How to Disable the Automatic Updates for Windows Defender

By Michael Elkins

While frequent updates are needed to ensure anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-malware programs maintain current lists of harmful programs, some users may wish to manually install updates. Turning off automatic updates in Window's Defender is not difficult, requiring only a few steps.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows Defender

Disabling Windows Defender Automatic Updates

Step 1

Click on the "Start" menu. Hover over the "All Programs" tab and click on "Windows Defender."

Step 2

Click the "Tools" icon shaped like a gear in the upper-center of the Windows Defender screen.

Step 3

Click the "Options" icon (also shaped like a gear) on the left side of the screen.

Step 4

Notice the check boxes. If you wish to completely turn off automatic scans, uncheck the "Automatically Scan My Computer" box. This will also disable automatic updates. If you wish to continue having automatic scans but wish to turn off automatic updates, uncheck the "Check for Updated Definitions Before Scanning" box.

Step 5

Click "Save" in the lower-right corner of the screen. Automatic updates are now disabled for Windows Defender.

Tips & Warnings

  • For Windows Defender to remain an effective tool against spyware, malware and other harmful programs, you must update it from time to time. Should you completely neglect updating the software, you run the risk of exposing yourself to harmful programs that you would have otherwise been protected against.