How to Resolve ‘Can’t Update Windows Defender’ Issue on Windows 11

  • Windows Defender is the first level of security that a Windows PC has.
  • Windows Defender can be a very useful program to protect your software from viruses and malware.
  • In most cases, this problem is related to corruption that affects the WU (Windows Update) component.
  • It is possible that this problem only affects Windows Defender updates.

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How To Update Windows Defender

Then click on Start, Settings, Update & Security, then Windows Updates.

Windows Definition Updates

It is common for users to report that Windows Defender does not automatically receive definition updates when updating it, and that the “Protection Definition Update Failed” error appears instead.

A Windows Defender update is rolled out through Windows Updates just like other updates. If you experience problems updating Windows Defender due to the update service itself, you can use the Windows Update Troubleshooter. Here’s how to do that.

Virus and malware protection for Windows PCs is provided by Windows Defender. However, what happens if Windows Defender cannot be updated?

Definition Update For Windows Defender

A free program called Windows Defender helps you protect your computer against pop-ups, slow performance, and security threats caused by spyware. This package will help you install the latest definition updates for Windows Defender. As soon as spyware is detected, Real-Time Protection recommends actions against it to help minimize interruptions and keep you productive.

Windows Defender Is Not Updating

Choose Settings & Security & Troubleshoot from the Start menu.

Windows Defender Service can be set as automatic using the following solution.

This article will help you solve the problem if you are also experiencing difficulties updating Windows Defender in Windows 11.

Why is Windows Defender not updating in Windows 11?

  • Damaged Windows Update component: In most cases, this problem is related to corruption that affects the WU (Windows Update) component.
  • Windows Update is partially corrupted: It is possible that this problem only affects Windows Defender updates.
  • Damaged WU dependencies: In more serious cases (when every pending Windows Update ends with the same error), you are dealing with a corrupted system file that affects the WU component.

How to fix Windows Defender that cannot be updated in Windows 11?

Updated: February 2024

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You can launch the Windows Update troubleshooter by clicking here

  1. You can open the Settings window by pressing Win + I. From the left-hand vertical menu, select System, then Troubleshooting.
  2. The Windows Update section is on the left hand side of More Troubleshooting. Click on Run.
  3. A Windows Update component problem will now be scanned by this troubleshooter.
  4. Follow the instructions on the screen if a fix is found.

Performing a restore installation of Windows 11

  1. You can find the Restore options by opening the Settings window, selecting System, and scrolling down.
  2. You can reset your computer by clicking the Reset this PC link.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process by selecting the option that corresponds to your current situation.

Downloading Windows Defender updates manually

  1. You must determine the type of system you have before downloading anything.
  2. You can search for missing Windows Defender updates on the Microsoft Update Catalog home page by knowing the architecture of your operating system.
  3. You can download any Windows Defender updates in the list of results by clicking on the Download link.
  4. The update will be saved in the location you specified after the download is complete.
  5. Follow the instructions on the screen to manually install the update by opening the “.msu” installation package.
  6. If the error is still present after restarting your computer, you can try restarting again.

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Frequently Asked Questions

In most cases, this problem is due to corruption that affects the WU (Windows Update) component. It is also possible that this problem occurs only when Windows Defender is updated.

  1. Run the Windows Update troubleshooter.
  2. Perform a restore installation of Windows 11.
  3. Download Windows Defender updates manually.

  1. Open the Settings window, select System from the left vertical menu, and scroll down to find the restore options.
  2. Click Reset PC under Reset this PC.
  3. You will be prompted to select an option to continue. You can choose the option that fits your current situation and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.
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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.