Is it possible to run Spybot and Windows Defender?

User of Windows 10 may have noticed that Windows Defender will stop running in Windows 10 when Spybot is installed. Windows will disable this program if it detects another antivirus program on your PC in order to prevent conflict between the multiple antivirus programs installed. The Free Edition of Spybot also falls into this category, because it contains antivirus components from the paid editions. To fix this issue, please disable Spybot’s Security Center Service using the instructions below, as this will prevent Windows from detecting Spybot as an antivirus program.

  • Open Spybot by right clicking on the Spybot icon and click Run as Administrator.
  • Click on Show details in the bottom right corner of the Start Center.
  • Open Settings (Tick the checkbox next to Advanced User Mode if you do not see Settings)
  • In Settings, go to the System Services tab.
  • Here, click Stop beside the Security Center Service.

After disabling the service and rebooting your PC, Windows Defender should function correctly again when it is run.

However, the antivirus programs could now conflict and cause issues.

To avoid this with Spybot, please also disable Live Protection/Real-Time Protection in either Spybot or Windows Defender.

You can find instructions for disabling Spybot’s Live Protection here.