6 Best Ways to Fix Virus & Threat Protection Engine Unavailable Error in Windows 11
The Windows Security app protects your computer from viruses, malware, and security threats. However, when accessing its Virus & Threat Protection feature, you may encounter the Engine Unavailable error. This error appears when the computer fails to download the Security Intelligence update for Windows Defender Antivirus.
Fortunately, like any other Windows Security app issue, it can be fixable. In this post, we’ll see how to fix the Windows Security Engine Unavailable error. Let’s begin.
Services are important PC components that run in the background and play a crucial role in various tasks. One of these services is the Security Center service, which checks and reports the health of your computer. If this service is not running, you are likely to face the Windows Defender engine unavailable problem.
To start the Security Center service, follow these steps:
Step 1: Press the Windows key to open the Start Menu.
Step 2: Type Services in the search bar and press Enter.
Step 3: Right-click the Security Center service and select Start.
Wait for the service to start. Afterwards, restart your computer and check for the issue.
The engine unavailable error occurs when Windows fails to download the Security Intelligence update. To fix this, run the Windows Update troubleshooter to detect and eliminate the cause of the download failure.
To run the Window Update troubleshooter, follow these steps:
– Press Windows + I to open the Settings app.
– Click System and then select Troubleshoot.
Step 3: Choose Other troubleshooters.
Step 4: Click the Run button next to Windows Update.
The troubleshooter window will appear and search for any issues. It will automatically fix any problems without much user input if it finds any.
Another way to fix the problem is to restart Windows Defender. This method is helpful if you are experiencing the error due to a temporary bug in the Windows Defender antivirus.
To restart Windows Defender antivirus, follow these instructions:
Step 1: Click the Start button on the taskbar, open the Start Menu, and type “Command Prompt.” Choose “Run as administrator” from the right pane.
Step 2: Paste the command in the Command Prompt window and press Enter:
sc start WinDefend Enable
4. Edit the Registry Settings
Sometimes third-party software can make registry changes to work properly on your computer. This includes two important entries called DisableAntiVirus and DisableAntiSpyware which are associated with Windows Defender Antivirus. If these entries are enabled, you’ll encounter the Windows Defender engine unavailable problem.
To solve this issue, you need to access the Registry Editor and disable these entries. Here’s how:
Step 1: Press Windows + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run tool, type “regedit” and press Enter.
Step 2: In the Registry Editor, go to this location:
Step 3: Right-click on the DisableAntiSpyware key in the right pane and select Modify.
In Step 4, enter 0 as the Value data and click OK.
Repeat the steps for the DisableAntiVirus key, type 0 in its Value data section, and save the changes.
5. Remove Third-Party Security App
The Windows Security app safeguards your computer from online and offline threats. However, many users still install third-party applications. To fix the “engine unavailable” problem, disable any third-party security programs. Right-click on the app’s icon in the system tray and choose “Disable” from the context menu. After disabling the app, check if the error is fixed. If so, consider uninstalling the app from your computer.
Like any other built-in application, the Windows Security app can also get corrupt for various reasons. When that happens, you may encounter different issues, including the one in question.
The best way to remove corruption from the Windows Security app is to reset it. You can do so by following these steps:
1. Click the Start icon on the taskbar, type Windows PowerShell in the Start Menu search bar, and choose Run as administrator.
Step 2: Paste the command below in the PowerShell window and press Enter:
Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.SecHealthUI -AllUsers Reset-AppxPackage
After executing the command, restart your computer and check for the issue.
Virus & Threat protection is an important component of the Windows Security app. From there, you can run a full system scan, manage protection settings, and more. However, you won’t be able to access all these settings if you encounter the Windows Defender engine unavailable error. Luckily, you can quickly eliminate the error using the above methods.
As Fred Humiston, the author behind Twothirds.us, I focus on providing practical and easy-to-follow guides and solutions for a variety of technical issues that people commonly face.
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