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How to Fix “Windows Defender Threat Service Has Stopped” Error Message

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Are you getting the “Windows Defender Threat Services has Stopped” error message on your Windows 10, or Windows 11 device? Windows Defender is Microsoft’s latest and greatest anti-virus for all Windows devices, which is free with the OS. In some cases, your device may prompt you with the error “Windows Defender Threat Service has Stopped” along with the message “Please restart this now”. This can be often annoying, but does have a simple fix!

In today’s TechSplat article, we’re going to help you out and show you how to fix the “Windows Defender Threat Service has Stopped” error message! Let’s jump straight into it!

How to fix “Windows Defender Threat Service has Stopped” on Windows Devices

Windows Defender Threat Service Error on Windows
Image Source: Bilal.CHOUIYEKH

Restart your Device

Although you may have already tried this, we can’t stress this enough. Simply restarting your PC or device will often resolve this issue – as your service for Windows Defender should start back up again. If you’ve tried to restart your machine and are still having problems, you could always shut it down and start it back up again to do a full restart of the system.

If this still doesn’t help, then we can look to start the services manually.

Start the Windows Defender Services Manually

This next step will require administrative rights, but you will know if you do/don’t have them as it won’t let you continue. To start the Windows Defender services manually, follow the below steps.

  1. Firstly, you need to open the Services panel in Windows. To do this, first, open the Run dialogue box. Simply press “Windows Key + R” or type in “Run” into your search bar.
  2. Once the small box has opened, type in “Services.msc“. This should then open another panel.
  3. Once opened, you will need to find the services listed below: (Hint: Click into one and press “W” to jump to the W section).
    Windows Defender Antivirus network checking service.
    Windows Defender Antivirus service
    Windows Defender Security Center service
  4. Once you’ve found each one, 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, or show “Stopped”.
  5. Click the Apply button, then click OK.
  6. Finally, restart your computer and try again.

In turn, restarting the commands yourself should allow the Windows Defender services to start up again and complete any fixes themselves, should it be in a problematic state. If this still doesn’t help, continue on to the next steps.

Activate the Windows Firewall

If you’re still getting this error in Windows, you may need to actually activate the Windows Firewall, or disable it and then enable it again for it to kick Defender back into place. To do this, follow the below steps.

  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.

Once completed, restart your device and see if the error persists. If so, try out our last fix option to see if Microsoft can assist.

Contact Microsoft Support

Although your device might be old, outdated or otherwise unsupported by Microsoft – there’s a good chance that they will help or attempt to assist you when issues like this arise. Windows Defender is a “constant software” that Microsoft installs, meaning they should support it when it breaks. You can click here to find Microsoft Support where they will help you fix the issue with more tailored support!

Conclusion on Windows Defender Threat Service Error

All in all, we hope that this guide has helped you identify any issues and hopefully fix the Windows Defender Service has Stopped error message you are getting. As always, if you’re still having issues – get in touch! We’d be more than happy to assist if you’re still struggling with these issues, just let us know in the comments! Thanks for reading and take care!

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