Windows Defender – Helpful Tips To Disable It In Windows Vista

Windows Defender” is a built-in anti-spyware utility in Windows Vista that helps prevent, detect, quarantine and remove spywares. This utility was formerly called as “Microsoft AntiSpyware”. Even though Windows Defender comes free of charge with the Windows Vista operating system (or perhaps the charge is included into the cost), many of the users actually do not use this utility.

This Windows Defender (WD) application cannot be removed or uninstalled using any specific or precise technique. The easiest way to get rid of Windows Defender is by disabling it or turning it off (as it is not possible to actually uninstall it). Windows Defender comes with a GUI (graphical user interface) which can be used to easily turn off or disable the WD service.

You need to note that many of the guides suggest disabling Windows Defender service using the “Services” option in the Control Panel and unselecting startup item in MSConfig (System Configuration). This is an unnecessary procedure which will show an error message incase of any missteps.

Follow the below mentioned procedure to disable/ turn off the Windows Defender (WD) service.

  1. Run “Windows Defender” using “Run” option in the Start Menu.
  2. Click on the button “Tools”.
  3. Now under the section “Tools and Settings”, click on the link “Options”
  4. You need to scroll down in the “Options” page. The check boxes of two settings need to be unchecked as follows:
      Under the “Real-time protection options”, uncheck the check box for “Use real-time protection” and under “Administrator options” uncheck the check box for “Use Windows Defender”.
      You need to compulsorily uncheck both these options in order to completely stop WD service in Vista. Otherwise only real-time protection would be disabled.
  5. Save the settings by clicking on “Save” button.
  6. A dialog box will appear with a message confirming that WD service has been turned off. Now that you have disabled Windows Defender, it is kind of been uninstalled as well. If you try to run it, Vista will show a message saying that WD is turned off and you can no more proceed to the WD main window.
      Also, Windows Security Center (WSC) will show a red-alert icon within the notification area or system tray as a warning to notify the user that spyware or malware protection software has stopped functioning.
  7. You may now install any anti-spyware software of your choice which will automatically remove the red alert icon from the notification area.
    Windows Defender (WD) service is automatically closed in “Services” option in Control Panel. However, the “Startup Type” still remains “Automatic”.
    Incase you try to disable the WD service from “Services” option in Control Panel; you will get an error message saying that the application has failed to initialize. The message also prompts you to restart your PC or search for “Help and Support” services to enable the WD service.

If you wish to reinstall WD service on Vista anytime in future, you just need to run “Windows Defender” using the “run” option in Start Menu and enable/turn on the WD service back again. ?

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