Windows Defender not working

Windows Defender not working

Here we can see, “Windows Defender not working”

  • There are times when Windows Defender will not turn on, leaving a machine unprotected.
  • Check the settings of Windows Defender real-time protection if it won’t turn on in Windows 10.
  • When Windows Defender doesn’t turn on, it’s sometimes because of the date and time settings.
  • The failure of Windows Defender antivirus to switch on in Windows 10 can be resolved by using dedicated software.

Windows Defender won’t start

Here are some instances of how this problem could appear:

  • I’m unable to activate Windows Defender. Group Policy in Windows 10
    • If you get this error, read about Group Policy Editor and Windows Defender in our post.
  • I’m unable to disable Windows Defender. 
    • This problem may prohibit you from turning off Windows Defender if you want to switch to another antivirus product.
  • Another antivirus program handles Windows Defender’s real-time protection.
    • Windows Defender and other antivirus software are incompatible (see below).

This problem can be solved in several ways, and we’ll go over the majority of them in this post.

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What to do if Windows Defender is not working in Windows 10

1. Enable real-time protection

  1. Press the Windows key + Q on the keyboard to access the charms search.
  2. In the search box, type Windows Defender and then hit Enter.
  3. Go to the Settings section and double-check everything. Real-time protection should be enabled.

If Windows Defender detects any other third-party antivirus software, it will switch itself off. When you have two or more antivirus programs installed, Windows is designed to identify them all, and this can cause some problems.

Conflicts between antivirus software might result in frequent freezes, application crashes, and other problems.

Because this is a widespread issue, Windows Defender will switch itself off if Windows detects any other security program to avoid any conflicts.

Furthermore, if this security software has a firewall, Windows Firewall will also be turned off.

This means you’ll have to pick between Windows Defender and third-party antivirus software if you want Windows Defender to work.

Users are frequently unaware of whether security software is installed because most new laptops have a trial version of antivirus software such as Norton, McAfee, and others.

Installing apps like Flash or Java may prompt you to delete the free security scanner, which can cause issues.

If you’re not sure whether security software is installed or not, it’s best to search your computer. You may need to manually turn it back on once you’ve removed it by following these steps:

2. Change date and time

Another reason why Windows Defender isn’t working correctly is because the time and date on Windows 10 are inaccurate.

To repair this, verify your time and date and set it to the correct value before attempting to reactivate Windows Defender.

We understand that this may seem unusual, but most Windows system processes are time and date-dependent. Therefore, an inaccurate date or time may cause aberrant behavior in your Windows OS.

3. Use professional software for protection

Although Windows Defender is an important part of your operating system, you can employ professional software if it isn’t working properly. This tool is regularly upgraded by its developer through updates, allowing it to detect and repair the latest virus that emerges.

Test out the ultimate cybersecurity solution to ensure your online security. This program was designed for those who desire complete protection from online threats.

As a result, you’ll get increased theft protection as well as a user-friendly password management option. It is compatible with all four operating systems, so feel free to install and use it on any Windows, Android, Mac, or Linux device.

With this software’s powerful antiviral technology, you can keep your digital identity safe from unwanted third parties. This application will help secure your personal information from phishing and ransomware attacks.

If you want extra privacy for your files, you can encrypt them as well as removable media. This professional software helps you stay organized by storing and organizing your passwords.

4. Update Windows

  1. Select Update & Security from the Update & Security menu in the Start menu.
  2. Select Check for updates from the Windows Update menu.

Ensure you utilize Windows Update to maintain your Windows up to date, as this can cause issues with Windows Defender. When it comes to security software, make sure you update it on a regular basis.

We recommend doing a complete Windows Update, then opening Windows Defender and running an update from there.

5. Change Proxy Server

    1. Select Command Prompt by pressing Windows key + X. (Admin).

    2. Fill in one of the following fields:




    3. Check to check if the system works after a reboot.

These are the most typical scenarios that can create issues with Windows Defender, although a few less common scenarios can also cause issues.

For example, incorrect Zone settings in Internet Explorer can cause issues, but this is easily remedied by resetting Internet Explorer to factory defaults.

Keep in mind that Windows Defender will not be able to update if you are using a proxy server. If this is the case, you will need to make some fundamental changes to your Proxy server.

6. Disable third-party antivirus

Third-party antivirus products don’t get along with Windows Defender. Antivirus applications, like any other software, don’t get along.

If you want Windows Defender to be your primary security choice, make sure you turn off any third-party antivirus software you have installed.

7. Run the SFC scan

1. Go to Search, type cmd, and open Command Prompt as Administrator.

2.Enter the following line and press Enter:


    3. Wait for the procedure to complete.

    4. Your computer should be restarted.

This straightforward approach demonstrates how to do an SFC scan in Windows 10.

8. Run DISM

  1. Open Command Prompt as Administrator by going to Search and typing cmd.
  2. On the command line, type the following command:
      • DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
  3. If the DISM cannot acquire files from the internet, try using your installation USB or DVD. Insert the appropriate media and type the following command:
      • DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:C:RepairSourceWindows /LimitAccess

4. Make sure the following path on your DVD or USB is replaced:


9. Reset the Security Center service

  1. Go to Search, type


,and open Services.

2. The Security Center service can be found here.

3. Reset the Security Center service by right-clicking it.

4. Your computer should be restarted.

Finally, if none of the previous remedies were successful, we’ll attempt resetting the Security Center service. After that, Windows Defender should start operating again.


I hope you found this guide useful. If you’ve got any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to use the shape below.

User Questions

1. What’s the deal with Microsoft Defender not working?

Go to the Settings section and double-check everything. Real-time protection should be enabled. Incorrect time and date are another reason Windows Defender isn’t working properly. To repair this, verify your time and date and set it to the correct value before attempting to reactivate Windows Defender.

2. What’s the deal with my Windows Defender antivirus being turned off?

You may have another antivirus app installed on your computer if Windows Defender is disabled (check Control Panel, System and Security, Security and Maintenance to make sure). Turn off and delete this app before starting Windows Defender to avoid program conflicts.

3. How do I reactivate my Windows Defender?

  1. Remove any antivirus software that a third party installed.
  2. Restart the Security Center Service if it hasn’t already.
  3. Perform an SFC scan.
  4. Download and install the most recent update.
  5. Change your organization’s policy.
  6. Make changes to the Windows Registry.
  7. Make a clean boot.
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