To do this, take a look at the notifications area along the Taskbar (to the left of the time display, and just before the end of the Taskbar).
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If it does not, or you’d like to turn it off, read on for more. To begin, click the Start menu (or on the start screen in Windows 8) and type “Defender” into the search bar (you can also press Windows key + Q to bring up the search bar needed).
This shortcut will launch the search function on your system.
Windows Defender should appear in the results list. If it is up and running, and takes you straight to the program’s dashboard, skip to step 5. A message may appear now, saying: “this application has been turned off and isn’t monitoring your computer”.
If so, search for “Action Center” in the Start menu (or start screen on Windows 8), and click it to open. Once in the Action Center, click on the Security tab to see which program is managing ‘Spyware and unwanted software protection’.
Windows Defender was launched by Microsoft several years ago as a built-in anti-spyware protector.
It’s available for Windows XP through to Windows 7.
On Windows 8 and Windows 10, the software has been developed further to protect against malware as well.
However, Microsoft’s protection software does not tend to behave well when you attempt to install and run dedicated anti-virus software, such as Norton or Mc Afee.
When attempting to install another anti-virus program, you should be presented with a message telling you that you will need to ‘disable’ Windows Defender if you wish to avoid conflicts between the two programs.
However, if you accept this, and then end your trial or anti-virus subscription, Defender will not automatically re-enable itself.
So if you’re looking turn on, or turn off Windows Defender, we’ll break the steps down for you in this article.