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How To Fix Windows Defender is deactivated by Group Policy

Fix for Windows Defender is deactivated by Group Policy – Windows Defender or Windows Defender Antivirus in Windows 10 is an anit-malware component of Microsoft Windows. It was initially released as free downloadable anti spyware program which was later on shipped with the latest versions of Windows.

This antivirus has evolved over time and is as a matter of fact good enough for most cases. It lessened your need to get a third party anti-virus (except for extreme cases). Also, Windows Defender is not a resource hog so it plays well with Windows 10. However, from time to time, it fails to work due to Group Policy.

Fix for Windows Defender is deactivated by Group Policy

If you receive a Windows Defender Group Policy error which states Windows Defender – This app is turned off by Group Policy, it could be that your computer infected by any malware or virus. It is also possible that Windows Defender gets automatically disabled after installing anti-virus software. Whichever the case, here are some work arounds and methods you can try.

Method 1. Use regedit

The Registry or Windows Registry is a database collection of settings configured in Microsoft Windows operating systems. As it is used to store much of the information and settings for software programs, hardware devices, user preferences, operating system configurations, and much more, you need to be very careful you are only editing the one you need to edit.

  • Press on Windows +R.
  • On the Run dialog box, type regedit.
  • Click OK.
  • Go to HKey_Local_Machine\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender.
  • Delete the value from the DisableAntiSpyware key.
    • Under type, it says – REG -DWORD
    • Under Data, it says – (invalid DWORD (32-bit) value)
  • Double click on the REG -DWORD
  • On the small window, you can delete the value or set it to zero. If you can’t change the key value, delete the whole key.
  • Exit out of the registry.
  • Reboot your system and see if the issue goes away.

 

Method 2. Use the Group Policy

Sometimes there might not be a problem with the Windows Defender and system itself but your Windows Defender might just be turned off from the Local Group Policy.

  • Press on Windows +R.
  • On the Run dialog box, type gpedit.msc.
  • Click OK.
  • Double click Administrative Templates found under the Computer Configuration (from the left pane)
  • Double click Windows Components (from the left pane)
  • Click Windows Defender (from the left pane)
  • From the right pane turn off windows defender by double clicking.
  • Make sure it’s not enabled. Click on the Not Configured and press Apply then select Ok
  • Now turn on Windows Defender and check if it gives the same error or not.

 

Method 3. Turn on Windows Defender from the Settings app

One of the things you should not forget to do is to take here is to check if Windows 10 is turned off via the Settings app.

  • Press on Windows +I
  • Navigate to Update & Security.
  • Choose Windows Defender from the menu.
  • Select Open Windows Defender Security Center.
  • Find Real-time protection and enable it if it hasn’t been enabled before.
  • Reboot your system and see if issue goes away.

 

Method 4. Turn on Windows Defender using the command line

With the dedicated command-line tool mpcmdrun.exe you can perform various Windows Defender Antivirus functions. This utility comes in handy when you want Windows Defender Antivirus to work automatically.

  • Type Power Shell on the search field upon clicking the Search button (magnifying glass).
  • Right click on the Power Shell and choose Run as Administrator.
  • Click Yes on security dialog box.
  • On Power Shell Window
    • Type Set-MpPreference -DisableRealtimeMonitoring 0 and hit Enter.

Or;

  • Type Command Prompt on the search field upon clicking the Search button (magnifying glass).
  • Choose run as administrator by right clicking on the Command Prompt.
  • Click Yes on security dialog box.
  • On Command Prompt
    • Type REG DELETE “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender” /v DisableAntiSpyware and hit Enter.
  • Exit out of Command Prompt
  • Reboot your system and see if the issue goes away.

 

Method 5. Check if Windows Defender service is running

  • Press on Windows +R.
  • On the Run dialog box, type services.msc.
  • Click OK.
  • Scroll down and double-click the Windows Defender Antivirus Service to open its properties.
  • Set the Startup type of the service to Automatic and click the Start button to start the service.
  • Click Apply to save Changes and then OK.
  • Reboot your system and see if issue goes away.

 

Method 6. Check your PC for malware

Clean out malwares and take back your personal computer to a malware free state.

  • Enter Safe Mode – If any malware is set to load automatically when Windows starts, entering in this mode may prevent it from doing so.
  • Delete temporary files.
  • Download malware scanners.
  • Run a scan with Malwarebytes.
  • Fix your web browser.
  • Recover your files if Windows is corrupt.

 

Method 7. Basic Uninstall Solution

This problem can be solved by simply uninstalling any antivirus programs or software from the computer thereby making Windows Defender active as the only protection software of the system.

  • Press on Windows +R.
  • On the Run dialog box, type appwiz.cpl.
  • Click OK.
  • Search for the Antivirus program you intend to uninstall and click it
  • Select Uninstall.
  • Confirm any additional prompts by selecting yes when the system asks if you are sure you want to uninstall the software.
  • Reboot your system and see if issue goes away.

 

Method 8. Consider switching to a third-party antivirus

Although Windows Defender rates highly on protection, it lost points on performance which measures how much an anti-virus slows applications and websites and usability. It would not hurt to try another anti virus.

 

Method.  9. Run SFC Scan

SFC or System File Checker is a tool in Windows that provides users an ability to scan for corrupted Windows system files and restore them to their true uncorrupted form.

  • Type Command Prompt on the search field upon clicking the Search button (magnifying glass).
  • Choose Run as administrator by right clicking on the Command Prompt.
  • Click Yes on security dialog box.
  • On the command prompt
    • Type sfc /scannow and hit enter
  • Allow scan to run.
  • Once it finishes, reboot your system and see if issue goes away.

 

These steps will most likely fix your “Windows Defender is deactivated by Group Policy” issue. But, if not feel free to share on the comment box below.

Updated: December 17, 2018 — 9:54 am

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