Q: If I’m using good antivirus software, do I really need to keep Windows Defender running in Windows 7? Or is that like wearing suspenders and a belt?
A: You need them both. Windows Defender, which comes bundled free with Windows 7 and Vista and is available for download for XP users, is a very good antispyware program, but it doesn’t provide virus protection. And you need both levels of protection. However, some users find Windows Defender demands too many resources and, therefore, slows their computers.
If, however, for whatever reason you’d rather use a different anti-malware program, first make sure it’s compatible with your antivirus software because many will not work correctly, or at all, with some products.
Be aware, also, that in Windows 7 you can’t really remove the Windows Defender software because it’s intimately woven into the operating system. At best, you can disable it. To do that, first open Windows Defender by left-clicking on Start and typing Windows Defender into the question box that appears above the Start button. Once there, go to Tools and click on Options (see screenshot below) in the screen it opens.
Next click on Administrator on the left-hand pane, uncheck the box for Use this program and click on Save. You will then be told that the program is disabled.
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