Windows Defender Offline Scan not working on Windows 11/10
Windows Defender antivirus program, also known as Windows Security, is installed with Windows 11/10. It is an antimalware scanning tool that allows you to start and scan from a trusted environment. By using it, you can protect your PC against viruses and malware and protect it in real time. When a threat is detected, Windows Defender blocks and removes it. However, some users have reported that Windows Defender offline scan not working. If you encounter this problem, read on.
What is offline scanning in Windows Defender?
Offline Deep Scan allows users to detect all threats such as Trojan viruses, ransomware horses and other malware that may not be detected by other antivirus programs when Windows is running. execution.
Offline scan works in recovery environment. So whenever you choose to run an offline scan, the PC will reboot into Advanced Recovery. Once there, Defender will scan all files for malware, viruses, or anything suspicious.
No red programs will hinder the scan as nothing else is running except essential Windows services. It usually takes 15 minutes, after which the PC starts.
Possible issues why offline scan does not work
- Interfering third-party security software: Suppose you are already using third-party security software. Your Defender offline scan will not work because the software clashes, and only one can work.
- Corrupt Windows Defender system files: Windows Security system files or core files may be corrupted and hence it cannot start offline scan.
- User account permission issue: If you receive an error—you need permission to perform this action— you are not allowed to run the offline scan. You will need an administrator account to run an offline scan.
Windows Defender Offline Scan not working on Windows 11/10
Now that we know the reasons that limit offline scanning, let’s see how to fix the problem.
- Uninstall third-party security software
- Launch with admin permission
- Run DISM and SFC command to repair corrupted system file
- Run System Restore
- Use Reset this PC
- Restore from backup
Some of them are troubleshooting methods, while the latter allow you to restore the PC to a previous state where everything was working fine.
1]Uninstall third-party security software
Any operating system can have multiple anti-virus software, but only one should be running. If you install two security software, it will create a conflict. If you are already using third-party software, offline scanning may not work. It would be better to uninstall or disable this security software and then use Windows Defender offline scan.
2]Run with admin permission
You will need an administrator account to launch this solution, and it will not work with a standard account. If you are using a standard account, a UAC (User Account Control) prompt will appear, asking for administrator permission, and standard users will need to enter administrator credentials.
Lily: Where are Windows Defender offline scan logs stored?
3]Run DISM and SFC commands to repair corrupted system file
When a system file is damaged or cannot function properly, any program that depends on it will not work. If Windows Defender or any of its related files is corrupted, you need to repair it. This can be done using DISM commands and SFC utilities. Follow these steps
- Right-click on the Start menu and select Windows Terminal (Admin) or Command Prompt (Admin)
sfc /scannowand press Enter.
- System File Checker will start scanning and scanning the entire system for corrupt or missing files. Once the files are detected, Windows will try to repair the corrupted files.
- If your Windows Defender still not running, try running a DISM scan and type
DISM/Online /Cleanup-Image/RestoreHealthin the command prompt and press the Enter key.
- Once done, launch the Windows Security application and try to run the offline team.
Lily: How to perform Windows Defender Offline Startup Scan?
5]Run System Restore
The System Restore program takes a snapshot of a few system files and the Windows registry and stores it as a restore point. In the event of installation failure and data corruption, System Restore can restore files to working order without you having to reinstall Windows.
- Tap the Start menu and type Restore point
- Click on the recovery option in the search result
- Click Open System Restore and then click Next button on System Restore button
- The next screen will reveal the restore points available for the PC.
- Select one then click the Next button
- Click the Finish button on the confirmation screen and let the process complete.
You can also view the list of affected programs when you select a restore point. Be sure to check that out to fully understand what you might need to bring them back after the process is complete.
4]Use Reset this PC
If SFC and DISM tools do not help you, you are in a situation where you need to install the latest version of the operating system while keeping your applications and files. It is also called repair upgrade. If you find this again, the option also appears when you use Reset this PC.
- Open Settings using Win + I
- Go to System > Recovery
- Click the Reset PC button
- Select Keep my files, then follow the rest of the instructions.
6]Restore Windows OS image from backup
System image backups help you create the current Windows image. Images contain all the information about your PC in a particular state. So if you already run a backup that can restore, you can also try that. Although the process is similar to System Restore, each user has a different backup method. So, if you run Windows Backup or a third-party tool, use it to restore the PC to a state where everything was working fine.
Hope the post was easy to follow and you were able to fix Windows Defender offline scan not working on Windows 11/10.
Is Windows Defender enough to protect my PC?
You can always improve security by installing a third-party antivirus program. We suggest that you mainly use Windows Defender as it has been ranked among the best in performance tests. However, if you want more, be sure to browse the features and get feedback.
Why is my Windows Defender antivirus disabled?
Windows Defender may be disabled or not working. This can happen because another antivirus application is installed on your system. You need to disable it and uninstall this software/application before running Windows Defender which creates conflicts.
Lily: Unable or unable to activate Windows Defender
Why won’t Windows Defender open in Windows?
If your Windows Defender is not opening in Windows, it has has detected another antimalware software. Make sure to uninstall it and restart your PC. If even after removing the third-party software from your PC, things are still not working, you need to reset the security application. Go to To start up and type windows security, right-click on it and select Application Settings. Scroll down and you will find an option to reset. Click to reset.
How to Enable Windows Security in Windows?
To enable/disable window security, go to To start up; To research Windows Security and click on it, after which you will see several options such as virus and threat protection, account protection, etc. Click on Protection against viruses and threats. After that, check Managed Parameter below Virus and threat protection settings pane and click on it. Now you will see Real-time protection which has a toggle switch. Now you need to enable Windows Security in Windows.
Read more: Windows Security in Windows 11 does not open or work.