Windows 8 comes with an advanced Windows Defender that scans your PC for spyware and other potentially unwanted programs. But if you have installed another security product then why not disable Windows Defender, as running two anti-malware programs would only degrade your system performance. Additionally, Windows Defender will periodically download malware definitions which are not really needed if you are going to use another security product. If you want to disable Windows Defender in Windows 8, then you can do so easily using group policy settings. Here is how :
Method 1 : Using Group Policy Editor
- Press Windows logo key + R. In the Run dialog, type gpedit.msc and press Enter.
- In the Group Policy Editor window navigate to Computer Configuration → Administrative Templates → Windows Components → Windows Defender. On the right side panel, there would be five settings in the list. Double-click on Turn off Windows Defender setting in the list as shown.
- In the next window that opens up, select Enabled from the options and then click OK. This would disable Windows Defender for all the users on the Windows 8 PC.
Method 2 : Using Registry Editor
- Press Windows logo key + R. In the Run dialog, type regedit and press Enter.
- In the Registry Editor window navigate to the following registry key :
If the subkey Windows Defender does not exist, then right-click on Microsoft and choose New → Key. Then type Windows Defender as the name of the new key and press Enter.
- Select the Windows Defender, then on the right-side panel right-click and select New → DWORD value and create a value named DisableAntiSpyware.
- Double-click on the newly created DWORD value and set its value to 1.
- If you have 64-bit Windows 8, then repeat steps from 2 to 4, for the following registry key as well :
- You can reboot Windows 8 now. After the reboot, Windows Defender would be disabled on your PC.
If you decide to disable Windows Defender, then you must first install a good anti-virus product. Absence of any anti-malware can be risky and can lead to your getting infected with viruses, trojans and other malware. There are many good free antivirus products like avast! antivirus, AVG antivirus and Avira antivirus etc. that you can choose from.