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, but in some cases, this doesn’t work and you get a new error message that says, “Unexpected error, Sorry, We encountered a problem. Please try again.”

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Outdated Windows version: The first reason why this message appears is that you have an outdated version of Windows installed.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.

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.

Now that we have looked at the possible causes of the problem, let’s look at the different methods you can use to get rid of it and get Windows Defender working again. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

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

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

Run the SFC command

Run an SFC scan on your system. First, you need to open a command prompt with administrator privileges.

  1. To do this, press the Windows + X keys and select Command Prompt (administrator) or PowerShell (administrator) from the menu.
  2. Now type sfc / scan now in the command window and press ENTER.
  3. This process will take a few minutes.

Start the DISM scan

  1. Open the command line again with administrative privileges.
  2. Now type DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /Restore Health and press Enter to run this command.
  3. The DISM command will scan your system files. This entire process can take up to 30 minutes.
  4. After the DISM scan is complete, check your system for errors.

Activate the Windows Firewall

  1. Open the Control Panel by pressing Windows + I
  2. Click on System and Security and select Windows Firewall.
  3. In this window, you will find an option in the left pane – click on the Enable or Disable Windows Firewall option.
  4. Now select the Enable Windows Firewall option and restart your computer/laptop.

Run Windows Defender services

  1. Open the services window, to do this, first open the Run dialog box (press Windows + R) and in the Run window type services.MSC and press Enter.
  2. Now in the Services window, you should find the services listed below:
    Windows Defender Antivirus network checking service.
    Windows Defender Antivirus service
    Windows Defender Security Center service
  3. Now double-click on each of the services set the startup type to Automatic, and click the Run button if the services are not already running.
  4. Click the Apply button, then click OK.
  5. Finally, restart your computer to save your changes.

Reboot your computer

It is recommended that you start over to fix third-party applications that interfere with Windows Defender. This is the most common problem that can result in an unexpected “Problem encountered” error message.

To perform a clean reboot, follow these steps:

  1. First, you must open the MSConfig window. To do this, open a runtime window (Windows key + R), then type MSConfig and press Enter to open the MSConfig window.
  2. After you have opened the system configuration window. Go to the Services tab and check the Hide all Microsoft services option. Then click the Disable All button.
  3. Now you need to open the Task Manager.
  4. Click the Start tab and click Open Task Manager.
  5. Once the Task Manager is open, go to the list of running applications. Right-click on the first entry in the list and choose Disable from the menu. Repeat this step for all running applications in the list.
  6. Disable all running applications, close Task Manager, and return to the system configuration window.
  7. Click Apply and OK to save your changes and restart your computer.

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.