Windows Defender comes pre-installed with Windows 7. It is a utility to scan and remove malware and spyware which may creep into Windows from the internet. Since most of the anti-virus products like avast! come with an anti-spyware component of their own, you should disable Windows Defender to prevent to anti-spyware programs running at the same time. Here is how you can turn off Windows Defender :
- Press the key combination Windows logo key + R to open the Run dialog.
- Type gpedit.msc in the Run dialog and press Enter.
- In the Local Group Policy Editor navigate to
Computer Configuration → Administrative Templates → Windows Components → Windows Defender.
- You would find a setting on the right hand side pane — Turn off Windows Defender as shown,
- Click on this setting, choose Enabled and then click OK.
- Close the Local Group Policy Editor window.
Note that after you have turned off the Windows Defender, it will not protect your from spyware and other malicious programs. You should only turn off Windows Defender if you intend to install another anti-virus or anti-spyware product.