Is your Windows Defender not working? Are you looking for solutions to fix the Windows Defender not working problem? This post will then show you how you can fix Windows Defender in Windows 10 so that you can keep your system or pc protected from viruses. We will explain all necessary and easy solutions to repair the Windows Defender problem, with a complete step guide.

What is Windows Defender?

Windows Defender is an antivirus or a fully integrated program, and it is also called Windows Defender security center. It provides your system with real-time protection from various threats such as; malware, spyware, and other kinds of viruses on PC. It scans your system, and if it finds any threat, then this program will stop them.

Why is Windows Defender not working in Windows 10?

Whenever you find that your Windows Defender is not responding in Windows 10, there is surely some reason to happen. Here we have mentioned a few reasons that are responsible for affecting your Windows 10 defender working process.

  • Third-party antivirus installed
  • Software conflicts with another antivirus program
  • Corrupted registry
  • Malware infection

How to Fix Windows Defender not working in Windows 10

“What to do if my windows defender is not working in Windows 10?” to get the solution to this problem, follow the below given stepwise methods whenever you have encountered this problem on your Windows 10 PC.

Solution 1: Uninstall Third-Party Antivirus Software

If you can’t turn on Windows Defender in Windows 10, then you can easily solve this problem by uninstalling, installing third-party antivirus. If you have installed a third-party antivirus, follow the below-given steps to remove that third-party antivirus.

Step 1: Type in the search box of your windows, Control panel, and search for it.

search for control panel

Step 2: Now navigate to Control Panel>> Programs>>Uninstall a program.

uninstall a program in control panel

Step 3: Locate your third party antivirus and right-click on it, and choose Uninstall to remove it.

uninstall antivirus through control panel

Solution 2: Update Your Windows

If your Windows Defender is not showing anything, then the problem is related to your windows update. To solve the Windows 10 defender error, you need to update your windows as soon as possible. Make sure that you keep your windows updated if it is about any security software.

Follow the below-given steps of how to update your windows.

Step 1: Go to the Start, and select Settings.

click on settings

Step 2: Now navigate to Settings>> Update & security>> Windows update.

click on update & security - WINDOWS DEFENDER NOT WORKING

Step 3: Now, Click on Download button in windows update.

windows update download

Step 4: After completing the windows update process, open Windows Defender and run it.

Solution 3: Run SFC Scan

If your windows could not start the Windows Defender service on your local computer, then running an SFC scan is also an effective solution to resolve Windows Defender not working properly.  

Here is how to run the SFC scan; follow this process.

Step 1: Go to the Search Box of your windows and type cmd there.


Step 2: Now, open your command prompt as Administrator.

command prompt run as administrator

Step 3: Enter here command line: sfc/scannow, and then press Enter.

Enter command sfcscannow - WINDOWS DEFENDER NOT WORKING

Step 4: Wait until the process has finished and after that, Restart your PC or computer.


Solution 4: Reset the Security Center Service

If the above-listed solution for the Windows Defender working problem won’t fix the problem, you can try the reset security center service fix.

Here are the steps to reset the security center service in Windows 10; follow these steps.

Step 1: Go to the search box of your windows and type service.msc .

search for service.msc - WINDOWS DEFENDER NOT WORKING

Step 2: Open Services.

Step 3: Now, locate Security center service and do right-click on it, then go to Reset or Restart.

Restart security center - WINDOWS DEFENDER NOT WORKING

Step 4: At last, Restart your computer.


Solution 5: Change Date and Time

Incorrect date and time also affect Windows Defender’s working, so to troubleshoot the Windows Defender working issue, you need to correct the date and time. It might sound strange, but this method works; you should try this.

Follow the below-given steps to change the date and time on your Windows 10 pc.

Step 1: Click on the Start button and go into the Settings.


Step 2: Now, go into Time & Language and then Date & Time.

select time and language - WINDOWS DEFENDER NOT WORKING

Step 3: under Change date and time, click on change.

click on change under date and time - WINDOWS DEFENDER NOT WORKING

(Note: To make this change, you need to make sure that Set time zone automatically and Set time automatically, both are off.)

Step 4: Enter the date and time and press change. You will see your preferable date and time has been updated. 

change date and time - WINDOWS DEFENDER NOT WORKING

Solution 6: Enable Real-Time Protection

To resolve Windows Defender not working errors, there is Enabling real-time protection is also an effective solution. Once you have uninstalled your third party antivirus from your PC, then you need to execute this process.

Follow the below-given steps to enable real time protection.

Step 1: Go into the search box and type Settings in it.


Step 2: Start navigating to Settings>>Update & security>>Windows security.

click on update & security - WINDOWS DEFENDER NOT WORKING

Step 3:  Now, click on Virus & Threat protection.

click on virus threat protection - WINDOWS DEFENDER NOT WORKING

Step 4: Click on Manage setting or Virus & threat protection setting.

click on virus and threat protection manage setting - WINDOWS DEFENDER NOT WORKING

Step 5: Check the Real-Time protection, and turn it On.

Click on real time protection on - WINDOWS DEFENDER NOT WORKING

Solution 7: Change the Proxy Server

If you are using a proxy server, then possibly your Windows Defender won’t be able to update; also, it will not work accurately. At that instant, you need to make some minor changes in your proxy server to get back your Windows Defender in workable condition.  

Follow these steps to change the proxy server.

Step 1: Open the search box on your windows and search for cmd.


Step 2: Select command prompt from the search result.

Step 3: Enter the command in the command prompt: NETSH WINHTTP SET PROXY MYPROXY.NET:8080 or NETSH WINHTTP SET PROXY, and press Enter. 

enter command proxy8080 - WINDOWS DEFENDER NOT WORKING

Step 4: Now, reboot your system.

Solution 8: Run DISM

To repair Windows Defender, not working problems, running DISM in windows 10 is another way to fix this problem; you can try this process on your Windows 10 system.

Follow the below given steps to run DISM on windows 10.

Step 1: Go to the search box and type cmd in it and search for it.

command prompt run as administrator - WINDOWS DEFENDER NOT WORKING

Step 2: Open Command prompt as Administrator.

Step 3: Type the command line: DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup – image /Restorehealth, and press Enter.

enter command restore health - WINDOWS DEFENDER NOT WORKING

Step 4: If DISM can’t obtain the files then try to install CVD or USB and type that command: DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:C:RepairSourceWindows /LimitAccess

Type command limited access - WINDOWS DEFENDER NOT WORKING

Step 5: Remember that you need to replace the path with a DVD or USB path.


Solution 9: Change the Group Policy

Sometimes your Windows Defender won’t work properly in Windows 10, because it is turned off by group policy. But, you can easily resolve this error by changing the group policy.

Here are all the steps to change the group policy; follow them.

Step 1: Click on the search box from the taskbar. If your search box is hidden, you can easily use Windows key+ X to access the search box easily.  

Step 2: Click on search.

Step 3: In search box type, edit group policy.

Step 4: Click on Edit group policy from the search results.

click on edit group policy - WINDOWS DEFENDER NOT WORKING

Step 5: Go into the left pane, and Start navigates to Computer Configuration>>Administrative template>> Windows Components > Windows Defender Antivirus.

click on administrative template

click on windows components

click on windows defender antivirus


Step 6: Go into the right pane and do double click on Turn off Windows Defender firewall. 

turn off windows defender antivirus

Step 7: Now, you can see a pop-up window; choose Not-configured from it. 

click on not configured then Ok

Step 8: Click on Apply and then an OK button.

Solution 10: Restart your Computer

Last but not least, easy but effective; Restarting a computer solution to fix the Windows Defender problem. Sometimes, just a simple restart process would be able to solve your problem.

Follow the steps of restarting your computer.

Step 1: Open the start menu by clicking on the lower-left Start button.


Step 2: Click the Power Options button in the top middle.

Step 3: Select Restart in the list.


Here we are done. Hopefully, these all-listed solutions for Windows Defender not working in Windows 10 will help you come out of this trouble. Try these solutions one by one, and you will definitely get out of this trouble.

If you have any doubt or query related to Windows Defender, then you can leave your queries in the comment section, and we will be right back soon with another effective and quick solution. I hope you would like our given solutions and be in touch with us.

Frequently Asked Questions
Question 1: How do I fix Windows Defender not Turning ON?

To fix this problem, you can follow various solutions such as;

  • Clean Boot your computer
  • Check your system files
  • Change group policy
  • Modify your registry
Question 2: Do I Required Anti-malware with Windows Defender?

No, you can’t use any anti-malware software with the Windows Defender at the same time. But note that the working of both anti-malware and Windows Defender is the same; both protect your windows system from viruses or malware.

Question 3: How can I Tell Windows Defender is ON?

Follow these steps to verify that Windows Defender is ON.

Step 1: Press Ctrl+Alt+Del, and then select Task Manager.

Step 2: Click on the Service Tab and verify the status of the following services.

  • Windows Defender Antivirus Network Inspection 
  • ServiceWindows Defender Antivirus Service
 Question 4: Why is my Windows Defender not Updating?

There could be several reasons behind your Windows Defender not updating; check them once.

  • Connectivity problem
  • Corrupted system files
  • Windows Defender service not running
  • Windows update problem


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