Remove Windows Defender from Windows 7

A new operating system, new challenges, new opportunities, new annoyances.

Windows Defender is a program to defend against malware from Microsoft. A standard part of Windows Vista and Windows 7.  Impossible to remove  it seems from browsing the net.

I installed Microsoft Security Essentials for the protection against the bad world. Works fine, invisible, no performance hit, got good press and its free. So far so fine.
Windows Defender started to complain then. Not running, every boot it wanted to be started. I did not like that, so I used the documented ways to stop it. No way, it came back every boot.

Now registry hacking revealed it was in the run keys. Removed it, and that also did not help. No solution on the internet, everybody repeats the documented way to do it, which will not work for 7.

Time for extreme measures. This did get rid of Windows Defender:

  1. Rename “c:\programs\windows defender” to  “c:\programs\windows defender go away” or whatever you feel to be appropiate. Just to kame sure installed things will not find the files.
  2. Find a registry cleanup program.I used the free  one from regsoft.
  3. First create a system restore point! (Or discore System Repair as I did, press F8 at boot to get to that) 
  4. Run the cleanup program.
  5. Fix the errors, many windows defender keys found to be wrong, guess why (see 1)
  6. Reboot, and Windows Defender is gone.

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