Issues with Windows Defender after installing Windows 10 Creators Update [Fix]

By: Ivan Jenic
4 minute read

With the introduction of Windows 10, Windows Defender has become even more capable. This is great for Microsoft as most of its users previously used 3rd-party antivirus solutions.

However, even though Windows Defender is a good service, it’s not always the primary choice for a lot of users. The reason? Frequent issues that emerged after its latest update, with many users reporting more than one problem after they’ve downloaded and installed the Creators Update.

For that purpose, we listed some of the most reported issues and their solutions below. In case you’ve bumped into some problems with Windows Defender, make sure keep reading

How to resolve Windows Defender issues in the Windows 10 Creators Update

Crashes

As we already stated, Windows Defender may be a good security solution — when it works as intended. However, users that managed to obtain the Creators Update experienced issues with Windows Defender. The most critical issue is related to sudden crashes and to make the things even worse, some of them were unable to locate the Windows Defender options under Settings.

Most of the time, the problem lies in missing or corrupted essential files. There are a few ways to address this issue:

  • Restart your PC. Sometimes, a minor bug can cause a lot of trouble. Make sure to restart your PC before you move om to more advanced workarounds.
  • Run SFC scan. Luckily, there’s a built-in tool that should help you with missing or corrupted system files. Follow these instructions to utilize this tool:
    1. Right-click Start and open Command Prompt (Admin).
    2. Under the command line, type the following command and press Enter:
      • sfc/scannow
    3. After the procedure is finished, check for changes in Windows Defender.
  • Uninstall the 3rd-party antivirus. Make sure to use only one security service because the presence of two will most certainly cause issues.
  • Disable Firewall temporarily. Windows Firewall is the last line of defense against malicious attacks, but it may occasionally stall or even stop some other Windows services. You should disable it temporarily and look for changes. If you’re not sure how to do it, follow the instructions below:
    1. Right-click the Start menu and, under Administrative shortcuts, select Control Panel.
    2. Open System & security.
    3. Click Windows Firewall.
    4. Disable both Private and Public networks.
    5. Try running Windows Defender again.

If the problems are persistent after all of the above steps, you’ll need to turn to recovery options.

Long scans

Another issue that emerged immediately after the Creators Update is related to long scans that sometimes lasts two hours. As you probably already know, the estimated scan time is somewhere around 15 minutes to a maximum of 30 minutes in Deep scan mode. There are several solutions for this problem and we hope that some of them will substantially decrease scanning time:

  • Uninstall 3rd-party solutions. As we already advised in the previous error, make sure to run only one security solution at the time. Follow the instructions below to uninstall any 3rd-party antivirus solutions from your PC:
    1. Right-click Start and open Control Panel.
    2. Click Uninstall a program in the Category view.
    3. Navigate to an antivirus program on the list and Uninstall it.
    4. Restart your PC and check for changes.
  • Clear the registry with a dedicated tool. Some registry issues can cause long scan times. We advise you to use some of these third-party tools to clean your registry. Don’t forget to back your registry up before the cleanup.
  • Update definition base manually. The definition doesn’t auto-update by default, so you can do it manually. Follow these instructions to do so:
    1. Open Windows Defender from the notification area in the taskbar.
    2. Open the Update tab.
    3. Click Update.
    4. After the process is finished, repeat the scanning process and look for changes.

Defender collides with 3rd-party antivirus

Some users reported that they’re quite satisfied with their 3rd-party antimalware/antispyware solutions, but Windows Defender’s persistence in trying to take over causes a lot of problems. For example, after the update some users weren’t able to use Norton Antivirus. Since Windows Defender is a built-in part of Windows, it can’t be uninstalled, but you can prevent the Security Center from interfering the 3rd-party software. Follow these instructions to do so:

  1. In the Search Windows bar, type gpedit.msc and open Local Group Policy Editor.
  2. Open Computer Configuration.
  3. Choose Administrative templates.
  4. Select Windows Components.
  5. Open Windows Defender.
  6. In the right side window, locate the ”Turn off Windows Defender” policy.
  7. Double-click on this policy and click Enable within its properties.

That should relieve you of possible annoyances caused by Windows Defender. From now on, you can use your preferred antivirus software solely.

Health report keeps on showing

With the Creators Update, all-around security and performance maintenance options are located within Security Center. However, after the update, users are frequently annoyed by recurring reports and errors within the system. Ultimately, it seems that Microsoft made a tool that’s too diligent for its own good, and probably isn’t what they intended to do. However, this feature can be disabled so you won’t be prompted all the time about minor issues.

Follow the instructions to do so:

  1. Under the Windows Search, type regedit and open the Registry Editor.
  2. Backup your registry and continue with steps.
  3. Navigate to this exact location:
    • Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\SecurityHealthService
  4. In the right part of the window, you’ll see Start and Type inputs. Change their values to 3.
  5. Confirm changes.
  6. Right-click taskbar and open the Task Manager.
  7. Under the Startup tab, disable Windows Defender Notification and save changes.
  8. Reboot your PC and you’ll be good to go.

That should do it. If you have any other issues, alternative solutions, or questions regarding the subject, make sure to post them in the comments section that’s just below.

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