How Does Turning off Antivirus Work: The Ultimate 2024 Guide


While installing a new program or application, users may encounter the common requirement of disabling your antivirus before starting a download. Several applications require this since antivirus software usually doesn’t allow new programs to be properly downloaded, even though they’ve been proven to be safe.

Our guide is here to help those understand how to turn off antivirus before installing a new program. This article will clear up any doubts and provide answers to common questions and concerns.

Let’s get started!

What Is Antivirus Software and How Does It Work?

Antivirus, also known as anti-malware software, is a computer program that searches, detects, and destroys viruses and other intrusive applications to prevent them from damaging a computer and its contents. It helps keep computer and data records safe and protects against threats through regular mandatory check-ups.

An antivirus program works by scanning any installed program or website application. Antiviruses have to be installed in software and are programmed to look for intrusive applications and exterminate them. When codes and applications are passed through a computer’s traffic, the software detects it and conducts a test once they install it in the database. If they match, the operating system is stopped, isolated, and removed. Once a user learns how to disable antivirus and adopts it, these tasks are usually stopped, although some background scans may be carried out through auto-scheduling.

Security checks are conducted to look for suspicious behavior, malfunctions, and invasions of privacy to classify them as viruses. Other applications remain undisrupted while this action is being processed. Still, you’ll likely not be able to use the program causing dysfunction again since the software permanently blocks it.

How to turn off virus protection is simple; you can pause, uninstall, and configure as required.

DID YOU KNOW? Typically, virus creators begin writing code as children to test their programming skills; eventually, this skill can become dangerous. Over 6000 new computer viruses are created and released every month; 70% of virus writers’ are contracted for crime syndicates and are men between 14 and 25.The Best Antivirus Software (Source:

Wondering why you need an antivirus if you already have a firewall system?

The simple answer is that firewalls and antiviruses are two different things. Firewalls help control network traffic in the system by acting as barriers, while antiviruses protect systems against internal attacks by spotting malicious files and Malwarebytes, helping get rid of any virus infecting your device.

There is a long list of software known for infallible security systems; their popularity arises from tight security check-ups and the safety they guarantee. These applications can be turned off when needed by the user, with how to pause antivirus steps listed further on. A few notable examples of anti-malware applications are:

  • Microsoft Defender
  • Avira
  • Kaspersky
  • Avast
  • Norton

This software may seem the same at first glance, but they qualify as good anti-spyware bypassing certain criteria. The bar for a good defender is pretty high, with several factors being determinants. The four main characteristics of a good software security program are:

  1. Quality scanning and safety. A good antivirus should scan, detect, remove and protect you from malicious applications with efficiency.
  2. Simple user interface. Good antivirus software offers a simple interface that is easy to understand and use.
  3. Non-disrupting. Antivirus does not disturb other applications from performing their jobs or how the computer works.
  4. Additional features. Modern antiviruses offer additional benefits like space management, partial scans, locks and security for apps, and more.

Antivirus software should be as easy to disable as it is to download, so we’ve provided instructions on how to turn off antivirus on Mac and Windows below. Your security provider should also provide a full guarantee that they will keep your data safe and secure even when you’re browsing with a Chrome extension or incognito.

Let’s look at the software mentioned above and see what they have to offer.

  1. Windows Defender. Launched in 2003, Windows Defender is a free anti-spyware program. It scans files, remediates threats, and lists detected problems in security reports on the Windows Security app.
  2. Avira. This application is affordable, has an excellent virus defender across all devices and platforms, and has several useful benefits for users. It can be used to clean an unbootable PC and can also find viruses that hide when the host’s operating system is active. It comes with a set of free tools that include a utility used to write a Linux-based bootable CD, adding to their trustworthiness.
  3. Kaspersky. Considered to be one of the best free antivirus software for Android, this Russian cybersecurity company adds multi-operating system coverage, webcam, and phishing protection for your device. It also includes an encrypted internet provider to protect financial information.
  4. Avast. This cross-platform solution offers safety from antivirus, web threat scanning, browser shield, a cloud management console, and more. Released in 1995, there are excellent Avast reviews online. In addition, it has won several awards for its excellent performance.
  5. Norton. Considered the best antivirus option for Mac, Norton uses a massive Trojan directory with machine learning to detect spyware and provide a high level of security. It offers a variety of virus scanning options, real-time security, and performances across multiple devices.

On each of their websites, they show new users how to turn off real-time protection and permanently disable applications.

DID YOU KNOW? Antiviruses have been around as early as 1871! The Reaper is considered the prototype for all antivirus software and was created by Ray Tomlinson.


Key Takeaways

An antivirus, also known as anti-malware software, is a computer program that searches, detects, and destroys viruses and other intrusive applications to prevent them from damaging your computer.
The key characteristics of overall good antivirus software are quality scanning and protection, non-disruptive, and additional features.
Some of the most popular anti-malware applications are Microsoft Defender, Avira, Kaspersky, Avast, and Norton.
Despite providing real-time security, all antiviruses can be turned off temporarily or permanently. Detailed instructions on how to disable antivirus on Windows 10 are found on all popular antivirus websites.

How to Turn Off Antivirus on Windows 10

Here are the steps for how to disable Windows Defender on Windows 10.

  1. Select Start
  2. Go to Settings
  3. Select Update & Security and go to Windows Security
  4. View Virus & Threat Safety and select Manage Settings
  5. From there, you can switch off real-time security

Despite being disabled, the scheduled scans will continue to run, but files downloaded will not be monitored until the next scheduled scan.

Turning off Avast Antivirus

Next, here’s how to turn off Avast antivirus.

  1. Go to Menu
  2. Go to Settings
  3. Click on Protection
  4. Press on Core Shields
  5. Switch the green slider to the left
  6. Select how long you want to keep the antivirus disabled
  7. Press OK and Stop to confirm

How to Turn Off Avira

According to reviews of Avira and its website, here’s how to disable virus protection for Avira.

  1. Select the icon in the system tray to open the user interface
  2. Go to Security on the left side of the menu
  3. Select the module Protection
  4. Click the on/off switch under Web Protection


Users can easily enable an antivirus or set it to auto-enable, assuming that their security hasn’t expired. This article explained how to disable all antivirus, as well as install a new program and restart your computer.

This also goes for reinstalling, re-enabling, or installing the software the first time. Some users who find disabling confusing can take comfort in our easy steps, making the process easier. Good luck!


Is it okay to disable antivirus?

If there are no threats to your system, it’s fine to disable the antivirus. Turning off antivirus can cause an attack from unknown (or known) sources, so it is not recommended to turn off an anti-malware program for all-around security.

How do I disable antivirus without administrator rights?

Users can turn off an antivirus without administrator rights by following these steps:

  1. Boot up your computer while holding down F8
  2. Choose Boot Into Safe Mode from the menu
  3. Click on Start
  4. Tap on the Control Panel
  5. Select the Security tab
  6. Go down to the “Windows Firewall” option and select “off.”
How to turn off antivirus on Android?

Users can turn off antivirus on their android devices with these steps:

  1. Select the icon
  2. Scroll down to the configuration menu
  3. Tap Protection
  4. Click the checkbox next to Real-time Protection and Anti-ransomware Protection to turn them off

You can check out more information on how to turn off antivirus for different applications on their official websites.

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