How to fix Windows Defender Engine Unavailable error?

Issue: Hello. When I try to install the latest Windows security updates I receive an error and it shows that Windows Defender Engine is unavailable. How do I fix this?

Solved Answer

Windows Defender or Microsoft Defender Antivirus is an anti-malware component of Microsoft Windows. It provides some basic functions when it comes to operating system security. It can warn users about malware[1] infections and other cybersecurity threats.

When Windows Defender first came out, it only protected users from spyware, so Microsoft has come a long way. People can now feel safe when using Windows without third-party antivirus software. However, people have to install the latest security updates and patches to keep the security as strong as possible.

That is not always successful. Recently, some users reported receiving an error when trying to install the Security Intelligence Update for Microsoft Defender Antivirus. People also say that the Windows Defender Engine is shown as Unavailable, leaving them worried about being exposed to various threats.

While it is unknown what exactly could cause the Windows Defender Engine Unavailable error, we prepared 3 steps that could help you fix it and install the needed updates. Troubleshooting can become a lengthy process, so you can also use a maintenance tool like FortectMac Washing Machine X9 that can fix most system errors, BSODs,[2] corrupted files, and registry[3] issues. Otherwise, follow the instructions below.

How to fix Windows Defender Engine Unavailable error

Solution 1. Manually Install Security Intelligence Updates

Manually Install Security Intelligence Updates

Solution 2. Change Registry Key Values

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  • Press Windows key + R to open the Run box
  • Type Regedit and press Enter
  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SOFTWARE\\Policies\\Microsoft\\Windows Defender
  • Change both DisableAntiSpyware and DisableAntiVirus values to 0 by double-clicking

Change Registry Key Values

  • If the keys are not showing, right-click on an empty space, select New, and click on DWORD (32-bit) Value
  • Name the key DisableAntiSpyware and set the value to 0
  • Do the same for DisableAntiVirus also

Solution 3. Perform a Repair Upgrade

  • Download the Windows 10 ISO file from the official Microsoft website
  • If you agree to the license terms, select Accept
  • On the What do you want to do? page, select Create installation media for another PC and then select Next

Perform a Repair Upgrade

  • Select the language, edition, and architecture (64-bit or 32-bit) for Windows 10
  • In Select which media you want to use, Select ISO file then click Next
  • Select the download location then click Save
  • Windows 10 ISO file will be downloaded
  • Right-click Windows 10 ISO file and click Mount
  • Open Setup.exe
  • To get important updates, select Download and install updates
  • Ensure that Keep personal files and applications is checked
  • Click on Install to start the upgrade

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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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