Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Cannot Turn Windows Defender back On

  1. #1


    Posts : 4
    Win 8.1

    Cannot Turn Windows Defender back On


    I am running Win 8.1 on a Samsung tablet and use Windows Defender for protection. I own the tablet it is not part of any network.
    I was searching the net and Defender reported malware. After a bit of a tussle the malware seemed to be removed but Defender was turned off, so I have no protection. I went into the Control Panel/Security Centre and it reported this and had a button at the end of the message for turning Defender back on. However the button did not work. It was visible but did not seem to be enabled. When I clicked on the defender app icon there was a message saying Defender was turned off at the Group Policy level and was controlled by the Administrator. As it is my own PC I assume I am the Administrator, but this did not seem to make any difference. I searched for Group Policy but nothing was found.
    How can I turn Defender back on?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 22,582
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello Punchy, and welcome to Eight Forums.

    Did you install a 3rd party AV program?

    If so, they will often disable Windows Defender by default, and Windows Defender cannot be turned on until the 3rd party program is uninstalled.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 4
    Win 8.1

    AV Tool


    Hi Brink,

    No I did not install another AV tool. Defender was working fine until after the tussle with the malware.

    Should I download and use the repair tool?

    Thank you

    Punchy
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 22,582
    64-bit Windows 10


    It couldn't hurt.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 4
    Win 8.1

    Repair Kit Did Not Work


    The repair kit turned out to be another AV software and so it did not turn Defender back on. Did the opposite in fact.

    Does anyone have a suggestion for how to turn Defender back on?

    Thank you
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 22,582
    64-bit Windows 10


    Since you were infected, I would always recommend a clean install of Windows to be safe.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 4
    Win 8.1


    I was intending to turn Defender back on and then scan with defender, rather than introduce another anti-virus package.

    back to my initial question - do you know how to turn defender back on?

    Thank you
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 22,582
    64-bit Windows 10


    Look under "Windows Components" -> "Windows Defender" at the link below for it's registry location for the group policy setting to see if you have it.

    Group Policy Search
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Cannot Turn Windows Defender back On
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