Fix: Windows Defender is Missing in Windows 11

The best solution is to simply reinstall Windows Defender

by Ola-Hassan Bolaji
Ola-Hassan Bolaji
Ola-Hassan Bolaji
A Computer Engineering graduate, he has spent most of his life reading and writing about computers. He finds joy in simplifying complex topics into simple solutions for PC... read more
Reviewed by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
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  • Windows Defender has seen some significant security improvements in Windows 11.
  • However, some users reported that their Windows 11 Windows Defender is missing after updating their new OS.
  • To resolve this issue, reinstalling the app with PowerShell will most likely do the trick.
ESET Antivirus comes with all the security tools that you may ever need to protect your data and privacy, including:

  • Anti-theft support
  • Webcam protection
  • Intuitive setup and UI
  • Multi-platform support
  • Banking-level encryption
  • Low system requirements
  • Advanced anti-malware protection

An antivirus program needs to be fast, efficient, and cost-effective, and this one has them all.

Windows Defender missing on Windows 11 is one of the numerous problems users face when using Microsoft’s default antivirus on their PC.

In the past, users have complained that Windows 11 Defender is turned off. But some could not even find the app on their PC at all.

Thankfully, the fixes for this problem are not far-fetched, with a little tweak needed in most cases. Read on to find out what to do if Windows Defender is not installed on your Windows 11 device.

Why can’t I find Windows Defender?

There are various reasons why Windows Defender is not found in Windows 11, but we will highlight the most important ones:

  • Malware infection – Usually, the first thing a virus or malware does is disable or eliminate the antivirus. Good third-party antiviruses are harder to counter.
  • The service is not running – Though Windows Defender should show up even when the service is not running, this, coupled with other issues, can make the app inaccessible.
  • Registry problemsChanges to the registry, wherein Windows Defender is disabled, could be an underlying cause. The administrator could take action in case you are using an office computer.

So, let’s find out how to fix things if Windows Defender is not working in Windows 11.

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How can I fix the Windows 11 Windows Defender missing issue?

In this article

1. Install Windows Defender Using PowerShell

Using the commands below via Powershell should reinstall Windows Defender on your Windows 11 PC and solve the missing issue in no time.

1.Right-click on the Start icon in the Taskbar, and then select the Windows Terminal (Admin) option.


2.Click the Yes button to allow Windows Terminal to make changes to your PC.

3. Paste the following commands individually and hit Enter after each:Set-ExecutionPolicy UnrestrictedGet-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}


The command above helps to reinstall all default Windows apps. This is especially useful if Windows Defender is not installed in Windows 11 due to file corruption during an upgrade.

2. Repair and reinstall Windows Defender

  1. Press Windows + S to open the Search menu, enter Terminal in the text field, right-click on the relevant search result, and select Run as administrator.terminal
  2. Click Yes in the UAC prompt.Click Yes
  3. Type/paste the following command and hit Enter:Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.SecHealthUI-AllUsers | Reset-AppxPackagerepair and reinstall windows 11 defender

Expert tip:


Some PC issues are hard to tackle, especially when it comes to corrupted repositories or missing Windows files. If you are having troubles fixing an error, your system may be partially broken.
We recommend installing Restoro, a tool that will scan your machine and identify what the fault is.
Click here to download and start repairing.

Sometimes, Windows Defender might be installed, but the installation is either incorrect or incomplete. The command above will remove all components from the PC and reinstall Windows Defender in Windows 11.

3. Perform a Windows update

  1. Press the Windows key, and select the Settings app.settings windows 11 defender not installed
  2. Select the Windows Update option on the left 11 update defender not installed
  3. Click the Check for updates button in the right pane.check for update windows 11 defender
  4. If an update is listed after the scan, download and installs it on the computer.

Windows update comes with fixes for bugs and other errors in the previous versions.

If Windows Security is missing in Windows 11, an update should have fixes for the bugs responsible for the error. Also, if it is due to an incomplete or incorrect update, this should solve the problem if done correctly.

4. Perform a System Restore

  1. Press Windows + R to launch the Run command, enter rstrui.exe in the text field, and click OK.rstrui.exe to fix windows defender windows 11 missing
  2. Select Next in the System Restores window to
  3. Choose a restore point from the options provided, and click restore point
  4. Verify the restore details, and click on Finish to initiate the restore process.finish

If you noticed the Windows Defender link missing after installing an update in Windows 11 or making changes to the system, this fix could help you return to the previous state.

Select a restore point created before installing the new update, and things should return to normal.

Does Windows 11 have a built-in antivirus?

Yes, Windows 11 comes with Windows Security as the built-in antivirus. In case you are confused between the two, Windows Defender and Windows Security are the same thing.

The program efficiently identifies and eliminates malware and performs other essential functions to ensure security. But, in case you were looking for advanced security, we recommend using an effective third-party antivirus.

The Windows 11 Defender not installed problem is not the first faced by users. There have been complaints that Windows Defender is not opening or not enabled, among other issues.

Unlike some of these issues, this problem is not hard to fix, as shown above. We hope you find the helpful guide and get Windows Defender back to protect your PC.

Also, if you are wondering, Windows Defender can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store. This will download the Windows Defender 64-bit version in Windows 11.

Besides, find out what to do if you get the You’ll need a new app to open this windowsdefender link error in Windows 11

Feel free to discuss the solution that worked for you in the comments section. You can also state any solution you tried successfully that is not in this guide.

Still having issues? Fix them with this tool:


If the advices above haven't solved your issue, your PC may experience deeper Windows problems. We recommend downloading this PC Repair tool (rated Great on to easily address them. After installation, simply click the Start Scan button and then press on Repair All.

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