Uninstall Windows Defender on Windows Server 2016

If you are looking to uninstall Windows Defender on Windows Server 2016, the steps covered in this post will help you. But the question is why do you have to uninstall Windows Defender ?. If you have a third party antivirus solution, you may not require Windows Defender. In addition to that, running multiple antivirus products on same machine can cause problems. Well, you should never install two AV products on a single machine.

When you install Windows Server 2016, Windows Defender is installed by default. Windows Defender can be easily installed/uninstalled using a PowerShell command. Probably that’s much easier than using the Remove Roles and Features wizard. As per Microsoft, you can also remove Windows Defender AV completely via Remove Roles and Features Wizard. In the wizard you can deselect the Windows Defender Features option at the Features step. However in my case, the option to deselect Windows Defender feature was greyed out. So in my opinion you can easily achieve this task using PowerShell commands.

Uninstall Windows Defender on Windows Server 2016

Here are the steps to uninstall Windows Defender on Windows Server 2016.

  1. Login to the Windows Server 2016.
  2. First of all ensure Windows Defender is running. You can run sc query Windefend in command prompt.
  3. Run the PowerShell command to uninstall Windows Defender on Windows Server 2016.

When you run sc query Windefend, if you see the state as RUNNING, that means Windows Defender is present and service is active on the machine.

uninstall Windows Defender

To uninstall the defender, open PowerShell and run the below command. Note that a server reboot is required once you uninstall the Windows Defender.

Uninstall-WindowsFeature -Name Windows-Defender

uninstall Windows Defender

In future if you decide to use Windows Defender, you can install it using a PowerShell command. Run the PowerShell as administrator and run the below command.

Install-WindowsFeature -Name Windows-Defender

uninstall Windows DefenderA reboot is required if you install Windows Defender on a Server 2016.

4 thoughts on “Uninstall Windows Defender on Windows Server 2016”

  1. Microsoft in there infinite wisdom decided to have defender running when you install a 3rd party Anti Virus. Where as prior to Windows Server 2016, this wasnt the case and defender was disabled when a 3rd party AV was installed.

  2. Does not work. It shows as stopped when I run the query, but when I attempt to uninstall via Administrator Powershell I get an error (“The referenced assembly could not be found. Error: x80073701”)

  3. Hi Prajwal,

    Thanks for the video, it is helpful. I wanted to created a collection based on if Windows Defender feature is enabled or not. What is the best query to check this. I wanted to create a task sequence to disable it.



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