Fix: Windows Defender Blocked by Group Policy Error 0x800704ec

Sometimes, when you try to turn on Windows Defender, it remains turned off and displays the following message:

This program is blocked by group policy. For more information contact your system administrator. (Error Code: 0x800704ec)

With this error message, you won’t be able to turn on Windows Defender.

This is not really a problem as the software and the operating system have been intentionally designed in this manner. The reason for this is that an antivirus software is currently installed and active on the computer and in order to avoid conflicting software operations, an antivirus software automatically disables Windows Defender. The following methods provide steps on how to resolve this issue.

Method 1: Basic Uninstall Solution

This problem can be solved by simply uninstalling any antivirus programs or software from the computer thereby making Windows Defender active as the only protection software of the system. In order to do this, follow the steps below.

  1. Hold Windows key and press R
  2. Type appwiz.cpl and press Enter
  3. Search for the Antivirus program you intend to uninstall and click it
  4. Select Uninstall.
  5. Confirm any additional prompts by selecting yes when the system asks if you are sure you want to uninstall the software.
  6. Restart your Computer by either selecting yes when the system prompts that it needs to restart to finish uninstalling the program; or by pressing the Windows Key on your keyboard and then clicking restart from your power options.

If the above steps did not help in uninstalling the antivirus/spywares or other security programs, then follow this guide remove anti virus

Now your Windows Defender should be enabled and running. If it isn’t, make sure it’s turned on. To make sure it’s on, do the following

  1. Press Windows Key once
  2. Select Control Panel
  3. Type Windows Defender in the search bar located at the top right corner
  4. Select Windows Defender
  5. Now make sure it’s turned on.

If the above steps do not resolve the problem, kindly use method 2 below to instantly fix the issue.

Method 2: Advanced Registry-edit Solution

In very few occasions, method 1 may fail to resolve the problem and this method provides an instant fix by modifying the registry key to remedy the situation. Some users may find this step more complicated but the steps below have been broken down to make the process as easy as possible.

  1. Hold Windows key and press R
  2. Type regedit.exe and press Enter. Press Yes if it asks for permission
  3. Double click HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE (from the left pane)
  4. Double click Software (from the left pane)
  5. Double click Policies (from the left pane)
  6. Double click Microsoft (from the left pane)
  7. Select Windows Defender (from the left pane)
  8. Double click the item named Default from the right pane
  9. Enter the value 0 in the new box that appeared
  10. Press Ok

  11. Now Press Windows Key once
  12. Select Control Panel
  13. Type Windows Defender in the search bar located at the top right corner
  14. Select Windows Defender
  15. Now make sure it’s turned on.

If the above given steps doesn’t solve the problem then try this

  1. Follow the steps from 1-6 given above
  2. Double click Windows Defender
  3. Select DisableAntiSpyware
  4. Double click the item named Default from the right pane
  5. Enter the value 0 in the new box and press Ok
  6. Now follow the steps from 11-15 to turn on the Windows Defender and check if it works

Method 3: Local Group Policy

Sometimes there might not be a problem with the Windows Defender and system itself but your Windows Defender might just be turned off from the Local Group Policy. You can easily check and change the settings (if it is disabled) from Local Group Policy window.

  1. Hold Windows key and press R
  2. Type gpedit.msc and press Enter

  3. Double click Administrative Templates found under the Computer Configuration (from the left pane)
  4. Double click Windows Components (from the left pane)
  5. Click Windows Defender (from the left pane)
  6. Double click Turn off Windows Defender (from the right pane)
  7. Make sure it’s not enabled. Click on the Not Configured and press Apply then select Ok

Now turn on Windows Defender and check if it gives the same error or not.

Method 4: Enable Windows Defender

If you don’t have other antiviruses installed on your computer and you can’t turn on Windows Defender then it might be disabled. To enable Windows Defender follow the steps given below.

  1. Hold Windows key and press R
  2. Type services.msc and press Enter
  3. Locate Windows Defender and double click it
  4. Make sure the Startup type is Automatic (by opening the drop down menu in Startup section) and Windows Defender service is turned on (by clicking the Start button).
Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

Fix: Windows Defender Blocked by Group Policy Error 0x800704ec

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