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Windows Vista hints and tips

Tips index

Turn Windows Defender off

Disable Vista servicesWindows Defender is a useful and important part of Windows Vista because it protects you from certain types of malware (the name given to spyware, adware, viruses, Trojans and so on). It is bundled with Windows and turned on by default so that it protects you right from the start. However, you might want to turn it off under certain circumstances. In fact, it's a good idea!

Vista does not have any protection against viruses and Windows Defender only protects against spyware. It isn't safe to use a computer on the internet for any length of time without a good anti virus program because there's always the chance that you might visit a website that is infected or that contains infected files. There are lots of free, shareware and commercial security packages available and there is plenty of choice on offer, so any sensible person will go and download one as soon as they can so that they are fully protected.

All complete security suites, and also many modern anti virus programs too, provide protection against spyware in addition to viruses. It is more common to install a complete security suite these days rather than several separate programs that just do a single job. It is more convenient to have all your security handled by one program and it is cheaper too. If you have a security suite installed then you will have perfectly adequate protection against spyware and so you don't need Windows Defender running in the background taking up memory and processor time. Two programs aren't twice as good as one when it comes to detecting and preventing malware, so you should therefore disable Windows Defender and prevent it from running.

Right click the Windows Defender icon at the right hand side of the taskbar and select Open from the menu that pops up, or click the Start button and select Windows Defender on the All Programs menu. In Windows Defender select Tools and then Options. Clear the tick against Automatically scan my computer, scroll down and clear the tick against Use real-time protection, scroll down further and clear the tick against Use Windows Defender. Click the Save button, quit Windows Defender and restart Windows. It will start up without it running in the background.