In today’s digital age, cyber attacks are becoming increasingly common and sophisticated. With the rise of malware and viruses, it’s more important than ever to have a strong and reliable antivirus program to safeguard your computer. However, after a malware attack, you may find that the Windows Defender Security Center Service is missing in Windows 11 or Windows 10, which can leave your computer vulnerable to further attacks.
In this article, we’ll delve into the causes of this problem and provide you with practical solutions to restore the missing Windows Security Center Service and get your computer protected again.
What is the problem?
The problem arises when you try to enable Windows Defender after a malware attack, and you encounter an error message that says, “Security at a glance – Page not available” when you open the Windows Security settings. When you check the Services.msc, you find that the Windows Security Center Service is missing, which prevents you from enabling Windows Defender.
In some cases, you may see a pop-up that says “You’ll need a new app to open this windowsdefender link” when you try to open the Windows Security settings.
This issue can occur due to several reasons, including a virus or malware that targets the Security Center service or an update that interferes with the service. In some cases, it may be a simple glitch that can be fixed with a restart. However, if the service is missing from the Services.msc, you’ll need to take other steps to fix the issue.
Related issue: Windows 11 Security Tab Missing in Properties
How to fix Windows Security Center Service not found issue
Fortunately, there are several ways to fix the Windows Security Center Service missing issue. We’ll discuss some of the most effective methods below.
Reinstall Windows Defender
One way to fix the problem is to reinstall Windows Defender. Reinstalling Windows Defender can bring back all the necessary services for Windows Defender and Security Center. This can be done with several methods, including running a simple PowerShell command. We recommend trying this method first to see if it resolves the issue. If it doesn’t, try the next solution below.
Restore Windows Defender Service using registry
If reinstalling Windows Defender didn’t resolve the issue, you can restore the Windows Defender Service in Windows 11 or Windows 10 using a registry file. However, before you can import the registry key, you need to start the regedit.exe as TrustedInstaller.
Also see: Windows Registry Key “Access is Denied” Error
Run regedit.exe as TrustedInstaller using Advanced Run
Advanced Run is a free portable utility from Nirsoft that allows you to run any program as an administrator, system user, or TrustedInstaller. It’s a useful tool for advanced users who need to run programs with elevated privileges. With Advanced Run, you can easily start regedit.exe as TrustedInstaller to import the registry key to restore the Windows Defender Service.
- Download Advanced Run from Nirsoft and extract the contents to a folder on your computer.
- Open the folder and double-click on the “AdvancedRun.exe” file to run it.
- Click on the “Browse” button and select the Registry Editor executable file (regedit.exe) or manually type the path: “C:\Windows\regedit.exe“.
- Under the “Run As” section, select “TrustedInstaller” from the drop-down menu.
- Click on the “Run” button to open regedit.exe as TrustedInstaller.
Import the Windows Defender Service restoration registry file
Now that you’ve started regedit.exe as TrustedInstaller, you can import the registry file to restore the Windows Defender Service.
Warning: Editing the registry can be risky, and if you’re not familiar with it, it’s best to seek professional help. Before making any changes to the registry, we recommend creating a system restore point or backing up the registry in case something goes wrong. It’s essential to take these precautions to avoid any potential damage to your system.
- Download our restore Windows Defender service registry fix.
- Extract the downloaded zip file (we recommend extracting it to C: drive).
- In the Registry Editor that you have run as TrustedInstaller, click File and select Import.
- Navigate to the registry file that corresponds to your Windows version. For example, if you are using Windows 11, select the RestoreWindowsDefender-Windows11.reg file.
- When prompted for confirmation, select Yes.
- Close the Registry Editor and restart your computer.
After restarting your computer, check if the Security Center Service has been restored. If it’s functional again, we urge you to immediately run Windows Update to update Windows Defender to the latest version. Keeping Windows Defender up-to-date with the latest security definitions is crucial to ensure maximum protection against potential security threats.
If the Security Center Service is still not working, you may need to try resetting or clean reinstalling Windows 11/10.
Reset or clean reinstall Windows 11/10
If reinstalling Windows Defender or restoring the Windows Defender Service using the registry file didn’t work, you may need to consider resetting or clean reinstalling Windows 11 or 10 to fix the issue.
Resetting Windows enables you to keep your personal files and settings while removing any apps and drivers that were installed, while a clean reinstall erases everything on your hard drive and installs a fresh copy of Windows. Either of these processes may take some time, but they should fix any issues related to missing Windows Defender or Security Center services.
However, it’s important to note that a clean reinstall should be considered only as a last resort after exhausting all other options. Before proceeding, make sure to back up your files and create a system restore point to avoid losing any valuable data.
Repair Windows Security services with SFC and DISM
In addition to the solutions outlined in this article, we recommend running repair command tools such as SFC (System File Checker) and DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) to ensure that your Windows operating system is functioning correctly. These tools can help fix corrupted or missing system files that may be causing the Windows Defender Security Center Service to disappear.
To run SFC, open the Command Prompt as an administrator and type in the command “
sfc /scannow” (without the quotes) and press Enter. The scan may take some time, but once it’s complete, you should see a message indicating whether any issues were found and whether they were successfully repaired.
To run DISM, open the Command Prompt as an administrator and type in the command “
dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth” (without the quotes) and press Enter. This scan may also take some time, but it can help repair any issues with your system image.
What to do if the Windows Security Center Service disappears again
If the Windows Security Center service disappears again after restoring it, it may indicate that your computer is still infected with malware or a virus that is disabling the service. In this case, it’s important to act fast and take additional measures to protect your computer.
Instead of trying to restore Windows Defender, which may not be reliable if the service keeps disappearing, we recommend using a trusted third-party antivirus or anti-malware software to perform a full system scan. It’s essential to choose a reputable software that is known to be effective in detecting and removing malware and viruses.
If the third-party software detects any threats, it’s important to take immediate action and follow the software’s instructions to remove the malware or virus. Once the threat has been removed, you can try restoring the Windows Security Center service again.
Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to cybersecurity. It’s essential to keep your Windows operating system and all your applications up-to-date, use a reliable antivirus software, and practice safe browsing habits. This includes avoiding suspicious websites, not downloading attachments or clicking links from unknown sources, and being wary of phishing scams. By taking these precautions, you can help prevent malware and virus attacks from occurring in the first place.
We hope this article has been helpful in resolving your Windows Defender Security Center Service missing issue, and we encourage you to take the necessary steps to protect your computer from future threats.