Disable Windows Defender for Microsoft Vista

Windows Defender is a free Spyware/Malware active scanner Microsoft shipped with their latest client Operating System, Windows Vista (you can download here for XP). Vista enables Windows Defender by default, which is OK unless you’re using another product like Spybot (my fav). Recently, in my forum, a user asked How To Disable Windows Defender, so I figured it would make a helpful How-To write-up. Just follow the simple steps below.

Disable Windows Defender:

1. Double Click on the Windows Defender Icon in your Taskbar

Disable Windows Defender Vista

1a. Another simple way to open Windows Defender is to: Click the Windows Start button and Type Defender in the Start Search Text box then Press the Enter key.


2. Click Tools then Click Options

Disable Windows Defender Vista


3. Scroll to the bottom of the Options and uncheck the box Use Windows Defender. Click Save to exit and save changes

Disable Windows Defender Vista


4. Click Close

Disable Windows Defender Vista


Now for most users, this should be sufficient to disable Windows Defender. There is, however, another step you can take to remove Windows Defender from your system startup.  Feel free to take a look now at this groovy How To article.




  1. Roel Piedad

    April 21, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    i disabled already at startup doing wat ive seen on the tutorial on disabling from startup but when i reboot, still shows .. sumthin’ is wrong… this is weird? could it be a virus??

  2. MrGroove

    April 21, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    @Roel Piedad – Welcome to the site!

    One last thing you could try is disabling the Defender Service. To do this, Check out this article I just wrote:

    Looking back, this is probably the best way to disable the Windows Defender Service. Hopefully this fixes your problem.

  3. Bloodyspot

    January 26, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    Defender is a good idea… however it really taxes the performance of your pc (especially when gaming) GTA4 runs great on my pc until I turn on defender then it’s glicthey

  4. waz

    March 21, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    I recently purchased a new laptop HP G60-115EA/EM. As usual with all new computers you want it to be secure, so i purchased Sophos Anti-Virus and McAfee SecurityCentre. Now everytime I startup my laptop, an error message comes up. The error message says:
    “Application failed to initialize: 0x80010ba. A problem caused Windows Defender service to stop. To start the service, restart computer or search help and support on how to start a service manually.”
    it would be greatly appreciated if anyone could offer any assistance .



  5. Joe

    September 2, 2009 at 1:16 am

    My screen looks different after pressing options… :|

    Therefore I still don’t know hoe to turn it off.

    • MrGroove

      September 2, 2009 at 8:49 am

      Hi Joe are you running Vista or Windows 7?

      • Joe

        September 2, 2009 at 11:25 am

        Hey, I’m running Vista 64 bit

        • MrGroove

          September 2, 2009 at 4:27 pm

          Go into the forum – and create a topic in the Vista forum. Take a screenshot of your options page and attach it to the new topic you create so I can see what were dealing with.

  6. Mary Rose

    April 30, 2010 at 6:03 am

    Error message 0x800106ba on defender, immediately after the taskbar completes I get a (!) on defender and have a very difficult turning it back on. How can I fix this?

  7. Palmer Ohlson

    September 20, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    There is nothing that can be as stressful as the Trojan virus today to a computer end user. There are many tried and tested tools on how to remove a Trojan virus in the market today. With these tools how to remove a Trojan virus from your computer’ operating system is a do it yourself thing that calls for no particular expertise. Trojans are so painful and they can be very annoying. My guide will give you a hand.

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