Windows 10 update makes removing Microsoft Defender nearly impossible

(Image credit: Microsoft/Facebook)

Editor's Note: A previous version of this article claimed that running another antivirus software on top of Microsoft Defender can cause problems. This is incorrect as Microsoft Defender automatically disables itself when another antivirus is active, as noted here (opens in new tab)

Microsoft's antivirus software that it pre-installs on every Windows 10 laptop, Microsoft Defender, is currently facing some changes that will make it far more difficult to turn off.

Previously known as Windows Defender, this program has recently undergone quite a few updates to make it more efficient in protecting at-risk computers from viruses and malware. However, there are still a handful of reasons why a user would want to disable the program.

Microsoft Defender is difficult to remove

Previously, users could visit the registry to disable Microsoft Defender. However, with the latest Windows 10 August 2020 update, "this setting is discontinued and will be ignored on client devices," according to Microsoft (opens in new tab) (via Windows Latest).

Microsoft has done a solid job of making Microsoft Defender a program worth using, but preventing Windows 10 users from removing this software feels like a gross way of pushing its own programs onto users. This same approach can also be seen with Microsoft's new Microsoft Edge browser, which you cannot uninstall (at least, not without jumping through hoops). 

Hopefully, Microsoft learns to play nice with other antivirus software and allows users to more easily disable Microsoft Defender in the interest of running other programs.

Momo Tabari
Contributing Writer

Self-described art critic and unabashedly pretentious, Momo finds joy in impassioned ramblings about her closeness to video games. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Media Studies from Brooklyn College and five years of experience in entertainment journalism. Momo is a stalwart defender of the importance found in subjectivity and spends most days overwhelmed with excitement for the past, present and future of gaming. When she isn't writing or playing Dark Souls, she can be found eating chicken fettuccine alfredo and watching anime.