How to Turn on Windows Defender on Windows 10

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Last updated : May 8, 2020

Windows defender is an in-built anti-virus software in Windows developed by Microsoft. It provides Real time protection, Spyware protection, Prevention against Internet threats, Ransomware protection, Family options for managing children’s online activity, Cloud delivered protection. If you not sure How to enable Windows defender, here are the steps to Turn on Windows defender to keep yourself secured.

You may be interested to know What is Windows defender smartscreen?

There are two ways to enable Windows defender:

  • Turn on Windows defender through registry editor
  • Turn on Windows defender through Windows security center.

Turn on Windows defender through registry editor:

  • Press Windows key + R to start Windows Run prompt.
  • Type “regedit” and press enter to open the registry editor. (Do the changes carefully as the wrong changes may mess up the Windows)
How to open registry editor in Windows - Softwarebottle
  • Expand the list by clicking on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE then SOFTWARE then Microsoft and then click on Windows defender in the left pane.
how do i enable windows defender from registry editor 1  - Softwarebottle
  • Then on the right panel, try to find the registry “DisableAntiSpyware”.
Add DisableAntiSpyware to enable Windows defender - Softwarebottle
  • If its not available, right click the right panel and select New -> DWORD (32 bit) value.
Add DWORD (32-bit) value to enable Windows defender - Softwarebottle
  • In the popup, Enter the value name as ” DisableAntiSpyware ” and value as “0” and keep the base selected as Hexadecimal.
Add DisableAntiSpyware to enable Windows defender if not available - Softwarebottle
  • In case the if the ” DisableAntiSpyware ” is already available, right click on it then select modify. Then enter the value as “0” and save it.
  • Restart the system for the registry editor changes to take effect.

Turn on Windows defender through Windows security center

  • Click on Start button in your computer.
  • Type Windows defender in the search box, then you will get the Windows defender option to open.
  • Press enter or click on the icon to open the Windows security center to access Windows defender options.
where do i find windows defender on my computer - Softwarebottle
  • Then select Virus & threat protection option in the left pane.
  • Then select Manage settings under Virus & threat protection settings.
  • Toggle the on/off button to On under real time protection, Cloud-delivered protection, Automatic sample submission to enable Windows defender.
Turn on windows defender in Windows 10 - Softwarebottle

Even after following above steps, if you can’t turn on windows defender in windows 10 then it may be due to third party Antivirus is enabled in your computer. In such cases uninstall the third party antivirus and follow the above step to enable the Windows defender.

If you want to turn off Windows defender take a moment to check out our post about does Windows defender protect against malware where we analyzed AV test and AV comparatives report to showcase the performance of Windows defender.

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