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Windows 10 lite gaming OS called AtlasOS strips key features like Defender, System Restore

Update: Latest version 22H2 v0.2 is now available, and it removes some more features.

Update 2: Atlas developer got in touch with us and has clarified that Microsoft Defender will be present in AtlasOS. The updated version could potentially end up being even more secure than stock Windows.

AtlasOS promo image

Every time there is a new version of Windows, it generally keeps getting heavier as more features are crammed in. As a result, those with older PCs often crave lighter versions of the OS, and gamers are no exception. AtlasOS, a lite version of Windows 10 claims to offer just that. The developers note that AtlasOS removes all such "drawbacks" that negatively affect the gaming performance of a PC. And in the process, it reduces system latency, network latency, input lags.

Atlas is a modified version of Windows 10, which removes nearly all the drawbacks of Windows that negatively affect gaming performance. Atlas is also a good option to reduce system latency, network latency, input lag, and keep your system private while focusing on performance.

However, in order to achieve its lighter form, the developers of AtlasOS have had to make some pretty significant corner-cutting. On its website, the team has confirmed that it gets rid of important features like Windows Defender as well as system restore points.

Please do keep in mind that Atlas is made for gaming, so many features and services that aren't needed for most gamers have been taken away. When services or features are taken away, they can cause problems with the apps you use or even with hardware.

Atlas gets rid of the following services and features:

  • Windows Defender
  • Restore Points and System Reset

It has also been confirmed by the dev team that Defender will not be added anytime soon. This came as a response to a user's feature request for keeping Defender:

Not going to be added any time soon, sorry. This has been talked about a lot.

To be fair to Atlas, Microsoft also itself recommends disabling some security features like VBS as these are known to impact gaming performance. However, entirely stripping away the anti-malware is probably a bit too much.

Source: Atlas

Edit: Neowin forum supervisor Brandon H also pointed out some other limitations with the AtlasOS. Aside from the points already mentioned in the article, this modded Windows 10 also removes Specter/Meltdown mitigation patches; UAC is disabled as well, so everything runs as Admin like XP and older. Hence, it is pretty difficult to recommend AtlasXP unless you have nothing to worry about regarding security as perhaps you won't be connected to the internet.

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