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Published: August 24, 2015 | Applies to:

If Windows Defender is blocked by some program & can't be opened due to "This app is turned off by Group Policy'' message, you can try this fix to solve it.

There is no need to install any security suite in Windows 10, since Windows Defender is there. This built-in antivirus is enough capable to provide you primary protection for your device and keep you stay safe plus updated.

However, if your system is part of domain and if you’re domain controller has assigned some policies, Defender may got block. While in some cases, if you’ve installed another antivirus previously, it will have blocked Defender. The block may remain intact even if you’ve remove third-party antivirus program. In such condition, when you try to open Windows Defender, you’ll get following message instead:

This app is turned off by Group Policy

If you’re using another app to check for malicious or unwanted software, use Security and Maintenance to check that app’s status.

To allow this app to run, contact your security administrator to enable the program via group policy.

FIX - This App Is Turned Off By Group Policy For Windows Defender

If you’re the administrator of an isolated machine on which this issue is appearing, you can easily fix it via below mentioned steps. In case if your system is part of domain, contact your administrator and ask them to unblock Windows Defender via Group Policy.

FIX : “This App Is Turned Off By Group Policy” For Windows Defender

FYI : Local Group Policy Editor is only available in Windows Enterprise and Pro editions.

1. Press W8K + R and put gpedit.msc in Run dialog box to open Local Group Policy Editor. Click OK.

Local Group Policy Editor

2. Next, in the Local Group Policy Editor window, navigate here:

Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Defender

FIX - This App Is Turned Off By Group Policy For Windows Defender

3. At this Group Policy path, making Windows Defender folder highlighted in left pane (refer above shown window) and in the corresponding right pane, look for the Setting named Turn off Windows Defender. You’ll find that this policy is already set to Enabled which is the root cause of this problem. Double click on it to get this:

FIX - This App Is Turned Off By Group Policy For Windows Defender

4. In the above window, select Not Configured option so that it will enable or activate Windows Defender. Click Apply followed by OK. Close the Group Policy Editor. Restart File Explorer via Task Manager and try to open Windows Defender, it should work on.

Hope this helps! Go here if you can’t open Windows Security Center.

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  • Hi…
    [FIX] Virus And Spyware Definitions Couldn’t Be Updated In Windows Defender and can’t active windows defender.
    i follow all the instruction but nothing happend


  • Hi kapil I dont have GPEDIT. Any idea how to do this via registry? I m on W10 home.

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ You can try the registry method mentioned here:

  • Thank you

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Glad we could help :)

  • I used the procedure to turn off Windows 10 Pro 64 bit Defender and installed McAfee. I have very carefully completed the above steps to make defender go away. I still keep getting the “This app is turned off by Group Policy” windows every time I restart or cold boot the computer. It is driving me nuts trying to turn the message off.

    Any further ideas?

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ In that case, you need to stop Windows Defender Inspection Service – which initiates at startup and is giving you that message :)

  • Thanks a bunch ! ^^

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ :)

  • I don’t have GPEDIT so I tried the following method that you suggested: . I got on the registry editor and found the right folder but the command already had the value of zero but windows defender is still unaccessible displaying the message saying that the application is turned off by group policy. Just wondering if you could help as soon as possible as viruses and virus-filled applications have made their way onto my desktop as soon as it was somehow turned off. Thankyou in advance :)

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ You need to change the DWORD values to 1. You may also try FIX 1 mentioned there, in case if it helps you :)

  • It won’t let me set the values to 1 and with fix 1 it has the message but I can’t press turn on

  • What should I do?

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ If you would have on Windows Pro/Enterprise version, this way would have worked for you. But since you’re on basic edition, I suggest you to reinstall Windows 10 without affecting your data:

  • probblem not solved . windows defender service could not be started . it is telling digital signature could not be rocognized

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ See if this fix help you:

  • Follow these steps;
    1. press WIN+R
    2. type regedit and press enter
    4. open software
    5. open policies
    6. open microsoft
    7. open windows defender
    8. on the right side delete that blue icon i.e disable spyware or something.
    9. now u can simply turn on your windows defender.

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ It’s actually covered in the article linked in my previous comment :)

  • It worked for me

  • Great this worked for me while other methods did not. thank you very much

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Cool :D

  • I cant find the windows defender in group policies. tried registry method but won’t work. PLEASE HELP URGENT

  • Thanks….it worked

  • thank u

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ 😎

  • Thanx Atul, I am having Windows 10 version 1607, and it worked for me

  • Dear Atul Singh,
    I have tried your steps, but I cannot delete blue icon disable spyware. It says cannot delete or unable to delete specified values. please help me on same above issue.

  • Hi there. Like Hubert I have also followed all the above steps, but i cannot delete or edit the registry line.
    Is this an issue with Win 10 Home?



  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Take ownership of the registry key first:

  • Hi Kapil

    Thank you for the link…i read the thread, but I’m still stuck. How do i take ownership of the Registry Key for Windows Defender? Which file do i specify after the takeown /F ?

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ It is clearly mentioned here in step 3 (FIX 2) here:

    Please have a look!

  • When i reach, “Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components”.
    I can’t find windows defender folder.
    Please help me.

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ It should be there, please recheck!

  • oh man.. thank u so much this guide very help me (:

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Happy to help 😊

  • thank you it worked!!!!!!!!!!

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Awesome!!

  • It was already in ‘Not Configured’ state, yet wasn’t able to start. Had to set the value to ‘Disabled’ mode to activate Windows Defender.
    Then had to start the service.

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Thanks for mentioning, glad the problem is sorted finally!

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