Windows defender is supposed to give you protection against virus attacks. It’s embarrassing to see something like ‘This app is turned off by group policy’ or ‘Windows defender is turned off by group policy’ while you want to access your windows defender, huh? Many users find this problem while trying to open windows defender. In this article, I will show you how you can enable your windows defender if you see this error message. Let’s go.
Why Is This Problem Happening with Windows Defender?
While you are installing windows OS in your computer, then windows defender starts to work in the background unless you turn it off or disable it permanently. So why this happens? There can be many reasons you have to face this problem. Let’s see them one by one.
- If you install any third party antivirus, then the third party antivirus turn the windows defender off for its betterment. When you uninstall that third-party antivirus and try to enable windows defender, then you will see this error message.
- Many malware can make your windows defender disable and then you will see this error message while trying to open windows defender.
- You can turn off windows defender temporarily, but there is no by default option to disable windows defender. However, you can disable windows defender by registry editor or Local group policy editor. If you do so and then try to access windows defender, you will see this error message.
How to Fix This Problem?
There are some ways you can fix this problem. You can reinstall your Windows OS, but this is not the solution. Now I will show you two easy ways how you can make your windows defender working again. Let’s start.
Method-1: Via Registry Editor
This method is exactly same as turning off windows defender permanently. Now assuming you have turned off your windows defender via registry editor in earlier, we will now repeat the process with a lil bit change in it. However, if you didn’t turn off your windows defender permanently with registry editor before and now you are facing this problem, you can continue with this method as well.
You must have to follow below steps carefully. A lil bit mess up can damage your system. You can back up your computer for more caution. Don’t be afraid, it ’s not anything dangerous at all. Just follow my instructions to the point.
- At first open the run prompt, press (windows+R) and type regedit. Click Ok and the registry editor will be opened Or Search regedit in your search bar and click on the first result to open the registry editor.
- Go to this folder HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender
- Now you will see a key named ‘DisableAntiSpyware’ in the right panel.
If you cannot find a key named ‘DisableAntiSpyware’, then this method won’t work for you anymore and you have to follow method 2. Scroll down to find my second method.
If you can see ‘DisableAntiSpyware’ key, then you can do two things→
- Right-click on the ‘DisableAntiSpyware’ key and delete it. You are done. Restart your computer and now you can access your windows defender as before.
- If you want to disable windows defender in the future, then you should follow this procedure otherwise just delete the ‘DisableAntiSpyware’ key and skip this part. If you want to disable windows defender again, then you have to create a key named ‘DisableAntiSpyware’. So, deleting ‘DisableAntiSpyware’ key will make you trouble then. That’s why, if you are thinking so, follow this.
Double click on the ‘DisableAntiSpyware’ key and you will see an option named value data. The value data is assigned to 1, just make it 0 and click Ok. You are done. Restart your pc and try to access your windows defender now and you can.
Method-2: Using Group Policy
Now we will use group policy editor to fix this problem. Let’s see what group policy editor did to windows defender!
- At first, you have to open the local group policy editor. Press (windows+R) to open the run prompt and write gpedit.mse. Click Ok Or You can search gpedit.mse in your search bar and click on the first result to open the group policy editor.
- Now go to this folder→ Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender
- Now you can see an option named Turn off Windows Defender in the right panel. Double click on it and open it.
- Now you will see three options in the left panel. You can see the option ‘Enabled’ turned on. Now turn on the option ‘Disabled’ Or, You can turn on the option Not configured. Click Ok, You are done.
- Restart your computer now and then try to access your windows defender. You won’t see an error message now.
If you have read my whole article, then you should get things clear. Just follow one of my two described methods step by step and you should get things done properly. If you are familiar with registry editor or group policy editor matters, then it’s okay. If you don’t, just be a lil bit more careful in every step. If any method fails, retry from the beginning and follow every instruction to the point or try another method. Go get your problem fixed!