- Windows Defender is an anti-malware solution that Microsoft offers with each Windows installation. It has a long history and changed its name from Microsoft Security Essentials.
- If you are having problems trying to start the Windows Defender service with Error 577 you need to perform a small registry change to get it back working.
- For similar articles, be sure to visit the Windows Defender section on this website.
- Windows has a lot of other components, which could present issues at any time. Our comprehensive Windows 10 Errors Troubleshooting Hub is here to cover all these cases and show instructions to deal with them.
Windows Defender might not be the best antivirus software, but it’s the default antivirus tool that comes installed with Windows 10.
This tool has its flaws and users reported error 577 with Windows Defender, so let’s see how to fix it.
Frequent Windows Defender issues
Windows Defender is a solid antivirus, but several users reported error 577 in Windows Defender. This error can be problematic, and speaking of this error, here are some similar issues that users reported:
- Windows Defender this program is turned off – This message is closely related to error 577, and if you encounter it, be sure to enable Windows Defender using the Registry Editor.
- Windows Defender turned off by group policy – Sometimes Windows Defender can be disabled from Group Policy. However, you can fix this problem simply by changing your group policy settings.
- Windows Defender error 577 McAfee, Avast, Kaspersky – Third-party antivirus tools can often interfere with Windows Defender and lead to this error. Even if you don’t have a third-party antivirus installed, sometimes leftover files can interfere with Windows Defender and cause error 577.
- Can’t start Windows Defender error 577 – Many users reported that they are unable to start Windows Defender due to this error. If that’s the case, try restarting Windows Defender services and check if that helps.
- Windows Defender digital signature error 577 – This is another variation of this error, but if you encounter it, you should be able to fix it one of our solutions.
How can I fix Windows Defender error 577?
Solution 1 – Consider switching to a third-party antivirus software
Windows Defender is a solid antivirus tool, it offers great protection, comes built-in to Windows 10, and it’s completely free. Despite all these great features, issues with Windows Defender can occur, therefore you might want to consider switching to a third-party antivirus.
Although Windows Defender offers basic protection, it lacks certain features that other antivirus tools have, so if you want to avoid this error and get improved security, you might want to consider a third-party antivirus.
There are many great tools, but the best one is Bitdefender (currently World’s Nr.1), so feel free to it out.
This tool offers a wide array of security features, and it’s fully compatible with Windows 10, so it won’t interfere with your applications or with your system in any way.
Solution 2 – Change your registry
According to users, you can fix this problem by changing few values in your registry. Before you start you need to know that modifying your registry can cause certain issues, therefore we strongly suggest to create a backup of your registry in case anything goes wrong.
To edit your registry, follow these steps:
- Press Windows Key + R and enter regedit. Press Enter or click OK.
- When Registry Editor opens, navigate to
key in the left panel.
- In right panel locate DisableAntiSpyware and DisableAntiVirus DWORD and change their values from 0 to 1. You can do that simply by double-clicking the entries and changing the Value data value.
- Click OK to save changes.
- Optional: Some users are suggesting to go to
key and change DisableAntiSpyware and DisableAntiVirus entries as well, so you might want to do that.
- Close Registry Editor.
- Go to
C:Program FilesWindows Defender
If you get an error message saying that you don’t have the necessary privileges, try performing Solution 4 fist and then try the entire process again.
As we already mentioned, modifying the registry is an advanced procedure, so be extra cautious and follow the instructions carefully.
If you can’t edit your Windows 10‘s registry, read this handy guide and find the quickest solutions to the issue.
Solution 3 – Completely remove third-party antivirus tools
Windows Defender doesn’t work with third-party antivirus programs, therefore it’s impossible to have another antivirus tool installed and run Windows Defender at the same time.
In order to avoid this problem, you need to completely remove your antivirus tool.
Sometimes it’s not enough just to uninstall your antivirus, you have to remove all files and registry entries associated with your antivirus tool.
You can do that manually, but that’s not the safest or the simplest processes, therefore we recommend that you download the cleanup tool for your antivirus software.
If you’re using any antivirus solution and you want to completely remove it from your PC, be sure to check out this amazing list with the best uninstaller software you can use right now.
Almost all antivirus companies have these tools available for download, so be sure to download this tool for your antivirus program.
Users reported that Avast, Norton and McAfee antivirus tools caused this problem, and after removing all files associated with your antivirus, the issue was completely resolved.
In addition to your antivirus, tools such as SpyBot Search and Destroy, Comodo Antivirus, Constant Protection and IOBIT Malware Fighter can also cause this error, therefore be sure to remove these tools from your PC.
Solution 4 – Turn on Windows Defender from Notification Center
According to users, you can fix this problem simply by turning on Windows Defender from Notification Center.
To that, go to Notification Center at the bottom right corner of the screen and you’ll see an alert with a little flag next to it. Click it and Windows Defender should turn itself on.
Solution 5 – Change the security permissions in your Registry
Sometimes this problem can occur due to your security permissions in the registry. To fix error 577, you need to change the security permissions of certain keys in the registry.
Modifying the registry can cause problems with your system, therefore we advise you to create a registry backup before you start. To change the security permissions, follow these steps:
- Open Registry Editor.
- Go to the
key in the right panel.
- Right-click this key and choose Permissions from the menu.
- Click the Advanced button.
- Click the Add button.
- Now click Select a principal.
- In the Enter the object name to select field enter your user name and click Check Names.
- If your user name is correct, click OK to save changes.
- You’ll see your username in the Principal section. In Basic permissions section check Full Control and click OK to save changes.
- Click Enable Inheritance button.
- Click Apply and OK to save changes.
If you haven’t already, be sure to do all the steps from Solution 1.
Solution 6 – Restart Security Center and Windows Defender service
According to users, you can fix Windows Defender error 577 simply by restarting the Security Center service. This error can appear after you remove your antivirus tool, and users reported this issue after removing McAfee LiveSafe tool.
To restart Security Center service follow these steps:
- Press Windows Key + R and enter services.msc. Press Enter or click OK.
- Locate Security Center service, right-click it and choose Restart.
Alternatively, you can restart this service simply by right-clicking the Security Center service and choosing Stop from the menu. After that, right-click the service again and choose Start from the menu.
Some users claim that you can fix this problem by starting Windows Defender from Services. To do that, open Services window and locate Windows Defender. Right-click it and choose Start from the menu.
Solution 7 – Create a new user account
Sometimes this error can appear because your user account is corrupted. If that’s the case, you need to create a new user account by following these steps:
- Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
- Now navigate to the Accounts section.
- Select Family & other people and click on Add someone else to this PC.
- Now click on I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.
- You’ll be asked to enter your Microsoft credentials. Select Add a user without a Microsoft account.
- Enter the desired name and click on Next to proceed.
Once you create a new user account, switch to it and check if the issue is resolved. If the problem doesn’t reappear, you’ll need to move your personal files to the new account and start using it instead of your main account.
This isn’t the most practical solution, but several users reported that it worked for them, so feel free to try it out.
If you’re having trouble opening the Setting app, take a look at this article to solve the issue.
Windows Defender error 577 can be problematic, but you should be able to fix it by using one of our solutions. If you can’t fix this problem, you might want to consider using a third-party antivirus software instead.
If you have any other questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section below.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2016 and has been since completely revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Error 577 means that the digital signature of the Windows Defender file failed when performing a check. Make a registry change like the article suggests and then perform a Windows Update.
Using the services component of Windows, you can start Window Defender and also set it to Automatic Startup. It’s easier with a startup manager, though.
If Windows Defender will not start there are a couple of things you can do like performing an in-place upgrade or cleaning your registry. More details can be found in the guide to fix Windows Defender cannot start.