Starting in Windows 10 Build 18305, the operating system comes with a Tamper Protection feature in Windows Security. It provides additional protections against changes to key security features, including limiting changes which are not made directly through the Windows Security app.
With Tamper Protection, malicious apps are prevented from taking actions like these:
- Disabling virus and threat protection
- Disabling real-time protection
- Turning off behavior monitoring
- Disabling antivirus (such as IOfficeAntivirus (IOAV))
- Disabling cloud-delivered protection
- Removing security intelligence updates
Tamper Protection essentially locks Microsoft Defender and prevents your security settings from being changed through apps and methods like these:
- Configuring settings in Registry Editor on your Windows machine
- Changing settings through PowerShell cmdlets
- Editing or removing security settings through group policies
- and so on.
When Tamper Protection is enabled, you should use Windows Security to configure the protection options. You can launch Windows Security from the Start menu or with a special shortcut. Alternatively, you can access it using its tray icon.
Before you proceed, here is what you need to know. Don't be confused between Windows Defender and Windows Security. Windows Defender is the built-in anti-virus software which provides real-time protection against threats. Windows Defender is the default antivirus app shipped with Windows 10. Earlier versions of Windows like Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7 and Vista also had it but it was less efficient previously as it only scanned spyware and adware. In Windows 8 and Windows 10, Defender is based on the Microsoft Security Essentials app which offers better protection by adding full blown protection against all kinds of malware. The Windows Security app is just a dashboard which allows you to track your protection state. It can be used to configure various security options like SmartScreen.
Windows 10 Home
For home users, tamper protection will be enabled by default to automatically increase defenses against attacks. Microsoft are currently turning on the feature gradually; some users will start seeing the setting on their devices. Also, Microsoft has revealed their plan to improve the Tamper Protection feature in the future and make it available to previous Windows 10 versions.
Users interested in disabling the tamper protection feature can follow this tutorial:
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