How to enable (Turn on) Windows Defender.

Last updated on May 17th, 2016

In Windows 10, 8, 8.1 operating systems, Microsoft updated its security protection with Windows Defender program. The Windows Defender (previously known as Microsoft Security Essentials) offers more protection to your Windows system from viruses, Trojans, worms and other malicious programs that can harm your computer. When you buy a Windows 8 computer today, Microsoft Windows Defender is already bundled inside the new operating system, but for the reason that some OEM manufacturers prefer to install trial versions of antivirus protection programs from other manufacturers like Norton, McAffee, etc. the Windows Defender is disabled.  If you don’t like the manufacturer's antivirus, then you can uninstall it from your control panel and then you can enable and use Windows Defender to protect your computer.

In this article I will explain how to enable the default Windows Protection (Windows Defender or Microsoft Security Essentials if you use Windows 7 or Vista) if is currently disabled for some reason.

windows defender is turned off - windows 8

How to enable Windows Defender (Windows 10, 8) or Microsoft Security Essentials (Windows 7, Vista)

You can easily enable Windows Defender for your control panel. To do this:

1. To do this, go to:

1a. Windows 7: Start > Control Panel.

Start- control panel -

1b. Windows 8: Right click on the bottom left corner and select Control Panel }

windows 8 - open control panel

2. From “Control Panel” menu items, double click to open “Action Center”. (In Windows 10 OS open the "Security and Maintenance" item)

windows 8 - control panel - action center

3. In “Action Center” settings, press the “Turn on now” button to enable “Windows Defender”. *

1. In Windows 7, Vista OS you have to press the “Turn on now” button beside “Virus Protection” options.
2. If after pressing the "Turn ON" button nothing happens, then follow the instructions on this guide: How to fix: Cannot Start Windows Defender on Windows 10 or Windows 8.


 turn on windows defender -

4. After Windows Defender Activation you should view the follow screen on your computer.

windows defender -

5. After you have enabled Windows Defender, press the “Update” tab and proceed to update its virus database.


6. In “Update” options, press the “Update” button to start updating Windows virus and spyware definitions.

update windows defender -

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