programs including the antivirus program. This is helpful for times you're concerned about the antivirus program interrupting a program during an install.

Additional information

  • See the antivirus definition for further and related links.