How to enable or disable Windows Defender

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If you have a requirement to disable the default Windows Defender installation on your server due to using a different AV solution such as McAfee, Sophos etc, here is a step by step guide on how to disable or enable Windows Defender. You may also find that when trying to disable Windows Defender, the feature is greyed out, so we will also go through the process of getting around this issue via Power Shell

Firstly, logon to your server, launch server manager and click ‘Manage’ as shown in the screenshot below

Click Add Roles and Features or Remove Roles and Features if you’re wanting to remove Windows Defender

Click next

and click next again

Leave the defaults and click next

Leave the defaults and click next

Scroll down to ‘Windows Defender Features’ and deselect or select if you are installing Windows Defender

If the option is greyed out, you will need to uninstall the feature via Power Shell.

Install or Uninstall Windows Defender via Power Shell

Launch Powershell as administrator (Right click on Powershell and click run as administrator)

To remove Windows Defender, type: Uninstall-WindowsFeature -Name Windows-Defender

To install Windows Defender, type the below:

Install-WindowsFeature -Name Windows-Defender