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How to Turn Your Antivirus Off

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Windows users often need to disable the antivirus program they use – either temporarily or permanently. One of the most common reasons why Windows users sometimes need to turn their antivirus off is to troubleshoot issues with their computers – antivirus programs are known to be enablers to a wide array of different problems with Windows computers, which is why disabling your antivirus and checking to see if the problem persists is a common troubleshooting step.

There are a wide, wide range of different antivirus programs – both stock and third-party – available for Windows computers. Since that is the case, there is no universally correct method that you can use to turn your antivirus off. Listed and described below are the methods that can be used to disable some of the most commonly used antivirus programs available for the Windows Operating System. If no method is listed and described for the antivirus program you use on your computer, you’re just going to have to wing it – simply go into the antivirus program’s Settings or Options and look for an option to disable the antivirus or turn it off.

Windows Defender

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Click on Update & security.
  4. Click on Windows Defender in the left pane.
  5. In the right pane of the window, under the Real-time protection section, locate the toggle for the option. Set the toggle to Off, and Windows Defender will be turned off.

Note: If you would like to know how you can turn Windows Defender off on versions of the Windows Operating System that are older than Windows 10, you can simply use this guide.

Microsoft Security Essentials

If you’re using Microsoft Security Essentials (predecessor to Windows Defender and the antivirus program that came built-in to older versions of the Windows Operating System), here’s what you need to do in order to turn it off:

PRO TIP: If the issue is with your computer or a laptop/notebook you should try using the Reimage Plus Software which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Reimage Plus by Clicking Here
  1. Locate the Microsoft Security Essentials icon in the system tray and right-click on it.
  2. Click on Open in the resulting context menu.
  3. Navigate to the Settings tab.
  4. Click on Real Time Protection.
  5. Uncheck the checkbox located directly beside the Turn on real time protection option.
  6. Click on Save changes.
  7. Close Microsoft Security Essentials – the antivirus program will have been successfully turned off.

Avast Antivirus

  1. Locate the Avast icon in your computer’s system tray and right-click on it.
  2. Click on Avast shields control in the resulting context menu.
  3. Locate the options to disable the program – you should find options to disable it for 10 minutes, an hour, until the computer is restarted or permanently (until you yourself turn it back on). Select whatever option suits you best and use it to disable the program.

AVG

  1. Locate the AVG icon in your computer’s system tray and right-click on it.
  2. Click on Temporarily disable AVG protection.
  3. Choose how long you want AVG to be turned off and whether you want AVG to disable its Firewall too.
  4. Click on OK to disable the antivirus program.

Avira Antivirus

  1. Locate the Avira icon in your computer’s system tray and right-click on it.
  2. Uncheck the AntiVir Guard enable option in the resulting context menu to turn Avira Antivirus and its protection features off.

Bit Defender

  1. Locate the Bit Defender icon in your computer’s system tray and double-click on it.
  2. Click on >> Virus Shield.
  3. Uncheck the checkbox beside the Virus Shield is enabled option, consequently changing it to Virus Shield is disabled and successfully disabling the antivirus program until you manually turn it back on again.

Comodo Internet Security

  1. Locate the Comodo Internet Security icon in your computer’s system tray and right-click on it.
  2. One by one, hover over the AntivirusFirewall and Defense+ options and disable them.

Kaspersky Antivirus

  1. Locate the Comodo Internet Security icon in your computer’s system tray and right-click on it.
  2. Click on Pause Protection in the resulting context menu.
  3. Click on By User Request. As soon as you do so, a dialog box stating that Kaspersky has been turned off should pop up.

McAfee Antivirus

  1. Locate the McAfee Antivirus icon in your computer’s system tray and right-click on it.
  2. Click on Exit in the resulting context menu.
  3. You should see a dialog box warning you that McAfee‘s protection will be turned off should you choose to go through with your decision. Click on Yes in this dialog box to disable the antivirus program.

Norton Antivirus

  1. Locate and right-click on the Norton Antivirus icon in your computer’s system tray.
  2. Click on Disable Auto-Protect in the resulting context menu.
  3. Select the duration for which you would like Norton Antivirus to be turned off.
  4. Click on OK. You should now see a dialog box pop up, warning you that protection will now be disabled for your computer – you can take this as confirmation that Norton Antivirus has indeed been turned off.

Symantec EndPoint Protection

  1. Locate and right-click on the Symantec EndPoint Protection icon in your computer’s system tray.
  2. Click on Disable Symantec EndPoint Protection in the resulting context menu to have the antivirus program disabled.

F-Secure Antivirus

  1. Locate and right-click on the F-Secure Antivirus icon in your computer’s system tray.
  2. Click on Unload, and that will successfully disable the antivirus program for you.

PRO TIP: If the issue is with your computer or a laptop/notebook you should try using the Reimage Plus Software which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Reimage Plus by Clicking Here

RECOMMENDED: Click here to fix Windows errors and optimize system performance

Kevin Arrows

Hi! I'm Kevin. Thank you for reading the article above. I am a certified MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist) with over 10 years of experience. I love to address tech issues, and write tech how-to's in a way that it can be followed by everyone.

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How to Turn Your Antivirus Off

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using the Reimage Plus Software which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Reimage Plus by clicking the Download button below.

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