Has Your IT Administrator Disabled Windows Security?
Windows 10 ships with Windows Security that provides the latest antivirus protection and several other security perks. As a result, your device is actively protected from the moment you launch Windows 10. More importantly, Windows Security continually scans your device for viruses, malware (malicious software), and security threats. Besides this real-time protection, Windows Security automatically downloads updates to help keep your device safe and protected from threats.
Unfortunately, some IT administrators often turn off Windows Security for a variety of unwarranted reasons. For instance, your IT administrator may disable Windows security to ensure legacy applications or older software programs can run. Or perhaps they don’t understand the importance of securing the Windows computer, or they don’t trust Windows security.
Why You Shouldn’t Turn Off Windows Security
Windows Security is built-in to Windows 10 operating system and includes antivirus software called Microsoft Defender Antivirus. In previous Windows 10 versions, Windows Security was referred to as Windows Defender Security Center. If you install and turn on another antivirus app on your device, Microsoft Defender Antivirus will turn off automatically. However, uninstalling the other app triggers Microsoft Defender Antivirus to turn back on automatically.
Some features of Windows Security will be a little different if you run Windows 10 in S mode. Typically, S mode is designed for unyielding security, and the Virus and Threat Protection area comes with fewer options. However, the built-in security of the S mode automatically stops viruses and other malware threats from running on your PC, and you’ll get security updates automatically.
Overall, you should never turn off Windows Security since it’s what protects your computer against pop-ups, security threats caused by spyware and viruses, and slow system performance. With Windows Security disabled, malware can infect your device without your knowledge. For example, it might install itself from a suspicious email link or attachment or when you install certain applications via a CD, DVD, USB flash drive, or other removable media.
Windows Security helps to prevent such malware threats from infecting your device in two ways:
• Real-time protection: Windows Security notifies you when malware attempts to install itself or run on your device or change important settings. • Scanning options: With Windows Security, you can scan for malware installed on your computer and automatically remove or temporarily quarantine suspicious software detected during a scan.
How to Tell if Your IT Admin Has Disabled Windows Security
If you try to access Windows Security or the built-in Antivirus solution and receive an error message saying, “Cannot Open this app, Your IT admin has disabled Windows Security. Contact your IT Help desk,” then your IT admin has probably turned off Windows Security. If that is the case, you don’t need to fret. You can still restore the settings back to normal by tweaking a few settings. If you’re not into tech, you can consult a trusted IT specialist to sort it out for you in a few simple steps. Of course, experienced managed IT service providers will not cut corners by switching off such a critical security feature on your PC. Instead, they’ll make the right configurations to ensure your Windows Security functions alongside other essential software you intend to use.
How to Fix Disabled Windows Security
If you notice that your IT admin has disabled Windows Security on your computer, you can use either Group Policy Method or Registry Method to fix the issue.
Group Policy Method
To open the Group Policy Editor, type “gpedit.msc” in the Run prompt (Win + R). Next, navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Security.
Here you will find multiple policies for Windows Security that you will need to change to enable back access. They include:
• Account protection
• Device Security
• Family Options
• App and browser protection
• Firewall and network protection
• Device performance and health
• Virus and Threat Protection
Next, open each of these folders, double click to open the policies inside, and change it from “Not Configured” to “Enabled.” However, you should be careful not to change anything under the Enterprise Customization policy unless it’s expressly applicable to your computer.
When you enable an application, it will automatically appear under Windows Security. After enabling all of the features, you’ll be able to access all settings of Windows Security with no problems.
Windows 10 Home users can turn on Windows Security using the Registry Method since they don’t have access to the Group Policy. However, using this method requires you to create a system restore point. Overall, the registry method is a technical process that is better left to a trained IT support specialist. If your current IT provider doesn’t help, it could be time to switch providers.
Unable to Reactivate Windows Defender?
If you’re unable to activate your Windows Security and get an error message indicating that “Windows Security is currently not protecting your device,” it may be because your PC still has another antivirus application installed. To fix the issue, uninstall the old antivirus software and try again to enable Windows Security. After successfully uninstalling the antivirus application, the system will prompt you to restart your PC. Once you’ve restarted your PC, follow the same steps as before to enable your Windows Security. But if you still encounter obstacles, consider hiring an experienced IT specialist to solve the issue once and for all.
Windows security is important to the overall security of your device, and disabling it should not be an option. Mature, professional IT service providers don’t do that. A great IT company will have the right processes and policies in place to ensure that you will never have to worry about having disabled security on your Windows system. Centerpoint IT offers exemplary managed IT services for corporate clients across Atlanta and North Georgia.
We have built more than seven years of double-digit growth by providing exceptional, effective, and efficient IT service and support in an industry that historically fails to deliver the promised professional, competent, and consistent results. Our approach is to build a business committed to making IT simple for our small- to medium-sized business clients. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced IT engineers!