How to Turn Off an Antivirus

An antivirus program is designed to protect a computer from threats that can destroy software programs and steal computer information. Examples of these threats are viruses, keyloggers, spyware and malicious software (malware). It is vital to have an antivirus program running at all times. However, there are times when it's necessary to turn off an antivirus program temporarily in order to perform specific tasks. One example is when you have to install another program or use specialized fix tools. The antivirus program should be turned back on as soon as possible.

...
Antivirus software is necessary to help keep a computer safe from threats.

Turn Off Using Antivirus Icon

Step

Determine what type of antivirus program the computer uses. The process to disable the program may vary based on the type of antivirus program.

Step

Inspect the taskbar of the computer, at the bottom of the screen. Locate the system tray, on the far right of the taskbar. The system tray will show the active programs on the computer, including icon for the the antivirus program.

Step

Right-click the antivirus icon. For some antivirus programs, you have to double-click the icon. This should open the antivirus program menu. Click the "Disable" or "Stop protection" option to stop the program from running.

Antivirus Icon Not on System Tray

Step

Click the "Start" menu at the far left of the taskbar if the antivirus program icon is not on the system tray. Locate the antivirus program on the list of programs on the Start menu. If it is not there, click "Search" on the Start menu.

Step

Type the name of the antivirus software in the Search box. Click the antivirus program to open the menu.

Step

Click the "Disable" or "Stop protection" option.

Check Antivirus Settings

Step

Click "Start" menu, then click "Control Panel" to verify the status of the antivirus software.

Step

Find and click "Security Center" or "Action Center" (the name may vary).

Step

Select the "Security" or "Virus protection" option. The antivirus protection status will appear. This will show if the antivirus program is active or disabled. If the antivirus program is active, right-click the antivirus icon on the taskbar. Select the "Disable" or "Stop activation" option on the antivirus program menu.