How to Enable Windows Defender When Turned Off by Group Policy

Window Defender is a great built-in app in Windows to protect your computer against Malwares, Virus, Spyware, and other third-party software that can infect your computer. Malwares can be installed automatically without your permission and infect your computer. It can be installed through internet, USB drive, DVD, CD or any other removable Media.

If Windows Defender is enabled and working properly then this will protects you against harmful things in two different ways

Real Time Protection: Defender will notifies you when any unwanted software or malware tries to install on your computer and also notifies you when any software try to change any kind of important settings.

Any time scanning: Defender automatically scans your computer regularly and also gives you options to scan as you set schedule.

How Does Windows Defender Get Disabled

When you computer infected by any malware or virus then this may disable every app or functionality (like Windows Defender, Task Manager, Windows Registry, Group Policy Editor, etc) on your computer that you can use to remove harmful stuff. When you try to open Windows Defender from control panel or directly from Run command it gives you an error “This app is turned off by group policy”.

this app is turned off by group policy

In that case you have to make some changes in your computer using gpedit (Group Policy Editor). Follow the instruction below to enable Windows Defender.

Enable Windows Defender from Group Policy

  • First logged in as an administrator. Press Windows+R keys from keyboard, type gpedit.msc in Run Window and hit Enter.
  • In Local Group Policy Editor (gpedit) find this location Local Computer Policy > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender.
    2
  • When you click on Windows Defender in left-panel , now find out Turn off Windows Defender setting in right-panel.
    windows defender group policy setting
  • Double click on it to open, a new window will show Windows Defender settings, here select Disable and hit OK button to save the settings. This will disable the Turn off Windows Defender option means Defender is enabled and your can run it.
    enable windows defender

Now, try to open Windows Defender and you should no longer get This app turned off… message. From Group Policy Editor you can enable or disable different Windows operating system options easily, options like Disable Windows 10 Updates, Enable Task Manager and lot more.

12 comments… add one
Jb November 4, 2015, 12:00 pm

Thanks this helped me beat a virus

Pete November 21, 2015, 5:44 am

When I do this I get “windows cannot find gpedit.msc”. So I cant get into the editor. What can I do? I cant find the answer anywhere.
Thanks!

Ahmed November 24, 2015, 6:44 pm

I heard that Windows 10 Home edition user can’t access gpedit.msc

Bahri February 4, 2016, 6:37 pm

Thank you so much

David February 4, 2016, 9:08 pm

Another place to check is in the registry. Open regedit and go to HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender and if DisableAntiSpyware exists, either delete it or change its value from 1 to 0.

User February 14, 2016, 6:32 pm

Thanks, this really helped me start the defender. David, it helped me with my Win 10 OS.

Sunray March 21, 2016, 4:13 am

Hey i cant find my registry and when i put in regedit it says it cant find it……

Rudraneil Saha May 26, 2016, 6:25 pm

Press the windows key… search Run… then enter regedit and click ok.. this will open ur registry editor

imran husain April 7, 2016, 9:35 am

THANKS FOR SUPPORT…

nara April 15, 2016, 2:29 pm

thank you very much

Vic June 11, 2016, 8:28 am

Hi there, when I go under windows components Windows Defender does not show up. Help?

znop August 27, 2016, 10:21 am

Followed all the steps but Defender is still disabled despite everything being enabled.

Leave a Reply