Fix Windows 11 Virus and Threat Protection not Working/Missing

This page covers several proven fixes to Windows 11 virus and threat protection not working and introduces an easy method to prevent your computer from virus attacks.


By Jonna Updated on October 27, 2023

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Where is Virus & Threat Protection Settings on Windows 11?

Windows Security includes a virus and threat protection feature that helps scan your computer for threats. Microsoft provides this feature as part of its security tool to prevent malicious programs from being installed on your computer. To find out where virus and threat protection is on Windows 11, you can select Start -> Settings -> Privacy & security -> Windows Security and then Virus & threat protection to access virus and threat protection settings.

Virus Threat Protection on Windows 11

However, recently, plenty of users are reporting that Windows 11 virus and threat protection not working or Windows Security on Windows 11 not working. If you’re experiencing a similar issue on your Windows device, the techniques provided in the following content may be helpful.

Why is Windows Security not working in Windows 11?

Several factors can contribute to the issue of Windows 11 virus and threat protection not opening, working, or showing correctly. Possible causes include:

  • Corrupted system files
  • Bugs in your current version of Windows 11
  • Conflicts with third-party antivirus software on your PC
  • Corrupted Registry
  • Your system infected with malware

How to Fix Windows 11 Virus and Threat Protection not Working/Missing in 10 Ways

Before trying anything difficult to solve virus and threat protection not working on Windows 11, you could do simple tricks like restarting your computer to have a try. If it doesn’t work, please go on with the following solutions.

Solution 1. Run SFC and DISM

If the virus and threat protection missing or not working problem is caused by corrupted system files, you can attempt to resolve it by running SFC (System File Checker) and DISM (Deployment Image Service and Management Tool) scans.

Step 1. In the search bar, type cmd, then right-click and select Run as administrator to open the Command Prompt window.

Step 2. Copy and paste the following command lines one by one, then press Enter after each to execute them:

  • DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
  • sfc /scannow


Step 3. Once the scans are complete, check whether the issue has been resolved.

Solution 2. Reboot Windows Security Service

Another potential solution for resolving issues with Windows Security or virus and threat protection not opening on Windows 11 is to restart the Windows Security Service. Here's how you can do it:

Step 1. Press Windows + R to launch the Run command. Enter services.msc in the text field and click on OK to launch the Services app.

Step 2. Locate Security Center service from the list, right-click it, then select Restart.

Restart Service

Step 3. After restarting the service, reboot your computer, and then check to see if the issue has been resolved.

Solution 3. Repair/Reset Windows Security

If virus and threat protection is missing from Windows Security, you can try to repair or reset Windows Security using the following steps:

Step 1. Open Settings by pressing Windows + I keys. Select Apps on the left, and then click on Apps and features on the right.

Step 2. Find the Windows Security program, click on the ellipsis (three dots) next to it, and select Advanced options from the fly-out menu.

Step 3. Scroll down to the Reset section, then click the Repair button. If the repair does not resolve the issue, you can opt to click the Reset button for a more thorough reset of Windows Security.

Repair Windows Security

Solution 4. Ensure that your Windows 11 is up to date

Updating your Windows computer to the latest version can often help resolve issues virus and threat protection on Windows 11 not working. Here's how to fix virus and threat protection missing on Windows 11 by getting updates:

Click Start -> Settings -> Windows Update -> Check for updates. Then, Windows will automatically scan for updates and download any available updates for your computer.

Windows Update

Solution 5. Enable Real-time Protection

In some cases, enabling Real-time protection can help you solve virus and threat protection missing from Windows 10/11 problem.

Step 1. Type Windows Security in the Windows 11 search box, and click on System settings option to open it.

Step 2. Select Virus & threat protection, then click on the Manage settings option under Virus & threat protection settings.

Manage Settings

Step 3. Enable the toggle for Real-time protection to activate it.

Real Time Protection

Solution 6. Change Group Policy Settings

If Windows Security is disabled or turned off in Group Policy, it can lead to issues with virus and threat protection not showing or working on Windows 11. To rectify this, follow these steps:

Step 1. Press Windows + R to open the Run dialog, then type gpedit.msc and press Enter to open Group Policy.

Step 2. Navigate to Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Security -> Virus and threat protection.

Step 3. Double-click the Hide the Virus and threat protection area option. Ensure the setting is set to Not Configured. Then, check if the issue of virus & threat protection not working is resolved on your Windows 11 computer.

Hide the Virus And Rhreat Protection Area

Solution 7. Change Registry Key

If virus and threat protection is not opening due to issues with the Registry Editor, you can follow these steps to modify the Registry key:

Step 1. Input regedit in the Run box and click OK to launch Registry Editor. If prompted by the User Account Control (UAC) prompt, click Yes.

Step 2. Navigate to the following path:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options


Step 3. In the Registry Editor, if you come across any of the three entries, which are MSASCui.exe, MpCmdRun.exe, or MsMpEng.exe, right-click on them, and select Delete.

Step 4. If you do not find these entries, proceed to the next troubleshooting step.

Solution 8. Run a Virus Scan

If your computer is infected with malware or a virus, it can lead to various issues, including Windows Security's virus and threat protection not working. To address this, you can perform a malware scan using third-party antivirus software to determine if the issue can be resolved. This scan can help detect and remove any malicious software that might be interfering with the proper functioning of Windows Security.

Solution 9. Remove third-party antivirus software

If you've installed third-party antivirus software on your Windows computer, it might conflict with the virus and threat protection feature in Windows Security. You can try temporarily uninstalling the third-party antivirus to see if virus and threat protection can work properly again. Here's how:

Step 1. Open Windows Settings.

Step 2. Tap on Apps and choose Apps and features.

Step 3. Find the third-party antivirus program you want to uninstall. Click the three-dot icon next to the antivirus program and select Uninstall.

Unsintall Apps

Solution 10. Check Windows Date and Time

Incorrect date and time settings on Windows can sometimes affect the proper run of virus and threat protection on Windows 11 and Windows 10. Here's how to check and adjust them:

Step 1. Right-click on the date/time displayed on the right side of the taskbar and select Adjust date/time.

Step 2. Toggle the switch next to Set time automatically to turn it off and then on again.

Set Time Automatically

Step 3. You can also click Sync now to make Windows 11 sync its time and date to match the Microsoft Network Time Protocol (NTP) server.

Sync Now

Best Free Way to Backup Windows 11 Computer from Virus Attack

Regardless of whether the above methods can help you fix Windows 11 virus and threat protection not working, it is strongly advisable that you always backup your Windows 11 to avoid unforeseen virus invasion. Because once a problem occurs, at least your files will be lost, and at worst, your Windows 11 will not boot up properly.

When it comes to the best free Windows 11 backup and restore software, AOMEI Backupper Standard is worth a try. It offers comprehensive backup options including System Backup, File Backup, Disk Backup, and Partition Backup. For example, with a system backup, you can effortlessly restore Windows 11 to previous date, ensuring your system's security and stability.

  • It allows you to backup data to cloud devices, internal/external hard drives, NAS devices, and network locations, etc.
  • You can use it to set up automatic backup frequencies for your tasks, such as daily, weekly, monthly, etc.

Now install the AOMEI Backupper freeware on your computer, and follow the below steps to create a full backup. (This version only supports Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista. For server users, try AOMEI Backupper Server.)

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Click on System Backup under the Backup tab.

System Backup

Step 2. The software will automatically select the system-related partitions as the source data. Simply click the destination box to choose a path where you want to store the backup.

Select Destination

✬Tip: Before you initiate the backup, you can click Schedule Backup to enable Windows 11 automatic backup as per your need.

Step 3. Tap on Start Backup to backup your Windows 11.

Start Backup

👉Create bootable media in case your computer fails to boot up

In the event of a Windows system crash or the inability to boot up correctly, you can use the feature Create Bootable Media under Tools to restore a previously created system backup before without Windows.

Create Bootable Media

✬Tips: Additionally, you can create recovery environment that is accessed directly from the Windows boot menu. This feature eliminates the need to create a separate bootable device in order to boot a system that has encountered difficulties. (This feature is available in Pro or higher version).

In the End

This article mainly describes how to fix Windows 11 virus and threat protection not working in 10 effective solutions. To better secure your computer data and avoid problems such as system failure caused by viruses or malware, it is highly advisable to establish a regular system backup routine. By doing so, even if your system encounters unexpected issues and becomes unable to boot, you can swiftly restore it using a previously created system backup.

AOMEI Backupper Standard, a free backup software solution, offers the convenience of automatically backing up your system at the intervals you specify. You have the flexibility to choose different backup paths. In the event of unforeseen accidents or system issues, this tool enables you to rapidly restore your system backup, and it enables you to restore system backup to computers with different hardware using its Universal Restore(accessible in Pro version).

What’s more, it offers Sync and Clone features. You can use it to clone hard drive on Windows 7/8/10/11 to HDD/SSD hassle-free.

Jonna · Editor
Jonna joined AOMEI in 2021 and has become a professional in the areas of computer backup and restoration, disk cloning, file synchronization, etc. She maintains a keen eye for the latest technology trends, ensuring that the information provided is always in step with industry developments.