Sometimes when you try to turn on the Windows Defender, it may get stopped and show you an error code 0x800704ec. This error comes as a Windows official notification and prevents you to open the Microsoft Defender application. When this error occurs, you may see the below error message:
This program is blocked by group policy. For more information contact your system administrator. (Error Code: 0x800704ec)
The possible reason to occur this issue is the currently active antivirus application on your system that might have turned off the Windows Defender in order to bypass the conflicting software operations. To solve this issue, we come up with all possible methods to help you turn on your Windows Defender.
Fix error code 0x800704ec When Running Windows Defender
Here we bring you all possible methods to solve the issue with Windows Defender:
1] Enable Windows Defender Services
Enabling the Windows Defender Services can help you fix the error code 0x800704ec. Here are the steps to enable the Windows Defender Services:
1. Right-click on Start and select Run to open the Run dialog box.
2. In the dialog box, type services.msc and hit Enter.
3. Inside the Services window, locate Windows Defender Antivirus Service and then double click on it.
4. In the properties window, make sure that the Startup type is set to Automatic and the Service status is Running.
2] Uninstall the Antivirus
Another method you can try to solve this problem by just uninstalling the antivirus software from your system and thus making the Windows defender get active to protect your computer. Here are the detailed steps below to uninstall your antivirus software:
1. Press the Windows+R shortcut key to open the Run dialog box.
2. In the dialog box, type appwiz.cpl and hit Enter to open the Programs and Features window.
3. Here look for the Antivirus software that you want to uninstall.
4. Click on that antivirus software and select uninstall.
5. Tap on Yes in the case when you get a prompt for confirmation.
6. Now Restart your PC after uninstalling the antivirus software.
3] Modify the Registry key
Another method to resolve the error Code 0x800704ec is to modify the registry key that will provide an instant fix. Here we present you detailed steps to make the process of modifying the registry key simple for you:
1. Right-click on Start and select the Run option.
2. In the dialog box, type regedit.exe and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor.
3. Tap Yes in the case when asking for the confirmation.
4. In the Registry Editor window, go to the following location:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Policies > Microsoft > Windows Defender
5. Select Windows Defender, go to the right pane, and double click on the Default (REG_SZ ) key.
7. In the dialog box, enter the Value data 0 and click on the OK button.
8. Now close the registry editor window and restart your computer.
Once your PC starts up, run Microsoft Defender and see if it works.
4] Change Local Group Policy Settings
In case of failure of the above methods, here we come up with a third solution to fix the error Code 0x800704ec. Group Policy may block the Windows Defender and cause this error. So try changing the settings of Local Group Policy in order to solve this problem. The steps to change the settings of the group policy are given below:
1. Open Run dialog box using Windows and R key.
2. In the dialog box, type gpedit.msc and click OK.
3. Inside the Local Group Policy Editor window, go to the following location:
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender Antivirus.
4. In the right pane, locate Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus and then double click on it.
5. Select the Not Configured in the pop-up window and click Apply > OK.
6. Reboot your PC after finishing all the steps and check if the error is solved.
5] Run SFC scan and DISM utility
Rectifying the corrupted system files can also help you solve this error code. The system file checker and DISM tool can help in removing the corrupted system files and replacing them with the corrected version. Here are the steps that are given below to run SFC:
1. Click on Start and type “Command Prompt”.
2. Right-click on the same and tap Run as administrator.
3. Tap on the Yes button when UAC prompts on the screen.
4. In the command prompt window, type the command given below:
5. Press enter and let the scanning procedure to complete.
If the above method doesn’t work, there is a need for some advanced commands like DISM in order to optimize the Windows system files. To run DISM, here are the steps that are given below:
2. Type the command given below and hit Enter to execute it:
DISM /Online /Cleanup-image /RestoreHealth
3. After running the procedure, reboot your PC and check if the error is resolved now.
That’s it. I hope it helped you fix the Windows Defender Error Code 0x800704ec