Fix: Windows Defender application failed to initialize

Matthew Adams By: Matthew Adams
3 minute read

Home » Windows » Fix: Windows Defender application failed to initialize

Windows Defender is an anti-virus app included in Windows. However, some users have reported a Windows Defender error message along the lines of: “Windows Defender. Application failed to initialize:0x800106ba.” The error message might pop up during the Windows startup, and Windows Defender doesn’t open. So are you getting that software error? If so, here are a few potential fixes for it.

Remove Third-Party Anti-Virus Software

First, note that third-party anti-virus software usually undermine Windows Defender as a consequence of two anti-virus services running simultaneously. Some utilities such as McAfee and Norton even disable Windows Defender to free up system resources and prevent potential software errors. So if there are third-party anti-virus software running, that might be why you’re getting the 0x800106ba error. If you prefer to run Windows Defender, uninstall the other anti-virus programs with Advanced Uninstaller PRO, or other third-party software, to ensure there are no leftover registry entries.

  • First, press the Download Now button on this web page to save Advanced Uninstaller PRO’s setup wizard to Windows. Open the software’s installer to add the Advanced Uninstaller to Windows.
  • Now open the Advanced Uninstaller PRO window, and press the General Tools button.

  • Press the Uninstall Programs button to open the window below.

  • Select the anti-virus software you need to remove from there, and press the Uninstall button.
  • Then select the After uninstall, scan the disk and registry for program leftovers option.
  • Press Yes to uninstall the software.
  • Then click Next to scan for leftovers.
  • The software will then show you leftover items. Press the Select button to delete all leftover items.
  • Press the Next and Close buttons, close the software and restart the Windows platform.

Turn Windows Defender off

  • If you only need to stop the 0x800106ba error message popping up, then switch Windows Defender off. You can do that by pressing the Cortana button and entering ‘Windows Defender’ in the search box.
  • Select Windows Defender settings to open further options.
  • Then you can switch the Real-time Protection option off.
  • In addition, switch off the Cloud-based Protection and Limited Periodic Scanning settings.

Check the Windows Defender Service Startup Configuration

The Windows Defender Service startup configuration must be either Automatic or Automatic (Delayed Start). If it isn’t, that’s probably why Windows Defender isn’t initializing. You can configure the startup type for Windows Defender as follows.

  • Click the Cortana button on the Windows 10 taskbar and enter ‘services’ in the search box. Select Services to open the window directly below.

  • Now double-click Windows Defender Service to open the window in the snapshot below.

  • Select either Automatic or Automatic (Delayed Start) from the Startup type drop-down menu. The Automatic (Delayed Start) setting delays the Windows Defender startup until the other applications have loaded.
  • Click the Apply and OK buttons.
  • Then you can restart Windows.

Reregister DLL Files for Windows Defender

Finally, reregistering Windows Defender DLL files can also fix the 0x800106ba error. First, open the Command Prompt by pressing the Win key + X and selecting Command Prompt (Admin). Then you should type all these files in the Command Prompt:

  • regsvr32 wuaueng.dll
  • regsvr32 wucltui.dll
  • regsvr32 softpub.dll
  • regsvr32 wintrust.dll
  • regsvr32 initpki.dll
  • regsvr32 wups.dll
  • regsvr32 wuweb.dll
  • regsvr32 atl.dll
  • regsvr32 mssip32.dll
  • Press Enter after entering each file. Restart Windows after reregistering the DLL files.

Those are some of the best fixes for the 0x800106ba error code. If you still can’t get Windows Defender up and running after applying those fixes, check out this article.


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