Remove Windows Defender Icon in Windows 10

Windows 10 Anniversary Update v1607 and later will now display the Windows Defender icon in the Notification Area of your taskbar. In this post, we will see how to hide, disable or remove the Windows Defender icon from the System Tray when you have enabled Windows Defender – as well in a situation, where the Windows Defender Notification Icon still shows, even when you have a 3rd-party antivirus software installed.

Remove Windows Defender Icon

Windows Defender icon

Earlier, in Window 10, Windows Defender ran silently in the background, without displaying the system tray icon, and you would see the icon and be informed only if there was something which needed your attention. But now it displays all the time.

If you open the Taskbar, under the Process tab, you will see a Windows Defender notification icon process – MSASCuiL.exe. You can right-click on it to end the process, but when you restart your computer, it may appear back.

end Windows Defender task manager

What you need to do is, open the Startup tab and disable the Windows Defender notification icon entry. To do this, select the entry and press the Disable button.

Remove Windows Defender Icon

The Windows Defender icon will be removed.

Read: Windows Defender will not turn off even when 3rd party AntiVirus is installed.

Windows Defender notification icon displays even with 3rd party Antivirus installed

Now here is the case which happened to me. I have a 3rd-party security suite installed, and yet the Windows Defender icon used to be always displayed in the Notification Area.

remove Windows Defender icon

Windows Defender was turned off and so was the Limited Periodic Scanning feature – yet the icon would not go away.

Windows Defender disabled

I could see the Windows Defender notification icon process in the Task Manager as a running process, but it was not being displayed under Startup tab of the Task Manager.

disable Windows Defender icon my case2

So how could I disable the icon? What could I do?

Well if you face this issue, from the WinX Menu, open Settings > Personalization and select Taskbar in the left pane. Scroll down and click on Select which icons appear on the taskbar link, to open the following window.

turn off Windows Defender icon

Here you will see Windows Defender notification icon. Toggle the switch to the Off position and you will see the Windows Defender icon disappear from the System Tray.

Windows Defender icon removed

This is what helped me, and hope it helps you too.

If this does not help you, open Registry Editor and navigate to the following key:


Create a new string value, name it Windows Defender and set its value as follows:

“%ProgramFiles%\Windows Defender\MSASCuiL.exe”-runkey

Restart your computer.

The icon should have been disabled.

Posted by on , in Category Security with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.