Many Windows 10 users are facing a significant issue with the inbuilt Windows 10 Antivirus Windows Defender. Windows Defender protects your PC from malware, virus and other types of security breaches. Recently, a new windows update has caused many user inconvenience by disabling the Windows Defender and flashing the message ‘Windows Defender blocked by group policy.‘
Like most of the antivirus software out there, the Windows Defender is also subject to regular and timely updates. However, there are times when the Windows Defender stops working, and an error pops up saying ‘Windows Defender turned off by Group Policy.‘ This issue only started happening as of late due to the latest update. There have been a few instances of this before. But it wasn’t as widespread as it is now. So what do you do in this situation? Well, fear not, for we got you covered. Here are some methods to fix this error.
Methods To Fix Windows Defender Blocked By Group Policy:
If you are facing this error, then you can proceed to follow these steps, and it will hopefully resolve this issue for you-
Method #1: Open the Local Group Policy Editor
Find and open the ‘Turn Off Windows Defender’ option.
You can find this option by first opening Computer Configuration then Administrative Templates and then click on Windows Components. You will see the Windows Defender option.
After turning off Windows Defender select Disabled or Not configured option. This will disable the Group Policy and your Windows Defender will start running. Just make sure that the only thing that you disable here is the windows defender. If you disable something else, that may be an essential component for your windows optimal function, your operating system may start behaving abnormally. And in some extreme cases, it may block your system or crash it.
However, keep in mind that you must have administrator privileges before you try this. Otherwise, you won’t be let in, and the issue of ‘Windows Defender blocked by Group Policy’ will persist. So it is advised to have administrator privileges before going forward. Another thing to do is to switch off all the background processes on your computer. This is recommended because a lot of the times, a conflict might arise from different processes utilizing the same pathways.
Also, stopping most of the background processes will free up memory and disk space. So it is a win-win situation.
Method 2: Disable Anti-virus
The AI itself switches off Windows Defender when another antivirus is installed on the system. But keep in mind that the antivirus must not be deleted. It is often easy to confuse disabling with deleting. So be sure to double check that you disable the antivirus. Also, if the antivirus is better and stronger than Defender, then there is no point in disabling it as it will mainly be a downgrade.
Be sure to disable every component of the antivirus that you are using. Often, an antivirus comes as a package of components. Like a separate application for the system and another one for the internet aspect of things. So disable every component of the antivirus otherwise the Windows Defender still won’t work properly. This is mainly because unlike the third party antivirus, Windows Defender isn’t a bundle. It is a single program that looks after every aspect of the windows. It has a lot of pros and cons, but that is a topic for another day. Right now, the purpose of this article is to get your windows defender back online by fixing the ‘Windows Defender blocked by Group Policy’ error.
Method 3: Modifying Windows Registry
It is a little complicated but very effective as well.
First Download the Windows Defender registry file from the Internet. You will find it on the Microsoft website. After downloading save it on your desktop. Click on the file to merge it with Windows Registry. This will turn on your Windows Defender. The downloaded file will make changes to the value of DWORD as shown below:
This method is very typical, but it has a lot of risks involved as well. Because even if a single command goes awry or gets misplaced, it might lead very unwanted a dire consequences. Such as a bricked a computer in a very extreme case. So if you plan on going down this route, then it is advised that you:
- Create a back up/ restore point beforehand.
- You go and switch to safe mode.
- Then you proceed with this.
Also, keep in mind that while you are clicking on the links to download the software, you need to be careful, you don’t want to end up on a third party website. While the tool that they may have to offer may be great, they don’t take any responsibility whatsoever to what happens to your computer while doing it. Plus it may be riddled with bugs and trojans that may end up making things worse than before. So it is advised that you double check before downloading and proceeding with the software.
So this is how you can fix the Windows Defender blocked by Group Policy. This error occurs when your Group policy is unable to identify your Windows Defender. Let’s hope with time Microsoft release some patch to fix this issue. This patch will likely be able to go straight into the software and fix it and all other issues and complications that may have arisen because of it. But in case it doesn’t, then you can always use these three steps. This will most probably resolve your issue. However, since what is causing the issue is mostly still unknown, there is a chance that nothing may change at all. And instead of resolving the problem, you may end up making it worse. But, for the most part, these solutions have worked without causing any major issues.
Other than that, the best we can do is pester the Microsoft Devs everywhere possible into releasing a patch as soon as possible to fix Windows Defender blocked by Group Policy issue in Windows 7/ Windows 8/ Windows 10. Till then, try and use some cheap antivirus. It’s best to find an alternative solution to your system rather than leaving it at the mercy of Microsoft.