Solve Windows Defender Error Code 0x800704EC

The error code 0x800704EC can come up during the process of trying to activate the Windows Defender application on Windows 10. Basically, the actual information that pops up in a message box is as follows – “This program is blocked by group policy. For more information contact your system administrator. (here, the error code is present)”. When you get this error, then the security application cannot be enabled at all in a normal procedure. The main reason why this problem occurs, after all, is due to the presence of another security software within your machine. Since both the applications perform their own checking, which creates conflict and thus this problem crop up.

Common Causes of this Problem

This section allows you to know the most common reasons of the error code 0x800704EC. To get an idea, simply follow the lines that is presented below:

  • When the registry and system files get corrupt or missing, then you might encounter this problem.
  • If Windows Defender application service is not enabled, then also you can get this glitch.
  • When the antivirus application, is toggled off from the ‘Local Group Policy’ then this issue can pop up.

Definition of Windows Defender Application

Windows Defender is a security application that is built-in the Windows Operating System. This application basically is an anti-malware and virus software that protects the computer from harmful malicious programs in real-time and during the scanning process. It is free of cost and is regularly updated so, you do not need any other reliable antivirus application for your machine.

Solutions to Solve the Error Code 0x800704EC

In this section of the article, you will get various points, that will help to mitigate this problem in an easy and effective way. Thus follow us below:

Activate the Windows Defender Service

When there is no other security software present in your system, then the default antivirus software i.e. Windows Defender will automatically start up to take the place of protection. But, if the service process has not been enabled due to some problem, then you can get this error when attempting to turn the Windows Defender application on. The only solution to resolve this glitch is to activate the service process of built-in security software. To do it, follow these steps below.

  • First, tap on the combination of ‘Windows + R’ together to open a dialog box called ‘Run’.
  • Within this dialog box, there will be a label ‘Open:’ and to the right, you will get a text box, in it type the following command “services.msc” and then hit the ‘Enter’ key.
  • This will open a new window that has a similar name as the one you wrote on the text box. In this window, there is a list of all the service processes of the program present on the system.
  • Now, from that list, look for the process ‘Windows Defender Antivirus Service’ and after that double-click on it. This will open the ‘Properties’ window for this service process.
  • On this window, tap on the ‘General’ tab. After that, under this tab, go to the section ‘Service status:’ and see if the result mentioned is ‘Started’ or ‘Stopped’. If the second one is the answer, then tap on the ‘Start’ button to initiate this service. At this point the result of the ‘Service status:’ will change from ‘Stopped’ to ‘Started’
  • If this service is already started, then you must ‘Stop’ and ‘Start’ it again. Next, navigate to the label ‘Startup type:’ and then hit the drop-down menu.
  • From that menu choose the option ‘Automatic’, then choose both the buttons ‘Apply’ and ‘OK’ respectively at the button of the window.

Remove Any Other Reliable Security Software

When there is another Security software present within the system including the default one i.e. Windows Defender, then due to some conflict between these two applications you can meet with the error code: 0x800704EC. The solution to resolve this problem is to remove the other security application from the computer. In order to do this, follow the simple sentences underneath:

  • First, tap on the ‘Cortana Logo’ present beside the ‘Windows Logo’ within the taskbar. This opens a ‘Search’ area, where type in the following text “control panel” and hit on the ‘Enter’ key so that the Operating System starts to look for the application.
  • Once the search is complete, you will receive a list of results. From that output list, choose the option ‘Control Panel’. This will launch a new window that has the same name as the option you chose on the previous line.
  • The Control Panel contains a list of computer settings, which you can change according to your requirement. Now on this window, locate and choose the category ‘Programs’.
  • A new page within this window will come up which contains some options in a list. Out of those options choose the ‘Programs and Features’.
  • Again a new page will show up and inside it, there will be a list of all the programs installed within the computer.
  • From that list, find reliable security software and choose it. After that, right-click on it and then, from the pop-up menu, choose the ‘Uninstall’ option. This launches an uninstaller module of the application.
  • Follow all the instructions that come up on the uninstaller window and then accordingly hit the uninstall button to eliminate this software from the machine. The removal process takes some time so be patient.
  • Once the uninstallation of reliable security software is complete, then reboot the computer. After the computer starts up, then automatically the Windows Defender application will be activated since there is no other security application.

Activate the Windows Defender Application from the Local Group Policy

If both the points above do not help you to eradicate the Windows error code 0x800704EC, then the problem is that the security application is not all activated from the Local Group Policy. The easy solution to removing this glitch is to alter the settings in order to enable the default security application from the Local Group Policy Editor. Perform these steps below to activate the Windows Defender:

  • First, right-click on the ‘Windows Logo’, to open the options menu. From that menu, locate and choose the option ‘Run’. This will open a dialog box, with a name that is similar to the option chosen on the last line.
  • Next, within the dialog box, input the text “gpedit.msc” on the right side of the label ‘Open:’ and then tap on the ‘OK’ button. This will open a new window called ‘Local Group Policy Editor’.
  • On this window go to the left panel and double-click on the directory ‘Computer Configuration’ to reveal all the subfolders inside it. Next, double-click on the folder ‘Administrative Templates’ and reveal all its contents.
  • After that, locate and tap on the ‘arrow’ just to the left of the folder ‘Windows Components’. This will show all the contents within the folder you chose on the previous sentence, where scroll down and choose the subfolder ‘Windows Defender’.
  • Now, go to the right panel of this window and under the ‘Setting’ list, find and double-click on the option ‘Turn off Windows Defender’. A new window will appear that has the identical name of the option you chose on the last line, where there will be three options ‘Not Configured’, ‘Enabled’ and ‘Disabled’ respectively
  • Out of the three, select the first one and then press on the ‘Apply’ and ‘OK’ respectively.
  • Restart the computer. After the machine boots up then, attempt to activate the Windows Defender.
  • Finally, check if the error comes back or not.

Scan and Repair the System Files

When a program file of the Windows Defender application gets corrupt or is missing then, you might encounter the error code 0x800704EC. The solution to solve this problem is to run the ‘System File Checker or SFC’ and ‘DISM’. The SFC is a tool that is built into the Windows OS to scan the system for any corrupt system files. Now, if that file is altered somehow, then that will be replaced with the correct version. If the ‘System File Checker’ is unable to repair the system files, then attempt to run another tool ‘Deployment Image Servicing and Management or DISM’ specifically present on Windows 10, to repair the Windows image file. Perform the steps below, in order to get rid of this error:

  • Tap and hold on the keys ‘Ctrl + Alt + Delete’ simultaneously. This opens a blue background screen with four options and a ’Cancel’ button. Out of the four options, choose the ‘Task Manager’. Now, a new window will open up that has the same name as the option chosen on the last line.
  • Within this window, go to the menu bar and tap on the item ‘File’. Then, from the pop-up options list, select the ‘Run a New Task’.
  • Now, a new dialog box will show up with the name ‘Create new task’, where on the right side of the ‘Open:’ label, type the text “cmd” and then put a checkmark on the option ‘Create this task with administrative privileges’. After that, tap on the ‘OK’ button to launch the ‘Command Prompt’ window in ‘Administrator Mode’.
  • Within this window, type the following command “sfc /scannow” and then tap on the ‘Enter’ key to execute it. At this moment, the scanning process for any corrupt system file will start. After the scan, if there is a need to repair any problematic file, then that will be replaced. This whole process takes some time to complete so be patient and wait for the execution to get over.
  • Once the execution is complete and as the corrupt system files are properly repaired by the SFC tool then, a message will come ‘Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations’.
  • Otherwise, if the SFC tool is unable to repair the corrupt program or system files, then type the following command and tap ‘Enter’ after each of them – “DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth”, “DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth”.
  • Now, both the commands on the previous step to completely run. Once the execution of those commands is over, follow the fourth step on this point.
  • Finally, restart the computer and then check if this error occurs again or not.

Alter the Registry Entries

If none of the above points in this section is able to solve the Windows Defender error code 0x800704EC, then a feasible solution is to change the value of a key within Windows Registry. To eradicate this problem, follow the steps beneath:

  • Go to the first point on this section and follow the initial step to open the ‘Run’ dialog box.
  • Next, inside this dialog box, input the following command – “regedit” on the text area and tap the ‘OK’ button. This will open a new window called ‘Registry Editor’.
  • Within this window type the following path on the address area to go to a specific key – “Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender”.
  • Now, on the right pane of the window, there will be a key with a name ‘Default’. Right-click on it to open a dialog box, that has a name ‘Edit String’.
  • On this window, navigate to the label ‘Value data’. After that, put the number ‘Zero’ in it and press the button ‘OK’.
  • At last, perform a normal reboot process. Then attempt to enable the Windows Defender’ software and see if this problem crops up or not.

In Conclusion

To solve the error code: 0x800704EC carefully, all you will have to do is follow the previous section of this article. Attempt to apply all the points and check if this error reappears or not. Now, even after following all the steps on the above section, still, you are unable to rectify this problem then do not panic. Just give the details of the problems faced by you on the comment section present below.

Maria Colombo
Maria Colombo
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