How to Remove the “Windows Defender Threat Service Has Stopped” error message

  • On a computer running Windows 10, the Defender Anti-Virus Security Center may display the error “The threat service has been stopped.
  • Restart it now.” The easiest way to solve the problem is to click the “Restart Now” button to start the threat service.
  • In some cases, this doesn’t work and you get a new error message that says, “Unexpected error, Sorry, We encountered a problem.

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The Defender Anti-Virus Security Center may display an error message stating, “The threat service has been stopped. Please restart it now.” In some cases, pressing the “Restart Now” button doesn’t work, so you get an error message saying, “Unexpected error, Sorry, we encountered a problem. Please try again.”. The simplest solution is to click the “Restart Now” button, but in some cases it doesn’t work.

Windows Defender Service Name

Under Services, you will find Microsoft Defender Antivirus’ information. Microsoft Defender Antivirus System is the name of the antivirus service.

In this Techquack guide, you’ll find instructions on how to fix the following problem in Windows 10 Defender’s virus and threat protection status: “The threat service is stopped. Restart it now.”

What is the reason for the “Windows Defender Threat Service has stopped” error?

What is the reason for the "Windows Defender Threat Service has stopped" error?

It can be caused by several reasons. One of the main reasons for this error message is removing a third-party antivirus program from your system and granting Windows Defender the right to use it. Secondly, it can also occur due to a bug in the version of Windows Defender you are using, as confirmed by several users. Nevertheless, we will take a closer look at these reasons below. So, let’s begin.

Outdated Windows version: The first reason why this message appears is that you have an outdated version of Windows installed. In some cases, the problem can also be related to Defender v1.279. Therefore, updating Windows can often solve the problem.

Registry key DisableAntiSpyWare: It turns out that this problem can also occur if you have recently removed a third-party antivirus program from your system. Therefore, Windows Defender should take care of this problem. To do this, you need to change the registry keys in Windows Defender. If your registry key DisableAntiSpyWare has a value of 1, Windows Defender will not work and therefore you will see an error message.

Click New > Dword (32-bit Value) in the right window if DisableAntiSpyware does not appear.

Windows Defender services: The last possible cause of the error message could be Windows Defender services. It depends on certain Windows services to work properly. If these services are stopped, Windows Defender will not be able to work and you will see the mentioned message.

We are going to look at some of the ways you can fix the issue and fix Windows Defender so that you can start using it again.

Here’s how to fix the “Windows Defender Threat Protection Service has stopped” error

Updated: February 2024

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The Microsoft Defender Antivirus may stop working after updating Windows 10 on a monthly basis in rare cases. You can usually fix the issue by checking for new updates and installing them via Settings – andgt; Update & Security – andgt; Windows Update -> Check for updates or using PowerShell.

Simultaneously press the Win + R keys to open the run command box. Click Registry Editor and type regedit.

Here's how to fix the "Windows Defender Threat Protection Service has stopped" error

Run the SFC command

Make sure your command prompt has administrator privileges, then run an SFC scan.

  1. From the menu, select Command Prompt (administrator) or PowerShell (administrator) by pressing the Windows + X keys.
  2. Press ENTER to run SFC / scan now.
  3. A few minutes will be required to complete this process.

Start the DISM scan

  1. Ensure that you have administrative privileges by opening the command line again.
  2. Run this command by typing DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /Restore Health, then pressing Enter.
  3. You will have to wait up to 30 minutes for the DISM command to scan your system files.
  4. DISM scans are not complete until errors have been detected on your system.

Activate the Windows Firewall

  1. By pressing Windows + I, you can access the Control Panel
  2. You can select Windows Firewall by clicking System and Security.
  3. A window will appear, in which you can enable or disable Windows Firewall.
  4. Your computer/laptop will now be protected by Windows Firewall once you’ve enabled it.

Run Windows Defender services

  1. In the Run window, type services.MSC and press Enter to open the services window. To do this, press Windows + R or the Run button.
  2. As you can see below, the Services window displays the following services:
    Service for checking a network’s security provided by Windows Defender Antivirus.
    Security software from Microsoft called Windows Defender
    Service called Security Center by Windows Defender
  3. To start each service, double-click on it and select Automatic as the startup type, then click the Run button.
  4. You will need to click OK after you press the Apply button.
  5. Your changes will be saved when you restart your computer.

Reboot your computer

If you are experiencing an unexpected “Problem encountered” error message, you need to reinstall Windows Defender from scratch.

Clean reboots can be performed as follows:

  1. Open the MSConfig window by clicking Windows + R in a runtime window, typing MSConfig and pressing Enter.
  2. Select the Services tab. Check Hide all Microsoft services. Click Disable All after you open the system configuration window.
  3. The Task Manager needs to be opened now.
  4. The Open Task Manager option can be found under the Start tab.
  5. The Task Manager will open. Find the list of all running applications and right-click on the first one to disable it. Repeat this process for all running applications.
  6. Open the system configuration window and disable all the applications currently running. Close Task Manager and restart the system.
  7. Your changes will be saved and restarted after clicking Apply and OK.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Enable Microsoft Defender antivirus services.
  2. Enable Microsoft Defender through the registry in Windows 10.
  3. Make sure that Microsoft Defender is enabled in Group Policy.
  4. Re-register the Microsoft Defender DLLs.
  5. Check for and install Windows updates.

First of all, make sure that no other third-party antivirus program is installed on your computer because if you install a third-party antivirus program in Windows 10, Windows Defender will be automatically disabled and "Threat Service stopped".

When Windows Defender doesn't work, it's usually because it detects other antivirus software. Be sure to completely remove the third-party security solution using the appropriate program. Try checking the system file with some command-line tools built into your operating system.

  1. Press the Windows + R key. This will open the Run program. You can also go to "Start" and find "Run".
  2. In the "Run" dialog box, type "Services. MSC" and press Enter.
  3. Under "Services," find "Security Center."
  4. Right-click on "Security Center" and click "Restart".

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Mark Ginter is a tech blogger with a passion for all things gadgets and gizmos. A self-proclaimed "geek", Mark has been blogging about technology for over 15 years. His blog,, covers a wide range of topics including new product releases, industry news, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of your devices. If you're looking for someone who can keep you up-to-date with all the latest tech news and developments, then be sure to follow him over at Microsoft.