Error 0x800704ec Windows Defender blocked by Group Policy

Sometimes when you try to enable or turn ON the Windows Defender service on your computer, it will not enable and prompts the error 0x800704ec. This issue usually occurs when some third-party Anti-Virus application is installed on your computer.

The error message appears as

This program is blocked by group policy. For more information, contact your system administrator. Error 0x800704ec.

Suppose, when any third-party Anti-Virus is installed on your computer, Windows Defender will be automatically disabled in order not to interface with each other. There are chances that, sometimes unknowingly some security programs get installed on your computer and it prevents the Defender to work properly.

If are facing the issue with Windows Defender error 0x800704ec on your computer, this guide provides you the step by step procedure to fix the issue and let the Defender work properly.

How to fix error 0x800704ec Windows Defender blocked by Group Policy?

Follow the below resolution steps one by one and check if the issue gets fix after each troubleshooting step. If the issue remains, you can proceed with the further resolution steps.

Quick Note: Before proceeding with the troubleshooting steps, we suggest you to create a System Restore Point first. If something goes wrong during the troubleshooting, you can restore your computer back to previous working state.

Uninstall / Disable Anti-Virus program:

As mentioned earlier, if any third-party Anti-Virus installed on your computer, Windows Defender will be disabled automatically. You can refer the below steps to remove the unwanted programs from your computer.

  1. Press Windows logo + R keys on your keyboard to open RUN window. Type appwiz.cpl and hit enter. It will open the list of installed programs on your computer.

2. Now, look for the Anti-Virus programs, right click on it and Uninstall them.

3. Also check for the unwanted programs and toolbars and remove them from this location.

Sometimes, even if you remove the Anti-Virus files from the list of installed programs, it leaves the registry traces in the computer. Therefore, it is recommended to use the Anti-Virus removal tools to completely remove the security programs from your computer.

You can refer the below link to learn how to disable and remove the Anti-Virus program on your computer.

How to disable Anti-Virus program temporarily?

List of Anti-Virus uninstallers.

Now, check if the Windows Defender Service gets enable and works fine without the error 0x800704ec. If the issue remains, you can proceed with the further resolution steps.

Change settings of Group Policy:

You may encounter the issue with Windows Defender error 0x800704ec with the incorrect settings in the Group Policy Editor. Refer the below steps and make necessary changes accordingly.

  1. Press Windows logo + R keys on your keyboard to open RUN window, type gpedit.msc and hit enter. It will open the Group Policy Editor.

2. Under Computer Configuration, select Administrative Templates.

3. Extract Administrative Templates and select Windows Components.

4. Under Windows Components, click on Windows Defender Anti-Virus.

5. Now, double click on the option Turn off routine remediation.

6. Make sure it is set to Not configured. If it is enabled or disabled, change it to Not Configured, click on Apply and then OK.

After this, open Windows Services and try to start the Windows Defender service. If the same error 0x800704ec prompts, proceed with the further resolution steps.

Modify Registry to fix Windows Defender error 0x800704ec:

You can try modifying the System Registry on your computer to change the Defender Value Data and fix the issue with Defender error 0x800704ec. To perform the same, refer the below resolution steps.

  1. Press Windows logo + R keys on your keyboard to open RUN window. Type regedit and hit enter. It will open the System Registry.

2. Navigate to the below location.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE>Software>Policies>Microsoft>Windows Defender

3. On the right-hand side, double click on the Default key. Set its Value Data to 0 and click on OK.

Close the System Registry window. Try to turn ON the Windows Defender service now. It should enable without any error 0x800704ec.

I hope that the above troubleshooting steps helps you to fix the issue with Windows Defender error 0x800704ec. If you need any further assistance on this, do comments below. We are happy to assist you.

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