Virus and Threat Protection Not Working in Windows: How to Fix It?

Fix & Repair Solved issue

Question asked by:

Merav N.

Issue:

My Virus and Threat Protection isn't working

Hi, I noticed just now that my PC's Virus and Threat Protection is not working... can you help me out?
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Virus and threat protection is a Windows Security feature that assists, defends, and scans your Windows PC against threats. Microsoft included this feature in Windows as a part of its security tool to prevent viruses and malicious programs from being installed on your computer.
If you are unable to access it then probably your system will not be proactively working against malicious technology and unauthorized access — which is a big and dangerous drawback. 

This is the problem that many users are facing, and looking for effective solutions to get virus and threat protection back. Especially after the launch of Windows 11, many users have reported that they are unable to access Windows virus and threat protection. If this is the case and you are having the same problem on a Windows 11 device, then this guide may help you. 

But before talking about solutions, understanding the root causes of faulty Virus & Threat Protection is essential so that you may know what to do if the problem occurs again in the future.
These are some (but not all) possible causes:

  • Windows Registry1 may corrupted so that OS functions are not working properly.
  • There could be a bug in the current version of Windows 11/10.
  • Any third-party antivirus software installed may conflict with the built-in protection feature.
  • Your Windows system may infected with malware2.
  • There is a chance that your PC has corrupted system files.

Users generally encounter the following error message when accessing or using the virus and threat protection on Windows 11: “Your IT administrator has limited access to some areas of this app.

If you see this on the Windows Defender window, you have come to the right place to get is solved!
Let’s go through the following sections to understand the most effective fixes for this error.

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Virus and Threat Protection Not Working Windows 11 [Fixed]

3 Easy Solutions to Apply if Virus and Threat Protection
is Not Working on Windows

Authorized technicians tried these solutions at WindowsGuided.com and they help the majority of users experiencing the mentioned error. We recommend trying them each one by one.

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Solution 1: Uninstall Any Third-Party Antivirus If Installed

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If you don’t have installed any third-party virus apps installed then ignore this solution.

If you have a third-party antivirus program installed on your PC, then there is the possibility that it may conflict with the normal working of virus and threat protection.

Moreover, if Windows 11 detects a similar functioning tool installed on your system, then it may turn off the default Windows Defender to prevent any two virus apps from running into conflict.

So, uninstalling the antivirus app may be a good approach to fixing the error.

  • Click on the ‘start menu‘ icon and select “Settings”.
Click Start and Select Settings
  • Select the “Apps” tab from the left pane.
  • Select “Installed Apps”.
  • Click on the three dots on the right to uninstall any third-party antivirus-installed apps.
  • Click “Uninstall” on the prompt.
  • Continue with on-screen instructions to finish the uninstallation process.
Uninstall Installed Apps

Solution 2: Try Turning on Real-time Protection

You noticed that your virus protection feature does not let you enable real-time protection. You can try toggling on by settings. Here is how to turn on real protection:

  • Press ‘Windows + S’ and type “Windows Security” in the text field.
Type Windows Security
  • Select “Virus & Threat Protection”.
  • Click on “Manage settings” under “Virus & Threat Protection”.
Manage settings under Virus & Threat Protection
  • Enable the toggle on for “Real-time protection”.
Enable Real-time protection
  • Now, check if the problem has been resolved.

Solution 3: Run a Malware Scan to Resolve the Windows Defender Problem

Run a Malware Scan

Many users reported that malware or viruses can sometimes cause issues in opening virus and threat protections. Since your Microsoft Defender app is not working, you must use an alternative malware scanning tool to fix all kinds of malware if it exists.
We recommend downloading and running a scan with iolo System Mechanic. It’s an all-in-one solution.

But you can choose any of these popular third-party malware scanners for windows and install it, for example, Avast.
After downloading and installing, try a malware scan to find out and remove any threats on your Windows PC.

7 Advanced Solutions to Fix Virus and Threat Protection

If the 3 above given simple solutions didn’t do the trick, there’s still a lot of hope! Let’s see the advanced solutions.

Advanced Solution 1: Run an SFC Scan to Repair Corrupted System Files

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The SFC scan can find all kinds of corrupt system files and replace them with cache-stored copies on your system. Scanning and running SFC can easily fix the problem if your Windows Defender (Threat & Protection) becomes corrupted. 

  • Press ‘Windows + S’ and type “CMD”.
  • Now, right-click on the top command prompt result and select “Run as Administrator”.
  • Click “yes” on the UAC prompt.
Type CMD then run as administrator
  • Now type or paste the following command and press ‘Enter’ to run the command:
    sfc /scannow
  • Wait for the scan to finish and reboot the computer.
Type sfc scannow
  • Check if the problem has been resolved.

Advanced Solution 2: Repair the Windows Security App Using PowerShell

  • Press ‘Windows + S’ and type “PowerShell”.
  • Select “Run as administrator”.
Type Powershell
  • Enter the following command: Set-MpPreference -UILockdown 0
Type Set-MpPreference -UILockdown 0
  • Type the following command: Get-AppxPackage *Microsoft.Windows.SecHealthUI* | Reset-AppxPackage and press ‘Enter’.
  • Now, try opening the virus and threat protection to see if it is working.
Type et-AppxPackage Microsoft.Windows.SecHealthUI Reset-AppxPackage

Advanced Solution 3: Try Restarting Windows Security Center Service

  • Press ‘Windows + R’ to open the Run command as Administrator.
  • Enter “services.msc” in the text field.
  • Click on the “OK” to launch the Services app.
Type services.msc
  • Now, find the “Security Center” service and right-click on it.
  • Click “Restart” from the context menu.
Click Restart Security Center
  • Next, restart the Windows and check if the issue is fixed.

Advanced Solution 4: Modify Registry Setting To Restore the Microsoft Defender

Some viruses can create entries in the registry that conflict with the functioning of Windows Defender. If you remove these entries, then it may restore the functioning Microsoft Defender and allow you to access virus and threat protection.

  • Press ‘Windows + S’ and type “regedit” in the text field.
  • Now click on “OK” to open the Registry Editor.
  • Click “Yes” on the UAC prompt that appears.
Type regedit
  • Paste the command for the following path in the address bar at the top and hit ‘Enter’:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options
  • If you find any of the three entries, right-click on MSASCui.exe, MpCmdRun.exe, or MsMpEng.exe.
  • Now select “Delete”.

If any of these entries do not exist, then we suggest you head to the next solution.

Advanced Solution 5: Change Your User Group Policy Settings

  • Press “Windows + R” to open the Windows Run dialog.
  • Type “gpedit.msc” and press ‘Enter’ to open Group Policy on Windows 11.
Type gpedit
  • Then click on “Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Security > Virus and Threat Protection”.
  • In “Virus and Threat Protection” window, double-click “Hide the Virus and threat protection area”. Make sure this modified setting is set as Not Configured.
Hide the Virus and threat protection area

After that, try to run Microsoft Windows Defender to see if a problem has been resolved.

Advanced Solution 6: Enable Windows Defender Using the Registry

It would help if you executed this fix only after trying the ones listed earlier. Also, we recommend being extra cautious when making changes to the Registry since a minor lapse on your end can damage the PC and render it unusable.

  • Press ‘Windows + S’ to open the Search menu.
  • Enter “Registry Editor” and click on the relevant search result.
Type Registry Editor
  • Paste the following path in the address bar at the top and hit ‘Enter‘:
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender
  • Locate the “DisableAntiSpyware” entry and set its “Value” to 0.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPolicies

If there is no entry found, then right-click any location in the blank space: 

  • Hover the cursor over “New”, and select the “DWORD (32-bit)” value from the context menu. 
  • Name the entry as DisableAntiSpyware.
DisableAntiSpyware
  • Double-click on the entry and enter 0 under “Value data”.

After making all these changes to the Windows Registry, check if the problem is solved. If not, then try the last solution.

Advanced Solution 7: Contact Our Team Support if Nothing Above Works

If nothing works despite trying all the solutions mentioned above, then we suggest asking our professional support for help to resolve the problem. We are always committed to providing help in all kinds of troubleshooting issues related to Windows. 

Is It Fixed Now?

The above solutions are made to fix a non-functional Windows virus and threat protection and get things up and running.
Many of you are searching for Windows best antivirus, but truly if you asked us this question, then we suggest going for Windows Defender as it is one of the best antivirus For Windows out there and does its job quite good.
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If your Windows Virus and threat Protection issues are still not fixed — feel free to reach out to us via email and share your problem.

  1. Windows registry explained — via Wikipedia []
  2. Malware explanation and examples — via Cisco.com []
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About the author
Jack Palentino - Expert Author, QA

Jack works at WindowsGuided.com from the beginning. He’s been a colleague with the owner Iggy & who consulted people with their PC issues for years.

He fixed and custom-developed various Windows apps. And now Jack is overlooking the QA processes on WindowsGuided and writes expert guides on various PC error fixes.