How do I disable my antivirus program in Windows?
It should be noted that the instructions in this page are for temporarily disabling an antivirus program, not uninstalling an antivirus. Additionally, the answer to this question varies from one antivirus program to another, so you may have to use some intuition. However, nearly all antivirus protection programs can be temporarily disabled by following the steps below.
For help with uninstalling an antivirus, see: How to remove or uninstall an antivirus program.
Disable in Windows
- Locate the antivirus protection program icon in the Windows notification area. Below are examples of how the antivirus program icon may look.
- Once the antivirus icon is located, right-click the icon and select Disable, Stop, Shut down, or something similar. In some cases, you may need to open the program and disable it using the program's menus.
How to disable Microsoft Security Essentials
In the previous section, we mentioned how to disable many third-party antivirus programs and that some of them require more than a few clicks in the Windows notification area. Microsoft Security Essentials is one of the special cases we get asked about frequently.
- Click the Microsoft Security Essentials icon in the Windows Notification area, and then click Open.
- Click the Settings tab, then click Real-time protection.
- Uncheck the box next to Turn on real-time protection (recommended).
- Save your changes.
To turn protection back on, follow these steps again and check the box next to Turn on real-time protection.
Disable by starting in Safe Mode
If the recommendations above did not help you disable your antivirus scanner, you can boot into Safe Mode, which doesn't load any third-party programs, including your antivirus program. Booting into Safe Mode is helpful for times you're concerned about the antivirus program interrupting another program during an installation.