How to Fix If Windows Defender won’t update?

Windows Defender is an anti-malware software that comes pre-installed in the Windows 10 operating system. It protects your system from online malware, viruses, spyware, and other possible threats. Many of the Windows 10 users have been saying that “Windows Defender won’t update” on their PC lately.

Troubleshoot Windows Defender won’t update issue

How to Fix If Windows Defender won’t update?

At times, the reason behind the “Windows Defender won’t update” issue can be a connectivity issue. However, people with high-speed string internet connection also have faced a similar problem. Luckily, some fixes and workaround we have listed down will help you get over this issue.

FIX 1: Set Windows Defender service as Automatic:

While Windows Defender fails to update your system, the first fix you can try is “Set Windows Defender service as Automatic.” Doing so is quite simple, and all it requires is to change a few settings. Follow the steps given below:

  • Firstly, open the RUN Dialogue box, type “services.msc” and then press Enter.
  • On the Service window, scroll down the right-pane menu and locate Windows Defender Anti-virus Service.
  • Now right-click on it and select Properties.
  • On the next prompt, check whether the Start-up type is set as Automatic, and the Service status is set as Running. If not, set them accordingly. (Select Start-up type as Automatic and below Service click on Running).
  • Lastly, click on Apply, and then OK.

FIX 2: Verify that your system has all the essential Windows update files:

The Windows Defender might also fail to update if your system does not have all the required Windows update files.

Follow the steps given below:

  • Firstly, visit the Windows update website (Microsoft
  • Now install all the recommended updates into your system.
  • Here, you have to review the Windowsupdate.log file for error messages. For doing so, click on Start and in the search box, type %windir%windowsupdate.login. Now press Enter. You will now find keywords describing the issue.
  • Now visit the Windows Help and How-to page and type the keywords (describing the issue) you found from the log file.

FIX 3: Run the SFC scannow command:

In case you have any corrupted file in your system, it can also fail the Windows Defender updating process. To check this possibility and replace all such files, the best possible fix is “Running a SFC Scan.” Follow the steps given below:

  • First of all, go to Windows search bar and type “cmd”.
  • On the search results, locate Command Prompt, go to its right-pane menu and select Run as Administrator.
  • Now in the Command prompt administrator windows type the following command and press Enter. Let it process on its own now.


  • The sfc /scannow command will now scan all the system files and replace the corrupt ones with a cached copy. This in result will clean your system from any corrupt file.

FIX 4: Update Windows Defender using the Windows update:

When Windows Defender won’t update on its own, then, in this case, one of the major fixes you can try is “Update Windows Defender using the Windows update.” Follow the steps given below:

  • Firstly, open the Settings window.
  • Here click on Update & Security, and from the next screen (left-pane), click on Windows update.
  • From the right-pane menu, click on the Check for Updates tab. Your system will now start scanning for all the updates available.
  • As soon as the updates for Windows Defender gets detected, it will start to download and install them into your system automatically. Once the process is done, you can check the discussed issue own repeat it now.

FIX 5: Update Windows Defender through Command Prompt:

If Windows Defender fails to updates on its own, then consider doing so through Command prompt. Follow the steps given below:

  • Firstly, you have to go to the Windows search bar and type “cmd”.cmd admin
  • From the search results, locate Command Prompt, go to its right-pane menu and select Run as Administrator.
  • On the Command Prompt administrator window, type cd /d “\Program Files\Windows Defender” and then press Enter.
  • Now type exe -signatureupdate and then again press Enter.
  • Both these commands will initiate Windows Defender to update now.

FIX 6: Check for updates in Windows Defender Update Interface:

Follow the steps given below:

  • Visit the following path,

Start> Programs> Windows Defender>Check for Updates Now.

  • Once you find the available updates, install all of them into your system. After that, Restart your system.
  • You can now try the Windows Defender update again and check whether the issue has been solved or not.

Other basic workarounds:

If none of the above fixes work for you, then consider using these quick workarounds and check whether they help or not.

  • Run the Windows update troubleshooter.
  • Check for another security (third-party) software installed in your system. Any other third-party security software will automatically turn off Windows Defender in your system, which will disable all of its updates as well. Hence, to make Windows Defender work and update it smoothly, you have to uninstall other security software from your system.
  • Consider using another security/ anti-virus software. If Windows Defender is giving you trouble and won’t work smoothly even after using several fixes, then you can disable it and switch to other security software as well.

These were all the possible fixes and workarounds for the “Windows Defender won’t update” issue in your system. For protecting your system from malware and viruses, it is vital to keep the Windows Defender updated all the time.

Hence, whenever you find that Windows Defender is not updating smoothly, make sure you try the fixes mentioned above and resolve the situation quickly.

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