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How to Fix Windows Defender Not Working in Windows 11

Windows Defender is an anti-malware feature available on Microsoft Windows. It is a part of the Windows Security System, as it helps detect and prevent cyber threats. However, many users have reported an issue that Windows Defender occasionally does not open.

Most PC users usually encounter this problem. The lack of operative Windows Defender software is a serious problem that can harm your device. Thus, in order to act quickly, it is important that you fix the problem as soon as possible. However, if you are unable to fix Windows Defender, keep on reading to know-how!

Update Windows

Sometimes the most difficult problems end up having the simplest solutions. Windows Defender can be caused by faults in your operating system. However, this can be resolved by updating Windows.

If you are not aware of how to update your Windows to the latest version, follow the steps below:

  • Press the Windows + I key to open the Settings of your Windows
  • Navigate the left sidebar of your Settings
  • Search for the Windows Update option
  • Select Check for Upgrades

All of the updates should now be downloaded and installed. Restart your computer after updating it to resolve the problem.

Uninstall Third-party Antivirus Software

Windows operating system will automatically turn itself off if it detects a third-party antivirus system in your device. Hence, as a result, the first thing you should do is turn off any other security software.

However, if it still does not work, you can try completely removing them from your PC. To do this, follow the steps below:

  • Go to Control Panel
  • Navigate the Programs and Features option
  • Select the third-party antivirus software that you had installed
  • Uninstall the program

Alternatively, you can uninstall your security programs with a professional removal tool. Through this, it will remove all files (even undiscovered files) and registry entries linked with the application. Additionally, it will prohibit Windows Defender from operating.

After this, restart your computer and try opening Windows Defender again. Ensure to follow this step to launch the software to defend your computer from viruses, spyware, and other dangers.

Run SFC Scan

Attempt to run an SFC scan if the above two methods do not work in operating Windows Defender. The SFC scan will fix any corrupt system files that may be causing the problem. Follow the procedures below to run the SFC Scan:

  • Go to the Start Menu
  • Search for CMD
  • Go to the search results
  • Select Command Prompt
  • Right-click on it
  • Select Run as Administrator 
  • Type sfc /scannow in the Command Prompt
  • Press Enter to execute the function

Moreover, ensure that you do not close the Command Prompt until it executes the function. After the device completes the process, restart your PC.

Restart the Security Center Service

Certain services must be enabled in order for Windows Defender to function effectively. On Windows 10/8/7, if such services aren’t functioning properly, the issue of Windows Defender not turning on will occur. So, follow the on-screen instructions to resume the required services, and we’ll teach you how to enable the Security Center service here.

  • Click the Win and R keys on the keyboard
  • Launch the Run box
  • Type services.msc in the box
  • Press Enter
  • Search for Security Interface in the services interface
  • Select the Restart option by right-clicking on it.

Rida Rehan

Hello, I'm Rida Rehan, an undergraduate student, and an inspiring journalist who likes to explore various topics and fields to broaden my horizon, and to keep myself updated on information and trends.

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