How to activate Windows Defender

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Carlos Priora
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Windows 10

It was used Windows 10 and you want to check the status of Windows Defender, click on the button Home located in the lower left corner of the screen (the flag) and select the item Settings from the menu that appears (the gear icon).

In the window that opens, click on the icon Update and security, select the items Windows security e Virus and threat protection and, if necessary, activate the PC protection switch. Also, you can go to Virus & threat protection settings> Manage settings and activate the levers relating to the functions Real-time protection e Cloud-Provided Protection.



Windows 8.x

If you want activate Windows Defender su Windows 8.x, go to the Start Screen operating system and search for the term Defender. Then click on the icon of Windows Defender that appears on the left side of the screen and, in the window that opens, select the tab Settings located at the top right.

At this point, select the voice CEO from the left sidebar, put the check mark next to the item Activate app and click on the button Save Changes to activate the program.

When done, select the item Real-time protection from the left sidebar, put the check mark next to the item Enable real-time protection (recommended) and click on Save Changes to activate real-time protection against viruses and malware.

Windows 7

To discover how to activate Windows Defender su Windows 7click on your button Home, near the end defend in the quick search bar of the menu that opens and click on the icon Windows Defender that appears in the search results.



Nella finestra che si apre, select the voice Instruments from the Windows Defender toolbar and click on the icon options. At this point, select the item Administration from the left sidebar, put the check mark next to the item Use the program and click on the button Save to save the settings.

Successively select the voice Real-time protection from the left sidebar, put the check mark next to the items Use real-time protection (recommended), Analyze downloaded files and attachments e Analyze programs running on your computer and click on the button Save to enable Defender's real-time protection against malware.

The other sections of the program, such as Automatic analysis e Advanced, allow you to schedule automatic computer scans and enable automatic scanning for e-mail, removable drives and other items.

Solution to common problems

Were you unable to enable Windows Defender by following the standard procedure? Don't throw in the towel yet! Try one of the tips below and you should be able to solve the problem, they apply to all versions of Windows.

Local Group Policy Editor

If you are using a Pro edition of Windows, try entering theLocal Group Policy Editor and change the settings related to Windows Defender. Here are in detail all the steps you need to take.

  • Press the combination Win + R on your PC keyboard (the Win key is the one with the Windows flag);
  • Type the command gpedit.msc in the window Esegui ... and by Submit to open the Local Group Policy Editor;
  • In the window that opens, go to the path Computer Configuration> Administrative Templates> Windows Components> Windows Defender;
  • Double click on the item Disable Windows Defender and set it to disabled o Not configured.

Changes in the registry



Another possible solution to Windows Defender not working is to act in the Registry Editor. That's how.


  • Press the combination Win + R on your PC keyboard (the Win key is the one with the Windows flag);
  • Type the command regedit in the window Esegui ... and by Submit to open the Registry Editor;
  • In the window that opens, go to the path HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionImage File Execution Options;
  • If there are references related to MSASCui.exe, MpCmdRun.exe o MsMpEng.exe, remove them by deleting their keys.

Activating Windows Defender services


If you have reached this point and you have not yet been able to re-enable Windows Defender, enter the Windows services menu and activate all services related to Microsoft's antivirus.

  • Press the combination Win + R on your PC keyboard (the Win key is the one with the Windows flag);
  • Type the command services.msc in the window Esegui ... and by Submit to open the Services menu;
  • In the window that opens, double click on the service PC Security Center, set it to Automatic (delayed start) and click on the button starts to start it;
  • Double click on the service Windows Defender Service, set it to Automatic and click on the button starts to start it.

System file repair

Another attempt you can make is to start checking and repairing corrupt system files. To do this, follow the instructions below.

  • Click on the button Home in Windows;
  • Type cmd in the search field of the Start menu;
  • Right click on the icon Command Prompt that appears in the search results and selects the item Run as administrator;
  • In the window that opens, give the command sfc / scannow and press the button Submit to start checking system files.
  1. Antivirus functionality is only available in Windows 8 and later. Windows Vista includes detection for spyware and other types of malware, but not for viruses. ↩︎
How to activate Windows Defender


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