update is making it much harder for users to disable the
Windows Defender and this is a good move on Microsoft’s
part, according to the updated support documentation.
By default, Windows Defender is installed on all versions and
editions of Windows 10. It always runs in the background to
detect, quarantine, and delete malware infects, ransomware
attempts, and other threats.
Some users believe that they need to do disable Windows
Defender when they plan to install another antivirus app. This
theory is also advocated by some media publications. The theory
is apparently false and Windows Defender will not conflict with
another antivirus program.
Microsoft has always allowed power users to go into the Windows
Registry and enable an option called “DisableAntiSpyware.” Once
this entry is created with value ‘1’, Microsoft turns off
With this month’s update to Windows Defender, Microsoft says it
has removed that Registry option to permanently disable
Defender unless you’re running Windows Server.
If you don’t use Windows Defender, there’s no need to disable
The company has now updated the documentation to clarify that
if a user installs their antivirus, Windows Defender will
automatically turn off. If you uninstall the antivirus
solution, Windows Defender will turn back on again.
“This change does not impact third party antivirus connections
to the Windows Security app. Those will still work as
expected,” Microsoft noted.
While this Registry setting is protected by Windows Security
app, tamper protection is available in all Home and Pro
editions in newer versions of Windows 10 only. Several types of
malware have historically abused the option to edit the
Registry and turn off Windows 10’s antivirus protection to hack
This is another good reason to deactivate the
DisableAntiSpyware option and a right move by Microsoft to
prevent malware from making unwanted changes to the security of