How to Uninstall Windows Defender Manually

By Gregory Hamel

Windows Vista is an operating system made by Microsoft which contains a built in malware protection tool called Windows Defender, which can also be downloaded and run as a stand alone service for Windows XP. Windows Defender is a part of the Vista operating system, so it cannot be removed without risking total failure of the operating system. Hence, for Vista users, Defender should be disabled if it's services are not needed. In Windows XP, the stand alone install of Defender can be uninstalled normally.

Uninstalling Defender in Windows XP

Step 1

Click "Start," then "Control Panel," and double-click "Add/Remove Programs."

Step 2

Search the list for Windows Defender, and double-click it.

Step 3

Confirm that you want to remove Windows Defender from your system, and wait for the auto uninstaller to complete.

Step 4

Restart your computer.

Disabling Windows Defender

Step 1

Click "Start," then "Control Panel," and double-click on "Windows Defender."

Step 2

Click on the menu called "Tools," then click "Options," which will appear under a heading called "Settings."

Step 3

Scroll down to the bottom of the options list, and uncheck the box called "Use Windows Defender."

Step 4

Click "Save." Windows defender will be disabled; a notification should appear confirming the change.

Disabling Defender's start up process

Step 1

Click "Start," then click "Run."

Step 2

Type "msconfig" into the Run field and press "OK." In Vista you can type "msconfig" into the search bar and press "Enter."

Step 3

Click on the "Startup" tab of the window that opens.

Step 4

Find Windows Defender in the list, uncheck it, click "Apply," then click "OK." On your next restart, Defender will not boot up.

Tips & Warnings

  • * Attempting to uninstall Defender from Windows Vista can cause major system errors.* If an uninstall of Defender from Windows XP does not work properly, try reinstalling the program, then uninstalling it again.

References & Resources