Windows Defender is the first layer of security that Windows PC has. Windows Defender can be quite a useful software that protects your software against viruses and malware. But what if Windows Defender is not working on your PC? Many users have reported Windows Defender not working in Windows 11. It can be a very big issue if not solved quickly. If you are also facing this issue, then this article will help you with that.

Fix Windows Defender Not Working in Windows 11

In this article, we will be discussing how you can fix Windows Defender not working in Windows 11

Fix Windows Defender Not Working in Windows 11

Restart The Security Center Service

The very first thing that you can try doing is restarting the security center service. To restart the security center service, follow the steps given below-

  • Press the Windows + R key combo to open the Run dialog box. In the run dialog box, type services.msc and hit Enter.
  • This will open the Services app. Here, search for Security Center.

Fix Windows Defender Not Working in Windows 11

  • Select the service. Right-click on it, and then click on Restart. 

Update Windows To Latest Build

The next thing that you can do is update your Windows. You may face this issue due to bugs in your operating system, which may be fixed by updating Windows. To update the Windows, follow the steps given below-

  • Open the Settings of your PC by pressing the Windows + I key.
  • Head to the Windows update from the left sidebar on your Settings.
  • Here click on Check for updates to begin checking for updates.

Fix Windows Defender Not Working in Windows 11

  • Now download and install all the updates. After updating your PC, restart it to fix the issue you faced.

Run SFC Scan

If restarting the Security Center Service and updating Windows didn’t help fix Windows Defender not working in Windows 11, you can try running the SFC Scan. SFC scan fixes any corrupt system files, which may also be causing the issue. To run the SFC Scan, follow the steps given below-

  • In the Start Menu, search for CMD. In the search results, select Command Prompt, right-click on it and then click on Run as administrator. 
  • In the Command Prompt, type sfc /scannow and hit Enter to execute the command.

Fix Windows Defender Not Working in Windows 11

  • Wait for the Command Prompt to do its work, and do not close the terminal until then.
  • After the process is completed, close the command prompt, and restart your PC.

Check if the Windows Defender is working or not. If Windows Defender is not working in Windows 11, then you should move to the next step.

Do a Quick Clean Boot

Third-party services and programs in the startup may also interrupt the Windows performance and can cause the issue. These services may hinder Windows, thus causing Windows Defender not to work properly. You may try performing a clean boot and then check if the issue persists or not. To perform a clean boot, follow the steps given below-

  • Open the Run dialog box on your PC. You can do so by pressing the Windows + R key combo.
  • In the Run dialog box, type msconfig, and hit Enter to open System Configuration on your PC.
  • Head to the Services tab in the System configuration. 
  • Here, check the checkbox saying Hide all Microsoft Services. After doing so, click on Disable all to disable all the services except for the Microsoft Services.
  • Now, head to the Startup tab, and then click on Open Task Manager. 
  • You will be headed to the Startup tab in the Task Manager
  • Here, select the programs individually and then click on Disable to disable the application.
  • After you have disabled all the programs at the startup, restart your PC.

Changing The Registry Settings

If you still face the problem with the Windows Defender even after trying all the above fixes, you should try changing the Registry Settings. Make the following changes to the Registry settings to fix Windows Defender not working in Windows 11-

  • Open the Start menu by clicking on the Start icon on the taskbar.
  • In the Start Menu, search for Registry Editor and open it.
  • Now in the Registry Editor, head to the following address-

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender

  • Now on the right-side, search for DisableAntiSpyware and double-click on it to edit it.
  • If the key is not there, then on the left-sidebar, right-click on the Windows Defender. Click on New and then select DWORD (32-bit) value. Keep the name of the new key you created as DisableAntiSpyware. 

Fix Windows Defender Not Working in Windows 11

  • Double-click on this key, and change its value data to 0 and then click on OK. 



If the Windows Defender is not working in Windows 11, you can follow the above steps to fix the issue. Alongside Windows Defender, you should also prefer installing any third-party antivirus or anti-malware program on your PC for added security. We hope this article helped fix Windows Defender not working issue in Windows 11.

Editor - An aspiring Web Entrepreneur and avid Tech Geek. He loves to cover topics related to iOS, Tech News, and the latest tricks and tips floating over the Internet.


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