• Windows Defender Antivirus won’t activate

    Home » Forums » AskWoody support » Windows » Windows 10 » Questions: Win10 » Windows Defender Antivirus won’t activate

    • This topic has 7 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 2 years ago.

    Have used AVG for years but have finally had it with all their intrusive pop ups and ads and have dropped it.  After uninstalling it and rebooting Windows Antivirus won’t start and I get the message that “the settings are managed by your organization.”  This is a home PC with no “organization.”  What gives, and how can I turn on the Windows antivirus? HELP!

    Viewing 4 reply threads
    • #2388659

      You may need to use AVGclear to pull it out.


      Anytime you do any of the group policy deferral/registry key stuff that is recommended on the site you get this annoying “the settings are managed by….”

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

    • #2388793

      No joy.  Ran it in safe mode under admin for “internet Security” version (what I had) and then for “Free” version (just in case). Still get the “settings managed by your organization” message.   Interestingly, I CAN (re)load AVG just fine but can’t activate the Windows Defender antivirus.

      Any other ideas?

      Is there a way to force the Windows AV to run.  Don’t understand why I can reload AVG but not get Windows AV to run.

      • #2388799

        Each/some of AVG’s different protections may be making changes to Group Policy and/or the Registry. One of the changes it makes is to turn off Defender. By doing the following, you may be able to “undo” the changes AVG has made. I know it’s tedious, but worth a try.

        Download the AVG Removal Tool linked by Susan above.
        Reload AVG.
        Go through each of it’s multiple protections and turn them off one by one with a restart after each turn-off.
        After the last one is turned off, turn off AVG program (right click the icon in the tray?). Then go into Task Manager\Startup and disable it on startup. Restart – that should remove AVG icon from the system tray.
        Now, run the AVG removal tool, and maybe a second time in Safe Mode.

        It’s always been a bear to uninstall.

    • #2388812

      Looks like my last post didn’t go up.

      Problem  system is Win 10 home and it doesn’t have things like the group policy editor.  Found several articles on about turning on the Windows antivirus by using either regedit or the GPE but neither work on the Home version.  Think it’s worth while to upgrade to the Pro version?  I have Pro on another machine and like it.

      Mean while I stuck AVG Free on the machine to give some protection.

    • #2388825

      It’s possible Windows Defender Antivirus was disabled via a value in the registry.

      Open regedit and go to

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender

      If the subkey  DisableAntiSpyware exists with a value of 1, that disables Windows Defender Antivirus and, because it’s a Policies setting, would also explain why you’re getting the “settings are managed by your organization” message.

      If it exists, changing the value to 0 or completely deleting the key “should” allow you to enable Defender Antivirus after removing AVG.

      Note: you must restart Windows for the change to take effect.

      • #2388860

        The question here is “how many other Registry values did the AVG other protection systems (other than anti-virus) change that are not getting reset by that one Registry change?” That was why I suggested the (painfully tedious) removal method above.

    • #2388837


      That did it!

      Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Viewing 4 reply threads
    Reply To: Windows Defender Antivirus won’t activate

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use all available BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.

    Your information: