How to Modify Windows Defender for Compatibility Issues with Security Software

Melanie Gross
Aug 23, 2011
Updated • May 18, 2014
Security, Windows tips

If you are running a full security suite to protect your system against malware,you may notice compatibility issues between nti-malware software and the built-in Windows Defender. Windows Defender is integrated natively in Windows 7 and newer versions of the operating system which means that it cannot be uninstalled. The only option you have is to disable if it is interfering with other security suite.

I am not recommending that you should disable Windows Defender, just that you can and the method for doing so is listed below.

If, for some reason, you do not have a comprehensive anti-malware suite, please do not disable Windows Defender or Microsoft Security Essentials.

The following information is for users running a full security suite and face issues with Windows Defender interfering with it or using up resources. Windows Defender should not be disabled if it is the only security program on the system. Then again, it is advised not to rely exclusively on it.

The basic rule is that if you are running a good anti-malware program, other anti-malware programs may conflict with it in certain ways so that it is best to run one, not two or three. In this case, the PC being used as an example is running excellent anti-malware software and, as it turns out, Windows Defender has disabled the manual scan option for that security software. This is how you can disable Windows Defender easily and potentially remedy such problems.

Open Windows Defender by typing the name in the search box at the Start menu and then press enter. Again, do not disable this if this is your only protection and you are not using other anti-malware.

windows defender

Go to Tools at the top menu and click Options. Click Administrator. You will have to be using the Administrator account. If prompted for an administrator password, provide it.

Uncheck the box next to “Use this program” and then click the Save button. You will now see a message that the program has been turned off.

disable windows defender

That is all there is to it. If you want to turn Windows Defender on again, simply open the program the same way and click on the "click here to turn it on" link in the "this program is turned off" window on startup.

If you want to ensure that it never gets turned on again, open the Services panel through the Control Panel and find Windows Defender. You may also type “services.msc” in the start menu and then find Windows Defender in the list and double-click it. Now change the Startup type to Disabled.

Next, click Apply and Windows Defender will not turn on by default for any reason. You can reset this in the future if you need to. Remember, this article is in no way stating that this is something you have to do, just that you can do it. The decision is yours. Be certain that your computer is protected against malware with a high quality, Windows 7 compatible anti-malware suite. To learn more about compatible security programs for Windows 7, visit the Microsoft website.

How to turn off Windows Defender on Windows 7
Article Name
How to turn off Windows Defender on Windows 7
You can disable the native Windows Defender security application on Windows 7 if you are noticing incompatibility issues with other security software running on the system.

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  1. Tom Hawack said on October 15, 2019 at 6:21 pm

    I don’t know how reliable ‘Windows Defender Firewall’, because here on Windows 7 with the OS’s firewall, some applications phone home although I’ve added an inbound and an outbound rule to block them. For instance, ‘EditPad’ Lite which attempts to connect to connect to and which fails to do so only because I block that connection with a DNSCrypt-proxy blacklist rule, and here what shows DNSCrypt-proxy query log : A REJECT 0ms quad9-dnscrypt-ip4-filter-pri

    quad9 is the DNS used with DNSCrypt-proxy. This means that Windows Firewall does not prevent an application added to its filters to connect to the Web, not always anyway.

    So I do hope Windows Defender Firewall does a better job.

    1. jan said on October 17, 2019 at 4:48 pm

      Hi Tom,
      You write:”I don’t know how reliable ‘Windows Defender Firewall….”.
      Let me tell you, based on my own experience, that firewall is really a POS (Piece Of Shit). It is really unreliable

  2. Stv said on October 15, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    Every software is able to write a firewall condition under windows i think, Windows Firewall is a trash

    The first software that i always install (when i need internet in vboxed windows) is Simple Wall.

    1. Cor said on October 15, 2019 at 9:22 pm

      I also really like his version of Chromium

      1. owl said on October 24, 2019 at 10:12 am
        I also, “Simple Wall” is a favorite. That’s enough.

        henrypp/chromium: Chromium builds with codecs | GitHub
        Chromium builds with codecs
        Download latest stable Chromium binaries (64-bit and 32-bit) |
        It is very interesting.
        And, “Notes” There are must-see value.

  3. ULBoom said on October 15, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    There’s an easy page for blocking/allowing programs to go out in the main firewall window, click on:
    Allow and App or feature through Windows Firewall.

    Otherwise, good overview of rules creation. I’ve never had a program sneak out if its rule is set up right.

    Yes, Windows defaults to letting most anything through as do other firewalls I’ve used. Probably preferrable to blocking everything except in critical security situations.

  4. B said on October 15, 2019 at 10:30 pm

    To quickly achieve the same end result as the steps above, I always install “OneClickFirewall” – less complex than anything like WFC, it just gives you a right click context menu on any exe for “Block internet access” and “Restore internet access”. Very handy!

    1. Rush said on October 16, 2019 at 7:42 pm

      @ B

      I downloaded the OCF program but I did not install it.

      Virus Total found one two red engines:

      Antiy-AVL – Trojan/Win32.Fuerboos


      MaxSecure – Trojan.Malware.7164915.susgen

  5. Paul(us) said on October 15, 2019 at 10:45 pm

    Nice article Ashwin.

    Sometimes I like to quit (disable the Internet connection temporarily) all internet connection than I use the free software program for windows Net disabler v.1. 0 ( Latest release ’17-02-21).

  6. Software tester 0101 said on October 15, 2019 at 11:23 pm

    Here is the easiest methode to block Windows programs from accessing the internet ; Application name is FAB (Firewall Application blocker) it is a Portable freeware , usage is just drag and drop the Application icon

  7. Ray said on October 16, 2019 at 12:29 am

    Thanks Ashwin. I always forget about the internals of Windows Firewall.

    Just set up some outbound rules to block some apps that shouldn’t have internet access. Thanks again!

  8. Dave said on October 16, 2019 at 4:17 am

    Ashwin, it doesn’t work.

    Try this. Install steam and login. Rules wil be automatically created to allow steam.

    Now log out and close steam. Change the firewall rules to block.

    Open steam again and login in.

    Go back to the firewall to find new allow rules created for it.

    Basically, anyone willing to pay microsoft to be added to a “trusted list” gets a free ticket past the windows firewall wether you want them to or not.

    Now go get Windows Firewall Control (I reccomend finding a pre MWB version) and install it and setup it up. Then turn on secure rules. Now repaet the steps with Steam and it will stay blocked.

  9. limonec said on October 16, 2019 at 5:45 am

    Fast, free and simple solution for the beginners and non-professional: Firewall App Blocker

    1. The Gobbler said on October 16, 2020 at 9:02 am

      Sordum’s Firewall App Blocker is great. Just right-click any exe file and it gets blocked in Windows Firewall, without going through all those steps. Also note, this feature is also in Sordum’s Easy Context Menu. All free.

  10. Parry Hotter said on October 16, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    The heck with all of that. Just use a superior and much easier to use front end for the built in firewall. Malwarebytes Windows Firewall Control is excellent.

  11. Petter said on October 16, 2019 at 6:29 pm

    I’ll just put this here: TinyWall

  12. Jafp said on December 17, 2019 at 7:40 pm

    What gets me most is that large number of windows processes is trying to get access to internet. Why? Windows DOES not need access to internet even to install it and can run without internet. The only possible exception being network management.
    Just another case of spyware?
    MS should be legislated to provide full description and reasons for those services demand for access as it is potentially abusing privacy.

    1. Hank said on October 16, 2020 at 9:08 am


      Your logic is sketchy and lacks reasonable facts. Perhaps you need to be legislated.

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