Antivirus software can help protect your computer against viruses and other security threats. In most cases, you shouldn't disable your antivirus software. If you have to temporarily disable it to install other software, you should re-enable it as soon as you're done. If you're connected to the Internet or a network while your antivirus software is disabled, your computer is vulnerable to attacks.

Windows doesn't come with antivirus software, but can often detect and monitor antivirus software that was installed by you or your computer manufacturer. The status of your antivirus software is typically displayed in Action Center.

  1. Open Action Center by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, and then, under System and Security, clicking Review your computer's status.

  2. Click the arrow button Picture of the arrow button next to Security to expand the section.

    If Windows can detect your antivirus software, it's listed under Virus protection.

  3. If the software is on, check the Help that came with the software for information on disabling it.

Windows doesn't detect all antivirus software, and some antivirus software doesn't report its status to Windows. If your antivirus software isn't displayed in Action Center and you're not sure how to find it, try any of the following:

  • Type the name of the software or the publisher in the search box on the Start menu.

  • Look for your antivirus program's icon in the notification area of the taskbar.

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