Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Former Member
Report Inappropriate Content
Message 1 of 19

Windows Update and Defender

After upgrading to latest version of Internet Security I hit a problem with Windows Update attempting (and failing) to update Windows Defender.

This didn't happen on all my PCs - only on those that had started life as Windows 7 and upgraded via W8 to W10.

Searching various Microsoft Sites I found a Registry hack that fixed it see below

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

; Created by: Shawn Brink
; Tutorial:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender]

It appears that Security Centre doesn't fully disable Defender at start-up.


18 Replies

Re: Windows Update and Defender

Windows Update in 10 is a total mess and Microsoft have admitted that.

In Windows 10 the installation of any antivirus software automatically disables Windows Defender as it is also antivirus.  Having 2 active could actually lead you to being infected as they would clash.

So of course updates to Windows Defender in any system using Windows 8 or above will fail with McAfee/Intel (or any other brand) installed.

You probably need the help of this trick to hide or show updates in 10:  Windows 10 Forums

Re: Windows Update and Defender

I should have added, have you rebooted lately?   Often changes aren't fully effective until the system is restarted.

That could explain why you saw that anomaly.

To enable a proper reboot (total shut-down and restart) you have to disable Fast Startup as in this tutorial:  Windows 10 Forums

Honored Contributor III
Report Inappropriate Content
Message 4 of 19

Re: Windows Update and Defender

This may not be an isolated case : the Windows 7 forums have a lot of posts this month about problems with Windows Updates. Not only that, but I've encountered a similar problem with Windows Defender failing to install an update because (apparently) it's in an incorrect format.

- when you encountered this problem what error code was associated with it?

Re: Windows Update and Defender

OK, if you are using anything above Windows 7, i.e. Windows 8, 8.1 or 10 Windows Defender should remain switched off if McAfee antivirus is installed.

It can't update in that state and doesn't need to, unless you eventually remove McAfee (or any other 3rd party A/V) and only then can you update it.

The OP says it started out as 7, which is fine, although in my Win 7 Pro SP1 x64 I had left WD off but I just activated it a minute ago and it updated with ease, so not sure what the problems are.

But I repeat, in 8, 8.1 or 10 with 3rd party A/V installed, you'll never need to update WD and in fact are prevented from doing so  quite rightly as running 2 A/V's together can spell disaster.

BTW Windows 8 is no longer supported by Microsoft , only 8.1.  I have 7 and 10 installed on this machine.

Honored Contributor III
Report Inappropriate Content
Message 6 of 19

Re: Windows Update and Defender

I accept all that, but the W7 people are saying that Microsoft have changed the way that Windows Update works, and somehow they have introduced one or more bugs that (among others) means a download fails to install. There are two or three error codes that occur frequently, I was curious to know if any of them occurred here.

Re: Windows Update and Defender

Well I haven't seen any evidence here, that's odd.  Officially all Microsoft did was split update Tuesday into 2 and update Office on the 1st Tuesday of the month and the rest on the 2nd.

My only complaint has been that every now and again they try to sneak in an update that's going to start those annoying upgrade to 10 pop-ups.    I've hidden all those thus far.

I guess Tech Support would be the best bet if it's effecting McAfee software somehow., if not then the Windows forums are the best spot.

Contact Support

Re: Windows Update and Defender

Grrrrrr...I get those Darn 'Nagging' Updates as well. So often that I know the (3) KB's by heart !

As for splitting the 'Updates' into 2 different times, this is for Windows 10 only, correct?

In the past periodically, on the second Wednesday a update may appear (Windows 7 SP1)

McAfee Volunteer

Re: Windows Update and Defender

Yes the announcement was for Windows 10 customers as Windows Update in 10 is a total nightmare - one has to implement all kinds of behind the scenes fixes and even install an extra application so that one can get back the simple controls over updates that one has in 7 and below.   I sometimes wonder what their developers are thinking of.  Other than that the OS is quite good albeit lacking a desktop mail client and Windows Media Center, all fixable through "fiddles".

I have noticed ever since last year they do send out some updates at odd dates anyway for all systems.  I guess it depends on their urgency.

Re: Windows Update and Defender

True..Thanks for the clarification. I guess I am about to 'Bite the Bullet' if you will. As I am preparing this 'Toshiba Laptop' in order to Upgrade from 8.1 to Windows 10. So unfortunately I will join you in your monthly tasks....

I have grown to love Windows 7 though...Just my personal opinion.

McAfee Volunteer
How Many Badges Can You Collect?
Ready for a little competition? Members like you are earning badges and unlocking perks for their helpful answers. Are you? Click here to find out.

Community Help Hub

    New to the forums or need help finding your way around the forums? There's a whole hub of community resources to help you.

  • Find Forum FAQs
  • Learn How to Earn Badges
  • Ask for Help
Go to Community Help

Join the Community

    Thousands of customers use the McAfee Community for peer-to-peer and expert product support. Enjoy these benefits with a free membership:

  • Get helpful solutions from McAfee experts.
  • Stay connected to product conversations that matter to you.
  • Participate in product groups led by McAfee employees.
Join the Community
Join the Community