How to Turn Off Antivirus Windows 11: Step-by-Step Guide

Turning off your antivirus on Windows 11 is a straightforward process that can be done through the Windows Security settings. This guide will walk you through the steps to temporarily disable your antivirus, which might be necessary for troubleshooting or installing certain software. It’s important to remember to turn it back on to protect your PC from threats.

How to Turn Off Antivirus Windows 11

In the following steps, we’ll show you how to turn off the built-in antivirus on Windows 11. This will involve navigating through the Windows Security settings and making temporary changes to your protection settings.

Step 1: Open Windows Security

The first step is to open Windows Security from your Start menu.

Click on the Start button, and type “Windows Security” into the search bar. When it appears in the results, click to open it.

Step 2: Go to Virus & Threat Protection

Next, navigate to the “Virus & threat protection” section within Windows Security.

Once you’re in Windows Security, you’ll see several options on the left-hand side. Click on “Virus & threat protection” to proceed.

Step 3: Manage Settings

In this step, you need to go to the settings to manage virus and threat protection.

Scroll down until you see “Virus & threat protection settings,” and click on “Manage settings” under it.

Step 4: Turn Off Real-Time Protection

Now, disable the real-time protection to turn off the antivirus temporarily.

Under “Real-time protection,” you’ll see a toggle switch. Click the switch to turn it off. You might be prompted to confirm this action.

Step 5: Confirm the Changes

Finally, confirm the changes to disable the antivirus.

A notification will appear letting you know that real-time protection is off. This means your antivirus is now disabled.

Once you complete these steps, your antivirus will be turned off until you manually turn it back on. Remember, while your antivirus is off, your PC is more vulnerable to threats.

Tips for Turning Off Antivirus Windows 11

  • Temporarily Disable: Only turn off your antivirus when necessary, such as when installing trusted software that it’s blocking.
  • Monitor Your PC: Keep an eye on your PC’s performance and security while the antivirus is off.
  • Re-enable ASAP: Don’t forget to turn your antivirus back on once you’ve finished the task.
  • Use Exceptions: Instead of turning off your antivirus, consider adding exceptions for trusted programs.
  • Update Regularly: Ensure your antivirus software and virus definitions are always up to date for maximum protection.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why would I need to turn off my antivirus?

Sometimes, antivirus software can prevent the installation of trusted applications or interfere with system performance during certain tasks.

Is it safe to turn off my antivirus?

Turning off your antivirus temporarily can be safe if you know what you’re doing and if it’s for a trusted task. However, always turn it back on as soon as possible.

How do I know if my antivirus is turned off?

When you turn off real-time protection, Windows Security will display a notification informing you that your antivirus is off.

Can I turn off my antivirus permanently?

While you can disable real-time protection, it’s not recommended to turn off your antivirus permanently due to security risks.

What should I do if I forget to turn my antivirus back on?

You can easily go back to Windows Security and re-enable real-time protection by following the same steps in reverse.


  1. Open Windows Security.
  2. Go to Virus & threat protection.
  3. Manage settings.
  4. Turn off real-time protection.
  5. Confirm the changes.


Turning off your antivirus on Windows 11 might be necessary for specific reasons like installing certain software or troubleshooting issues. By following the straightforward steps outlined above, you can temporarily disable your antivirus protection. Remember, though, that your PC becomes more vulnerable when the antivirus is off, so always re-enable it as soon as you’ve completed your task.

Maintaining the security of your computer should be a priority, so consider using the “add exceptions” feature instead of fully turning off your protection. This way, you can keep your PC safe while still allowing necessary programs to run. For further reading, check out more articles on keeping your Windows 11 system secure and optimized.

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