How To Fix Windows Defender Cannot Be Started On Windows 10

Windows Defender Antivirus or also called  Windows Defender Security Center is a built-in antivirus program of Windows. A program that gives real-time protection of your computer against threats such as malware and spyware. However, There have been reports from many users experienced the program does not turn on as the defense program whenever they start Windows Defender Antivirus but instead gets an error code 0x80070422 message “The service couldn’t be started. The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled or because it has no enabled devices associated with it.” is shown on the screen. In this latest installment of our troubleshooting series we will tackle the ways on how to fix Windows Defender Won’t start issue.

Fix Windows Defender Won’t start on Windows 10 PC

There are factors that can cause this error to appear such as a corrupt registry key of Windows Defender to a disabled windows defender. Other than that, a third party antivirus program that conflicts Windows Defender can also be the culprit. Listed below are troubleshooting methods that you can try in order to fix the issue with Windows Defender does not start on Windows 10.

Before performing any of the recommended troubleshooting solution methods listed below it’s best to restart your computer first. This action refreshes the operating system and remove any corrupt data that could be causing the problem.

Method 1: RUN SFC Scan and DISM Scan

System File Checker (SFC) is a built-in utility on Windows that allows users to scan the computer for corrupted system files and fix it. If you encounter error message, it is possible that there is a corrupt system files on your computer. Try to run SFC scan and see if it fixes the issue

To do this:

  1. At the search bar on your Windows 10 which is located at the lower left, type ” Command Prompt”

    Windows Defender Cannot Be Started

  2. Right-click on Command Prompt result and click Run as Administrator from the drop down menu.

    If User account control (UAC) prompt appears, click OK.
    Windows Defender Cannot Be Started

  3. At Command prompt window, type the command “sfc /scannow” and press Enter key.

    System File Scan will now start. Wait for it to complete. Do not abort or interrupt the process.
    Windows Defender Cannot Be Started

  4. If the SFC scan can’t fix the problem then you should try using Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) scan . This is a tool used to fix component corruption that prevents SFC from running properly.

    At Command prompt window, type the command “DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth and press Enter key. DISM tool will now begin. Wait for it to complete.
    Windows Defender Cannot Be Started

Check if Windows Defender does not start on Windows 10 PC issue still occurs.

Method 2: Uninstall all third-party antivirus software

There are times where third party security program conflicts with Windows Defender antivirus software on your computer. To check if this is the culprit, uninstall all third party antivirus software and check the problem will be fixed.

  1. Press Start or Windows Key located at the lower left
  2. Click Settings, an icon that looks like a gear to open Windows Settings
  3. Click Apps
  4. Scroll down and search third party antivirus
  5. Right click on the program and click Uninstall device from the drop down menu. Follow the on-screen instructions on how to uninstall the program.
  6. Repeat the same procedure for all third-party programs.
  7. Restart your PC

Once computer completely reboots, check if Windows Defender does not start on Windows 10 issue still occurs.

Method 3: Start Windows Defender Service

When Windows Defender service does not start after you enabled it, you need to manually configure the service to Automatically start.

To do this:

  1. Press the Windows key + R on your keyboard to open RUN box
  2. Type “services .msc” and press Enter key or click OK
  3. Scroll down and search Windows Defender Firewall program
  4. Right click on it and click Properties from the drop down menu.
  5. At Properties window, make sure Windows Defender Service Startup type is set to Automatic.
  6. Make sure to start Windows Defender Service, check if status is “Running”. If it is stopped, click Start tab.
  7. Click Apply to apply changes made
  8. Click OK to exit properties window.
  9. Exit Windows Defender Service Manager window.
  10. Restart your computer.

Once computer completely reboots, check if Windows Defender does not start on Windows 10 issue still occurs.

Method 4: Enable Windows Defender from Registry Editor

If Windows defender can’t start issue still occurs after performing the methods mentioned above, try to start it using the Registry Editor.

To do this:

  1. Press the Windows key + X on your keyboard to open RUN box
  2. Click RUN
  3. Type “regedit” and click Enter or click OK
  4. At left pane, click HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder to expand it.
  5. Click SOFTWARE folder to expand it.
  6. Click Policies folder to expand it.
  7. Click Microsoft folder to expand it.
  8. Click Windows Defender to expand it.
  9. At right pane, double click on the entry DisableAntiSpyware
  10. Change Value Data from 0 to 1, then click OK button.

If you can’t see the entry DisableAntiSpyware, you need to manually create one.

To do this:

  1. Right click on Windows Defender folder
  2. Click New from the drop down menu.
  3. Click DWORD (32-bit) Value from the drop down menu.
  4. Rename the entry
  5. Change Value Data from 0 to 1, then click OK button.
  6. Exit Registry Editor window.
  7. Restart your PC.

Once computer completely reboots, check if Windows Defender does not start on Windows 10 issue still occurs.

Method 5: Disable Proxy Server

If by chance you are using a Proxy server, it is possible that it is what’s causing this issue to occur. Therefore, disable the proxy server on your computer and see if it fix the issue.

  1. Press the Windows key + R on your keyboard to open RUN box
  2. Type “inetcpl.cpl” and press the Enter key or click OK
  3. At Internet Properties window, click Connections tab.
  4. Click LAN Setting located at the bottom.
  5. Click to check the option “Automatically Detect Settings”
  6. Under Proxy Server, uncheck the option Use a proxy serve for your LAN.
  7. Click OK button to apply change and exit LAN settings window.
  8. Exit Internet properties.
  9. Restart your PC

Once computer completely reboots, check if Microsoft Windows Defender does not start on Windows 10 issue still occurs.

Method 6: Install Windows Update

There have been reports from many users wherein they were able to fix the issue after updating and installing the latest Windows update. Try to check for updates and see if it works.

To do this:

  1. Press Windows or Start button
  2. Press Settings, an icon that looks like a gear located at the lower left
  3. Inside Windows Setting window, click Update and Security
  4. At left pane, click Windows Update.
  5. Click “Check for Updates” button at right pane. Windows will now check for available update and automatically installs them if there are any.
  6. Restart your computer.

After windows update have been installed, check if Microsoft Windows Defender does not start on Windows 10 issue still occurs.

Method 7: Restart Security Center Service

For Windows Defender to run properly, you have to make sure that Security Center service is running too.

To do this:

  1. Press Windows key + R on your keyboard to open RUN dialog box
  2. At RUN dialog box, type services .msc” and click Enter or click OK
  3. In services window, scroll down and locate Security Center service from the lists of services.
  4. Right click on the service and click Restart option from the drop down menu.

Once Security Center service is restarted, check if Microsoft Windows Defender does not start on Windows 10 issue still occurs.

Method 8: Change Group Policy

Sometimes Windows Defender does not turn on in Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 7 is because it is being disabled by Group Policy. By simply changing Group policy setting resolves the issue.

To do this:

  1. Press Windows key + R on your keyboard to open RUN dialog box
  2. At RUN dialog box, type “gpedit.msc” and press Enter or click OK to open Local group Policy editor.
  3. Click Computer Configuration at left pane to expand it.
  4. Click Administrative Template to expand it.
  5. Click Windows Components folder to expand it.
  6. Locate and click Microsoft Defender antivirus
  7. At right pane, scroll down and locate the option “Turn off Windows Defender”.
  8. Right click on the option and click Edit.
  9. Make sure “Not Configured” option is checked, if not click to check it.
  10. Click Apply to apply changes made.
  11. Click OK to exit

Check if Microsoft Windows Defender does not start on Windows 10 issue still occurs.

Method 9: Reset PC

This is considered to be the last resort when the above mentioned fails to fix the issue. Before performing this method, make sure to have a back up of your important files.

To do this:

  1. Press Windows or Start button
  2. Press Settings, an icon that looks like a gear located at the lower left
  3. Inside Windows Setting window, click Update and Security
  4. At left pane, click Recovery.
  5. Click Get Started tab at right pane under Reset this PC.
  6. Choose the option “Keep my files”. The process will take some time, wait for it to complete.
  7. Once complete, computer will automatically restart.

Once computer completely reboots, check if Microsoft Windows Defender won’t start On Windows 10 issue still occurs.

After performing the methods listed above you will successfully fix Windows Defender Cannot Be Started On Windows 10

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