FIX: Windows Defender Error 0x80240022 ‘Definitions couldn’t be updated’

Error code 0x80240022 when you try to update Windows Defender indicates that there is a problem with the root certificates. You won’t be able to update Windows Defender, which in times when there are new problems and viruses can be critical and cause a plethora of headaches.

This might happen either when you open Windows Defender, and you will get the error message instantly, or when you try to check for updates for Windows Defender, in which case you will get an error message saying that it can’t check, download or install definition updates. Having a non-updated Windows Defender is actually a very bad thing, especially if that is the only defender software on your computer, as new viruses and malware appear every day, and not being prepared to defend yourself from them can be very bad and ruin your entire computer, causing you to uninstall and reinstall your operating system from scratch.

However, there are a few things that you can do to fix this issue, which will let you install the updates again. Try the methods in the order they’re written here, as they go from the simplest one to more complex solutions.

Method 1: Reboot

Even though this might sound strange, a simple reboot can fix this issue. It might happen that when you have booted up your computer, some files didn’t load right or there was some other issue, so you should always try rebooting. Simply press the Windows key on your keyboard, and choose Restart from the power menu. Try updating Windows Defender now, and if it fails again, move on to the next method.

Method 2: Turn off Metered Connection

If you’re seeing this error, it might be the case that your Internet connection is set as a metered connection, and that is causing issues with the Windows Defender updates. Turning metered connections off is fairly easy, as long as you follow the steps below:

  1. Press the Windows key, and type in Settings. Open the result.
  2. Click on the Network & Internet
  3. On the left side menu, click on Wi-Fi.
  4. You will see your connection there – click it.
  5. In the menu that opens with details about your connection, you will see Metered connection, and a Set as metered connection switch below it. Make sure that it is set to OFF.

Method 3: Remove the signature file

  1. Press both the Windows and R keys on your keyboard simultaneously, which will open the Run
  2. Inside the window, type in Msiexec /x {A5CC2A09-E9D3-49EC-923D-03874BBD4C2C} and either press OK or hit Enter on your keyboard.
  3. Open Windows Defender now and check for new definitions. It should be able to update just fine.

If it tells you that the action is not valid, ignore this method and proceed to the next one.

Method 4: Manually install the update definitions

If Windows Defender fails to update, it might be a problem with Windows Update, Automatic Updates or Windows Server Update Service, as these are all the ways that Microsoft uses to deliver Windows Defender updates. To check this, you can head to the Security Portal and see if you can download the updates there. You can follow the steps on the website to find the appropriate definition updates for your computer.

Method 5: Check if you have all required Windows Update files

See this guide for help or the gif below for running updates on Windows 10.


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.
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FIX: Windows Defender Error 0x80240022 ‘Definitions couldn’t be updated’

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