How to fix "The Security Center service can't be started" error message on Windows?

Issue: Hello. I wonder why my Windows Security Center is turned off (I did not turn off it by myself) and why can’t I turn it on. When I open Security center and click Turn on, the message “The Security Center service is turned off” shows up. Need help.

Solved Answer

“The Security Center service is turned off” error appears due to the issues with Security Center that is an in-built Windows tool, which is set to scan the system on a regular basis and inform its user about a pending update, missing software, turned off antivirus, and similar issues.[1] All alerts generated by Security Center are generated in a form of a pop-up at the bottom-right corner of the screen right above the taskbar.

Very often, people get annoyed by these “The Security Center service is turned off” messages and decide to turn off Security Center, which is not recommended due to the fact these messages help people to maintain the system and keep their best performance. Unfortunately, but for some obscure reasons, the Security Center might stop working automatically and cannot be turned on.

How to fix "The Security Center service is turned off" errorWindows operating system updates often lead to "The Security Center service is turned off" error.

To be more precise, “Windows Security Center” icon might be appended with a red flag out of nowhere, which once clicked redirects to the Security Center with a notification that “The Security Center service is turned off”. If the user attempts to turn on the Security Center alerts, “The Security Center service can't be started” pop-up is thrown up. A full message reads as:

The Security Center service can't be started.
If you continue to try, you still can't turn on the Security Center.

According to Microsoft engineers, this issue may arise due to the Windows updates,[2] which might have messed up Security Center configuration. To fix “The Security Center service can't be started” error message, try updating the OS to more recent version first. And then proceed with our suggestions below.

Methods to fix “The Security Center service can't be started” error

Different reasons can cause “The Security Center service can't be started” error. It might be that your PC is infected by malware. Another reason for this failure might be related to corrupted registries.[3] Therefore, we would highly recommend scanning your PC with a professional software utility, such as FortectMac Washing Machine X9 to remove malware and fix registry keys before attempting any of the manual steps.

Start Security Center service

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Fortect.
  • Click Win key + I or Click Start and type Settings in the search bar. By this, you will open Settings.
  • In the Settings search box, type services, and select View local services. (Windows 8, 8.1, and 10)
  • Click Start, type services in the search box, and select Services from the list.
  • On the details pane, locate Security Center, and right-click on it. (Windows 7 and Vista)
  • Select Properties.
  • In the middle of the window, find Startup type, click on the arrow to open a drop-down menu, and select Automatic (Delayed Start).
    "The Security Center service is turned off" errorSecurity center services display "The Security Center service is turned off" error.
  • Then find Service Status below and click on Start.
  • If the service has been successfully turned on, click Apply and then OK.

Reconfigure Security Center service

Very often, the execution of the steps listed above ends up with the following error message:

Windows could not start the Security Center service on Local Computer. Error 1079: The account specified for this service differs from the account specified for other services running in the same process.

It means that the Security Center service has to be reconfigured in order to log on the user for the service. This can be done by performing the following steps:

  • Open Security Center and open Properties.
  • Click on the Log On tab and select Browse.
  • When the Enter the object name to select window shows up, enter the name of your PC.
  • Select Check Names and click OK.
  • In the Password box, type your administrator password and retype it in the Confirm password box.
  • Click Apply and OK to save the changes.

Fix “The Security Center service can't be started” error by fixing your registry

Fix it now!
To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Fortect.
  • Locate to Registry Editor via run dialogue or start button and search.
    Windows Registry EditorFixing registry entries to resolve "The Security Center service is turned off" error.
  • You need to log in as an administrator so you can make changes.
  • Click on File and Export and choose the location to export the current registry.
  • This helps to back up your registry.

Now you can fix the entries:

  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE >> SYSTEM >> CurrentControlSet >> services >> wscsvc
  • Click on the subkey and select Delete. Then Yes.
  • Open the Notepad and copy-paste the following:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SYSTEM\\CurrentControlSet\\services\\wscsvc]














    “ObjectName”=”NT AUTHORITY\\\\LocalService”





    00,61,00,74,00,65,00,50,00,72,00,69,00,76,00,69,00,6c,00,65,00,67,00,65,00,\\ 00,00,00,00






    “ServiceDll”=hex(2):25,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,52,00,6f,00,6f,\\ 00,74,00,25,00,5c,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,32,00,5c,00,\\













  • Save the file by naming the file Hkey.reg
  • Import this file on Registry Editor by clicking File and then Import.
  • Click OK and exit the editor.
  • Restart your PC and check if the Security Center is running.

“The Security Center service can't be started” error fix using Command Prompt

  • Open Command Prompt with administrative rights and enter the following commands to run automatic scanners:
    sfc/scannow for System File Checker
    DISM/Online/Cleanup-Image/RestoreHealth for Deployment Image Servicing and Management.
    Command Prompt window

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About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The problem solver

Ugnius Kiguolis is the founder and editor-in-chief of UGetFix. He is a professional security specialist and malware analyst who has been working in IT industry for over 20 years.

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