Prevent security settings changes with tamper protection

Applies to:

  • Windows 10

Tamper Protection helps prevent malicious apps from changing important security settings. These settings include:

  • Real-time protection
  • Cloud-delivered protection
  • IOfficeAntivirus (IOAV)
  • Behavior monitoring
  • Removing security intelligence updates

With Tamper Protection set to On, you can still change these settings in the Windows Security app. The following apps and methods can't change these settings:

  • Mobile device management (MDM) apps like Intune
  • Enterprise configuration management apps like System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM)
  • Command line instruction MpCmdRun.exe -removedefinitions -dynamicsignatures
  • Windows System Image Manager (Windows SIM) settings DisableAntiSpyware and DisableAntiMalware (used in Windows unattended setup)
  • Group Policy
  • Other Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) apps

The Tamper Protection setting doesn't affect how third party antivirus apps register with the Windows Security app.

On computers running Windows 10 Enterprise E5, users can't change the Tamper Protection setting.

Tamper Protection is set to On by default. If you set Tamper Protection to Off, you will see a yellow warning in the Windows Security app under Virus & Threat Protection.

Configure tamper protection

  1. Open the Windows Security app by clicking the shield icon in the task bar or searching the start menu for Defender.
  2. Select Virus & threat protection, then select Virus & threat protection settings.
  3. Set Tamper Protection to On or Off.

Note

Tamper Protection blocks attempts to modify Windows Defender Antivirus settings through the registry.

To help ensure that Tamper Protection doesn’t interfere with third-party security products or enterprise installation scripts that modify these settings, go to Windows Security and update Security intelligence to version 1.287.60.0 or later.

Once you’ve made this update, Tamper Protection will continue to protect your registry settings, and will also log attempts to modify them without returning errors.