Windows Defender Turned Off by Group Policy – Solved Fix

In my experience, dealing with Windows Defender being turned off by Group Policy can be frustrating. The good news is that there is a simple fix for this issue.

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Enable Through Group Policy and Local Settings

To enable Windows Defender through Group Policy and Local Settings, follow these steps:

1. Open the Group Policy Editor by pressing Windows Key + R, typing “gpedit.msc”, and hitting Enter.

2. Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender Antivirus.

3. Double-click on “Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus” and select “Disabled” to enable Windows Defender.

4. Next, open the Local Group Policy Editor by pressing Windows Key + R, typing “gpedit.msc”, and hitting Enter.

5. Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender Antivirus.

6. Double-click on “Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus” and select “Disabled.”

7. Restart your computer to apply the changes and ensure Windows Defender is turned on.

Utilize Registry Editor for Activation

To resolve the issue of Windows Defender being turned off by Group Policy, you can utilize the Registry Editor. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box, then type regedit and hit Enter. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender in the Registry Editor.

Check if there is a DisableAntiSpyware entry in the right pane. Double-click on it and change the value data to 0 to enable Windows Defender. If the entry is not present, right-click on an empty space in the right pane, select New, then DWORD (32-bit) Value and name it DisableAntiSpyware.

Once you have made the necessary changes, close the Registry Editor and restart your computer for the changes to take effect. This should resolve the issue of Windows Defender being turned off by Group Policy.

Updated: April 2024

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Uninstall Conflicting Security Software

  • Open Control Panel
    • Click on the Start button and type Control Panel in the search bar
    • Click on Control Panel from the search results
  • Uninstall any third-party security software
    • Scroll through the list of installed programs and look for any security software that may be conflicting with Windows Defender
    • Right-click on the program and select Uninstall to remove it from your computer
    • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the uninstallation process
  • Restart your computer
    • After uninstalling the conflicting security software, restart your computer to apply the changes
    • Once your computer has restarted, check if Windows Defender is now enabled

Restart and Enable Essential Services

First, press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box.

Then, type “services.msc” and hit Enter to open the Services window.

Locate the “Security Center” service in the list and double-click on it.

In the Security Center Properties window, set the Startup type to “Automatic” and click on Start to enable the service.

Click Apply and then OK to save the changes.

Next, press the Windows key + X to open the Power User menu and select “Command Prompt (Admin)”.

In the Command Prompt window, type “gpupdate /force” and hit Enter to update the Group Policy settings.

Restart your computer to apply the changes and Windows Defender should now be enabled and running.

Evaluate and Remove Conflicting Programs

Additionally, it is recommended to run a scan with a trusted malware removal tool, such as Malwarebytes, to ensure that your system is free from any malicious software that could be affecting Windows Defender. After removing any conflicting programs and ensuring your system is clean, restart your computer to allow Windows Defender to function properly without any interruptions.

F.A.Qs

Why is Windows Defender blocked by Group Policy?

Windows Defender is blocked by Group Policy due to malware infection or third-party antivirus software that has administrative privileges to disable it.

How can I fix Windows Defender is turned off?

To fix Windows Defender being turned off, you can navigate to Control Panel, double click on “Windows Defender”, click on the link to “Turn on and open Windows Defender”, close all windows, and restart your computer.

How do I override Windows Defender in Group Policy?

To override Windows Defender in Group Policy, you can use the Local Group Policy Editor. Open the Run dialog box with Windows key + R, type “gpedit.msc,” and press Enter. Then navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender Antivirus. Double-click on “Turn off Microsoft Defender Antivirus,” choose Enabled, and click OK.

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