Microsoft has launched Windows Defender to protect the OS from various kinds of threats like viruses, malware and spyware. But, a majority of users have reported about Windows Defender error code 0x80004004 while running this stand-alone antivirus software. According to them, once your system gets this error, it will no longer be able to update the definitions of viruses and spyware. It can also affect the operations of other Windows applications running on your PC and can harm the hardware. So, if you are also experiencing error code 0x80004004 while using Windows Defender, check this article.
Here, you will get to learn the underlying causes of triggering this Windows Defender issue. It will also cover a few troubleshooting tips to resolve 0x80004004 error code from your Windows PC. Hence, keep reading this article and try to understand these fixes, if you want to remove this Windows problem with technical solutions.
Reasons Why Your System is Generating Windows Defender Error Code 0x80004004?
If you are receiving notification or pop-ups regarding Windows Defender error code 0x80004004, it can be a serious issue. But, in order to troubleshoot this Windows error, you need to know why it’s occurring. So, let’s take a look at some of the possible reasons due to which Windows Defender can show this error message.
- If you are using an outdated version of Windows Defender on your computer or laptop, you can get the 0x80004004 error code.
- For those users who have installed one or more third-party antivirus program alongside Windows Defender, error 0x80004004 is common for them.
- In case, the feature of Windows Update is no longer working or you have turned it off, this error can occur.
- If there are missing system files or incorrect registry entries regarding Windows Defender, your PC can display this error message.
- A majority of users can also experience this error if they are trying to update Windows Defender when the internet has disconnected. This can usually take place if you are working with an unstable WiFi or Ethernet network while accessing this security software.
Ways to Fix Windows Defender Error Code 0x80004004 on your System:
If you want to resolve this issue of Windows Defender error code 0x80004004, check out the following fixes.
Fix 1- Check Windows Defender Settings on your System
Before applying any of the technical fixes on your PC, you should try this method to troubleshoot 0x80004004. So, if you have a Windows 10 based device, open the Start menu. Then, click on ‘Settings’ by typing the term in the search box and select the tab for ‘Update & Security’.
On the left window pane, locate the feature of ‘Windows Defender’ and go through its expanded settings. Here, you will observe that the enabling/disabling option for cloud-based and real-time protection. So, you can turn on these features on Windows Defender by moving the toggle switch to ‘On’ position.
Now, reboot your computer and try to launch or update Windows Defender in order to check the status of the 0x80004004 error code.
Fix 2- Set Automatic Startup for Windows Defender
If applying the above solution doesn’t fix Windows Defender error code 0x80004004, try to make its startup as Automatic. However, first, you need to check the startup type selected for Windows Defender and apply this method if it’s Manual’ or ‘Disabled’.
So, click on the Start button and write ‘services’ in the search box. You can also use the Run dialog box (Win+R) and type ‘services.msc’ for accessing the Windows Services window.
Once the window appears on your screen, navigate to the name ‘Windows Defender’ from the list. As you double-click on this feature, you will be able to see if its startup type is set as ‘Automatic’.
If you find the type of Windows Defender startup is selected as Disabled or Manual, make it Automatic. After that, save these settings by clicking on ‘Apply’ and then ‘OK’ button. Now, restart your Windows and see if it is still giving error 0x80004004 while launching Windows Defender.
Fix 3- Turn Off Third-Party Antivirus Software and Applications
So, open the system icons by clicking on the up arrow, which is present in the bottom right of your Windows Taskbar. Then, locate the icon of your antivirus program and right-click on it. After this, you need to choose the ‘Disable’ option to turn off this software.
For those who are receiving 0x80004004 error notification due to installing any malicious software, you need to disable or uninstall the application.
Many Windows users have reported that this issue can occur due to incomplete installation or corrupted download files of Defraggler related programs. These changes can further infect your entire system and cause corruption in the Windows registry.
So, to address this error related key in Defraggler or similar kind of applications, you can go through the following instructions.
Follow These Steps:
In order to repair the Windows registry for error code 0x80004004 causing components, you need to click on the Start button. Then, open the search box and write ‘command’ in the text space. But, you shouldn’t press the ‘Enter’ button right now and hold the keys for ‘Ctrl’ and ‘Shift’ instead. Now, as a next step, you can hit the ‘Enter’ tab and wait for a permission dialog box on your Windows.
If it’s regarding permitting the system to run the Command Prompt window as admin, click on ‘Yes’. After this, it will display a black window along with a blinking cursor. Here, you need to write the command ‘regedit’ and then press the ‘Enter’ button on your keyboard.
Now, wait for Windows to execute the above command and check the registry entries on your system. Once you locate the relevant key for error code 0x80004004, select them and click on the ‘File’ menu.
After that, you will have to hit the tab for ‘Export’ and go through the items in the list of ‘Save in’. Here, you can choose the folder where you want to store the backup key for the corrupted files.
Next, you will have to assign a new name for the backup file by clicking on the box for ‘File Name’. For example, if you want to create a backup for Defraggler, then give its name as ‘New Defraggler Backup.’
Then, go to the box for ‘Export Range’ and tick the option for ‘Selected branch’. Finally, save all these changes in the Windows Registry Editor by hitting the ‘Save’ button. Once this method is executed successfully, your new registry file will appear with a .reg extension on Windows. Similarly, you can apply all these above steps to create a backup for all corrupted files, which are causing error 0x80004004.
Fix 4- Scan your Windows with System File Checker
You can try this solution if the error code 0x80004004 is occurring because of corruption in the file of Windows resource protection. This method is also applicable if you want to get detailed reports on the error components by scanning your Windows. So, to apply this fix, right-click on your Windows Start menu and find the elevated Command Prompt. After this, you need to choose the option of ‘Command Prompt (Admin)’ to open a new window. The users can also press the shortcut buttons (Windows+X) to run command prompt as administrator.
On the Command Prompt window, type the command ‘sfc/scannow’ wherever the cursor is blinking on the screen. As you now press the ‘Enter’ button, your Windows will scan your PC to identify the missing or corrupted files.
If you keep your system updated on a regular basis, the built-in application of System File Checker (SFC) will be more effective. It will not only scan the protected system files in your computer but, can replace the corrupted ones. Basically, it will perform the task of scanning and replacing bad files with the cached copies.
After Windows completes the scan, it will generate the report on the identified errors. You can also find the replaced system files in the location path ‘C:\Windows\System32\dllcache’ in the form of a compressed folder.
Fix 5- Disable Corrupted Windows Defender and Reinstall It
If all the other methods fail to resolve Windows Defender error code 0x80004004, apply this ultimate solution. Here, you need to remove the problematic Windows Defender program and install a new and updated version. However, first, disable any other third-party software as mentioned in method 3 and then proceed with the steps.
If you are having a Windows 10 based PC, you can take the help of Cortana search box and type ‘Defender’. As your system displays the program of Windows Defender, right-click on it. Then, select the tab for ‘Run as administrator’ and open the software by clicking ‘Yes’ on confirmation popups or typing system password.
So, if running as admin fails, you need to type ‘Control Panel’ in Cortana search box and wait for the window. Then, find the tab for ‘Programs and Features’ and select the option of ‘Uninstall or change a program’.
The next window will consist of a list of programs installed on your system including Windows Defender. So, choose this antivirus program icon and click on the option of ‘Uninstall/Change’.
Now, apply the on-screen steps and wait for Windows to uninstall all the components of Windows Defender. After successfully removing the software, you need to reboot your PC. But after starting up your device, you have to make sure that it is connected to a stable internet connection. The users are also recommended to connect to a WiFi network in order to prevent error code 0x80004004.
Instructions to Reinstall Windows Defender
So, now visit the official website of Microsoft or a reliable malware protection centre to download Windows Defender. However, you need to ensure that the version is compatible with your Windows version and up-to-date.
After installing the fresh and updated copy of Windows Defender, read the instructions of the setup wizard and follow them. You can also consult a Windows professional to provide step-wise guidance to install Windows Defender.
In case, you are using a third-party firewall, choose appropriate settings for allowing Windows Defender. Finally, reboot your system and open the security software to know whether error 0x80004004 persists.
But, even if the error gets resolved after reinstalling Windows Defender, make sure to update the program manually on your PC. Also, if none of the solutions could troubleshoot Windows Defender error code 0x80004004, you can consult a technician.