Windows Defender also known as Windows Security is an anti-malware protection system implemented by Microsoft to protect users from foreign malicious attack or system vulnerabilities exploitation. However many users have reported of Windows Security is greyed out in Windows 10 / 11 on their computer system.
Unfortunately, the issue is a command occurrence and there are multiple reasons for it, in which some of them include outdated Windows operating system, bugs or glitches within Windows Security services, discrepancies created by third party anti-malware programs, or due to corrupted and missing system files.
If you are experiencing the same issue as others then don’t panic, we have listed all the possible fixes and solution in the article below to resolve the problem with ease.
Resolve Windows Security Greyed Out Issue
There are several factors that could be triggering the issue as we has discussed earlier and there is no way to tell which the reason is in your system. Hence, you will need to follow all fixes one by one and find the best solution for your case.
Fix 1: Update Windows Operating System
Outdated operating may cause trouble regarding some of its feature and these problems are fixed with the latest update. It is one of the reason why might be facing the issue as well therefore check and update your Windows Operating system by following these steps:
- Open Settings application from Start menu.
- Click on Windows Update from left side menu.
- Now click on Check for Update button in the right side window.
- If there is any update left to install then let it download and update.
- Once updated, check if the issue was resolved.
Fix 2: Uninstall Third Party Anti-Malware Software
Another reason for facing this problem is because you have other anti-malware software installed on your system beside Windows Security. Due to this discrepancies are created eventually leading to issue and if this is the case then the only way to fix is to remove other antivirus software by following these instructions:
- Open RUN dialogue box by pressing Win + R key simultaneously.
- Type appwiz.cpl and press Enter.
- Now in Control Panel window, look for third party anti-malware software in the list of applications installed.
- Right click on it and select Uninstall from drop down menu.
- Follow rest of the procedure and complete the uninstallation procedure.
- Restart your system to apply the changes made.
- Check if the problem persists.
Fix 3: Remove Registry Entry
You can force open Windows Security through Command Prompt window in case if you are facing the issue by deleting a registry entry from your computer system. Follow these steps on how to do so:
- Go to Search bar by clicking on Start menu.
- Type cmd and right click on Command Prompt from best match list.
- Chose Run as Administrator option.
- If User Account Control prompts, click
- Now type this command followed by
- REG DELETE “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender” /v DisableAntiSpyware
- Close and reboot your computer system.
- After reboot see if you are able to access Windows Security.
Fix 4: Restart Windows Security Service
If Windows Security service is stopped or disabled due to bugs or glitches then your Windows Security is greyed out in Windows 10 / 11. The only way to fix is to restart and automate the service and these are the required instructions:
- Launch RUN dialogue box.
- Type services.msc and press OK.
- Now look for Windows Security service in Services Window.
- Right click on it and select Restart.
- Again right click on it and now choose Properties option.
- Set the Startup type to Automatic by click on drop down menu and selecting the following option.
- Go to Service Status section and click on
- Click Apply then OK to save the changes made.
- Check if the issue was fixed.
Fix 5: Make Changes to Local Group Policy Editor
You can make the following changes to your Local Group Policies to ensure that Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus policy is disabled which might be the reason behind the issue. Follow these steps on how to do so:
- Press Win + R key together to open RUN
- Type gpedit.msc and press OK to open Group Policy Editor Window.
- Go to the following location.
- Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Microsoft Defender Antivirus
- Now double click on Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus policy from right side window.
- Set the policy to Disabled or Not Configured.
- To save the made changes, click Apply then OK.
- Close the window and reboot your PC to apply these changes.
- Now check for the issue,
Fix 6: Check for RPC Services
Some users on the forum sites mentioned that their issue was caused because their Remote Procedure Call and WMI services was disabled or stopped and it was fixed when both of them were running. This could be reason as these services are required for Windows Security to run as intended. You can do the same and resolve the issue by following these instructions:
- Launch RUN prompt.
- Type service.msc and press Enter key.
- Search for Remote Procedure Call (RPC) in the list of services.
- Double Click on it and change the Startup type to Automatic.
- Move back to Service main window.
- Click Apply then OK to save the settings.
- Now find Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) service.
- Right click on it and select Properties.
- Change the Startup type to Automatic.
- Save the settings by clicking Apply then OK
- Restart your system for these changes to implement.
- See if the issue persisted.
Fix 7: Execute Command Line Tool
Another major reason why this issue is faced is because of damaged or corrupted system files, fortunately every Windows operating system user can access command line tools such as System File Checker (SFC) or DISM to scan and repair these issues. These are the required instructions on how to do so:
- Go to Search bar from Start menu.
- Type cmd and choose Command Prompt from best match list.
- Right click on it and select Run as Administrator option.
- Now type sfc /scannow command and press Enter.
- Wait for the command to be fully executed.
- Once done, type exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth and press Enter.
- Again for the command to be fully executed.
- Reboot your computer to apply the fixes and check for the issue.
While Command Line tools can be used for system related issue, however the result it gives is quite inconsistent and requires a lot of knowledge to complete execute the process. Therefore, we suggest you to use Advanced System Repair Tool. This tool will scan you whole system thoroughly looking for problems like missing registry entries, corrupted system files, damaged DLLs, etc. and repair then automatically through it advanced logical system.
Windows Security is a very important component of Windows Operating system and not being able to use it can be very troublesome and concerning. Therefore if you are facing Windows Security is greyed out in Windows 10 / 11 issue then follow the fixes and their instructions mentioned in the article below to resolve the issue without any hassle.