Previously, we had done a few articles on Windows Defender – the built-in security suite for Windows 10 devices. It’s an impressive suite with standard protection options, though not customizable. From the first boot of your Windows PC, this will be active. However, there are times when you are unable to turn on Windows Defender.
Don’t get worried here; you can use many methods to overcome this dead-end. In fact, you can turn on Windows Defender in no time. In this article, we have listed the top solutions to the aforementioned problem.
Before We Begin
It’s easy to know if Windows Defender isn’t working on your PC. You have to open the WD interface first. If you see one message named ‘Potentially Unprotected’, you can conclude that there are some issues with Windows Defender.
If that’s the case, you can go ahead and check out the following solutions.
Reason #1 – You’ve Installed Third-Party Security Programs
We said that Windows Defender is supposedly the default protection suite for Windows PCs. Nevertheless, it’s been made with another feature: if Windows Defender detects another security program, WD will be turned off automatically. This is done as a precautionary method. In case if you did not know, running multiple security programs will cause you issues on hardware and software side. For instance, there may be clashes with permissions, unexpected deletion of files and lots of other problems.
So, Microsoft played so clever here and Windows Defender has an automatic turn-off feature if it detects another antivirus program. There is another thing to be noted, though. You don’t have to install a fully-fledged antivirus to turn off WD. In fact, there are some common characteristics to these security programs. So, even if the third-party program doesn’t call itself an anti-virus suite, there may be protection components. Suppose you have installed a ‘Malware Fighter’ program from another developer. Chances are high that Windows Defender will be turned off. And, you can see the new program in Action Centre. Same is the case when you install third-party firewall solutions.
If the above cases suit your scenario, you can try disabling or uninstalling the third-party program. While it’s your wish, a premium antivirus program may offer advanced scanning options and protection features.
P.S. There are times when antivirus security programs get installed silently. This happens when you download some other program from the Internet. We have seen computers running McAfee free security even though the users didn’t know of this installation. You should also check, after removing that, all components of Windows Defender are active. There are a few instances when only the Antivirus Protection gets activated.
Reason #2 — You Don’t Update Windows OS
Starting from Windows 10, Windows Defender is the core component of Microsoft Windows OS. So, all updates for WD are brought through Windows Updates only. You might have turned off Windows Update for some reason, probably due to data issues and all. However, this can be a problem why you are unable to turn on Windows Defender. When you are running an outdated version of Windows OS, there may be the lack of Windows Defender virus definitions as well as core components. There are two ways to fix this. First, you can do a complete Windows Update. Second, you can just go to WD interface and do the Windows Defender update. The results should be good, when combined.
Reason #3 — Date & Time are Incorrect
Well, it’s necessary to check your date and time before blaming Windows Defender for not working. In fact, a correct date-time combination is somewhat necessary for every computer program to work. So, make sure that your date and time are correct. If it’s not, make the changes and try running Windows Defender again. We bet you can see some changes.
This is happening due to some security issues. When there’s an old date, Windows Defender may detect some errors. By the way, if your computer date and time are changing without notice, there may be some errors or infection. In that case, we highly recommend a thorough scan.
Reason #4 — Wrong Internet Explorer Zone
This is a small issue but can make Windows Defender stop working. Zone setting in Internet Explorer can be fixed by going to the settings and Restoring Factory Settings. In addition, another problem you may face is with the Proxy Servers. If you have not made the necessary changes, Windows Defender may not be able to update the software or virus definitions. It will, of course, stop WD from turning on.
Well, you can use any of these methods if you are unable to turn on Windows Defender. However, we think the problem is caused by the first reason in most cases. It’s because we know many people who run two antivirus programs together, expecting the extra security. However, don’t do that if you need real protection. Summing up, we think these methods are going to help you get back Windows Defender protection.