Windows Defender was initially launched as an anti spyware application in the Windows operating systems. Now, Microsoft has developed this into a fully fledged antivirus program. In the latest Windows operating systems like Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, there is no need to install any third party antivirus program. The Windows Defender that comes pre-installed will suffice.
How to remove the Windows Defender application in Windows XP?
The Windows Defender that comes as a feature in the XP OS is only an anti spyware or malware application. You need to install a third party antivirus application to protect your system from virus infections. This makes the Windows Defender application redundant.
But, it will be running in the background since it is launched every time you start the XP OS. This will take up some of the system memory. Also, the Windows Defender update running in the background can slow down the internet connection every now and then. To avoid all this, you need to uninstall the Windows Defender application from the XP OS.
There is also the option for disabling the application from the Windows XP services. You can later enable it, you want to use it to protect your system from spyware and malware attacks. For this, you need to go to the Windows XP services utility. Here are the Windows help instructions for accessing this option.
Go to the Run command execution box in the Start Menu and execute the following command – services.msc. This will launch the Windows XP Services utility, where you will see a list of OS services available in XP. Find the Windows Defender service in the list and double click it. This will launch the Windows Defender Properties window. There, under the General tab, go to the Startup Type option. This will be set as Automatic. You need to change it to Disabled.
Now, press the OK button, close the Windows Defender Properties window and the Service utility. This will disable the Windows Defender service in your XP OS. The XP OS will no longer launch the Windows Defender application during the system start up.
To uninstall the application, you need to go to the Control Panel and launch the Add or Remove Programs window from there. Find the Windows Defender application in the window, un-install it and restart the system.
If you have any doubts regarding this, visit the Windows help website online.