How to Turn Off Real Time Protection on Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Turning off real-time protection in Windows 11 is a straightforward process that involves navigating through the Windows Security settings. This guide will provide a step-by-step tutorial to help you disable this feature. Whether you need to turn it off temporarily for troubleshooting purposes or prefer to use a different antivirus program, these instructions will walk you through the process.

How to Turn Off Real-Time Protection in Windows 11

Before we dive in, it’s good to understand that turning off real-time protection will temporarily disable Windows Defender’s active scanning feature. This can be helpful if you are installing software that Windows Security is incorrectly flagging or if you need to troubleshoot an issue.

Step 1: Open Windows Security

To begin, you need to access Windows Security.

Click on the Start menu and type "Windows Security" into the search bar. Once the app appears, click on it.

This will open the Windows Security dashboard, where you can customize various security settings for your device.

Step 2: Navigate to Virus & Threat Protection

Next, you will need to find the Virus & Threat Protection settings.

In the Windows Security dashboard, look for and click on "Virus & Threat Protection." It’s usually the first option listed under "Protection areas."

This section provides an overview of your device’s current virus and threat protection status.

Step 3: Manage Settings

Now, you’re getting closer. You need to access the settings that allow you to turn off real-time protection.

Under the Virus & Threat Protection, scroll down and click on "Manage settings" located under the "Virus & Threat Protection settings" heading.

This will take you to a new page containing various settings you can adjust.

Step 4: Turn Off Real-Time Protection

Finally, you can disable real-time protection.

Find the toggle switch under "Real-time protection" and switch it to the "Off" position.

A confirmation message will appear asking if you’re sure. Confirm your choice to disable the feature.

Step 5: Confirm Changes

After turning off the toggle switch, ensure that the changes have taken effect.

You should see a notification that real-time protection is turned off. Windows Security might prompt you with a warning about the risks of leaving your device unprotected.

Once you’ve completed these steps, real-time protection will be disabled, and you can proceed with your tasks that required it to be turned off.

Tips for Turning Off Real-Time Protection in Windows 11

  • Always turn real-time protection back on after completing your task to ensure your device remains secure.
  • Be cautious about what software you install while real-time protection is off, as your device will be more vulnerable.
  • Consider using another antivirus program if you frequently need to disable Windows Defender.
  • Regularly update your Windows Security settings to protect against new threats.
  • Familiarize yourself with the other security features available in Windows 11 to maintain a robust defense system.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I leave real-time protection off?

Only as long as necessary. Prolonged periods without protection increase your risk of malware and viruses.

Will Windows automatically turn real-time protection back on?

Yes, Windows will typically re-enable real-time protection after a certain period or upon a system restart.

Can I still use my computer normally with real-time protection off?

Yes, but be cautious as your device is more vulnerable to threats during this time.

Is there a way to permanently disable real-time protection?

While it’s possible, it’s not recommended. Constant protection is crucial for guarding against threats.

Does turning off real-time protection affect other security features?

No, it only disables the active scanning feature. Other protections like firewall and app control remain active.


  1. Open Windows Security.
  2. Navigate to Virus & Threat Protection.
  3. Click on Manage settings.
  4. Turn off Real-time protection.
  5. Confirm changes.


Disabling real-time protection in Windows 11 can be a necessary step for troubleshooting or installing specific software. However, always remember to re-enable it to ensure your device stays protected. Real-time protection is a vital feature that shields your computer against immediate threats, and neglecting to turn it back on can leave you vulnerable to attacks. If you find yourself frequently needing to disable it, consider investing in additional security measures or an alternative antivirus solution that better suits your needs. Stay safe and informed, and if you need further assistance, the Windows Security help section is a great resource for detailed guidance.