How to Enable/Disable Windows Defender Antivirus Service Windows 11 or 10 [WinDefend]

Today, we are going to show you different methods to Enable/Disable Windows Defender Antivirus Service aka WinDefend. The first and foremost work of this service is to protect your PC from detrimental malware and virus attacks. It’s a Win32 service and gets installed automatically when you install the Windows 11 or 10 operating system. Hence, there is no hassle to download it manually. The location of WinDefend service is %ProgramFiles%\Windows Defender\MsMpEng.exe. If it is changed, damaged or deleted, you have no way left rather than restoring its original version from Windows 10 installation media.

Like other services, Windows Defender Antivirus Service functions as “LocalSystem”. For this, it has its own process which is MsMpEng.exe. The startup type of WinDefend service remains Automatic from when it gets installed. As a result, the service can initiate its operation automatically when the operating system starts. But if anything goes wrong, it fails to start. Mostly it happens when Remote Procedure Call service is stopped or disabled. In other cases, you can inspect Event Log as the failure details get recorded there.

Ways to Enable/Disable Windows Defender Antivirus Service in Windows 11 and 10

Here is How to Enable/Disable Windows Defender Antivirus Service in Windows 11 or 10 [WinDefend] –

1] Most Convenient way – Use Service console

Step-1: Press Windows and Q keyboard shortcuts to invoke Search bar and then type services in the given field.

Step-2: When the result shows up, hit Enter to open Services app.

Step-3: In the running console, scroll down to locate Windows Defender Antivirus Service.

Step-4: Once found, either double-click or right-click on the same and select Properties.

Step-5: A new wizard will come up with General tab opened. Change the Startup type to either Automatic or Manual using its drop-down menu.

Step-6: To enable Windows Defender Antivirus Service, click the Start button located under Service status.

Step-7: If you want to disable the same WinDefend service, simply hit the Stop button.

Step-8: Lastly, click on Apply and then OK to save the changes.

2] Run Command Prompt to enable/disable Windows Defender Antivirus Service

  • Right-click on Start button and select Run from the Win+X menu.
  • Type cmd.exe in the text field and thereafter press Shift+Ctrl+Enter hotkeys together.
  • A UAC will prompt up, click Yes to run elevated Command Prompt.
  • In the black window, type preferred command and hit Enter to change the startup type of WinDefend service –


REG add “HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\WinDefend” /v Start /t REG_DWORD /d 2 /f


REG add “HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\WinDefend” /v Start /t REG_DWORD /d 3 /f

  • Now, run the following command in the same black window to enable Windows Defender Antivirus Service –

net start WinDefend

  • In order to disable Windows Defender Antivirus Service, execute the below command –

REG add “HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\WinDefend” /v Start /t REG_DWORD /d 4 /f

3] Modify the Registry key of WinDefend service

  • Press Win+R hotkeys at one go to open the Run dialog box.
  • Type regedit in the provided area and hit Enter.
  • A UAC will come into the view, click Yes button to give consent.
  • In Registry Editor window, navigate to the following path on its left sidebar –


  • Once you reach there, you will see Start DWORD in the right pane. Right-click on it and select Modify or simply double-click for the same purpose.
  • In the Value data box, put preferred value followed by clicking OK button.

Automatic – 2

Manual – 3

Automatic (Delayed Start) – 2

Disabled – 4

4] Use System Configuration

Step#1: Press Windows key to open up the Start menu. Write down msconfig and hit Enter when you see the result.

Step#2: When System Configuration wizard rolls out in the display, shift to its Services tab.

Step#3: Scroll down a bit to locate Windows Defender Antivirus Service from the available list.

Step#4: After getting the same, do a click on the checkbox against it to put a tick mark.

Step#5: Later on, click on Apply and then OK button to implement the modifications of the service.

Step#6: If you want to disable the service, just clear the tick mark you put there.

Step#7: To make the changes effective, restart Windows 10 PC.

That’s all!!!

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About Nipu
Windows 11, 10 Tweaker, and Tech Enthusiast.