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“While trying to use Windows Defender I was continuously facing an error 0x800704ec. While this error occurs, I click on OK in the error window, and after dismissing it doesn’t let me continue with my work. It just stops and does not let me continue working on the system. Please help!”

Well, while going through the user queries I came across many user queries mentioning that they were facing error 0x800704ec. So, we decided to write this blog to help users fix this error. Let’s first discuss what this error is all about.

Error 0x800704ec is a Windows Defender error which appears when a user opens Windows Defender. This error shows up in a Windows Defender dialogue box as “This program is blocked by group policy. For more information, contact your system administrator. (Error Code: 0x800704ec).” So, you might also be wondering what leads to this error, keep reading it for that.

What Causes This Error?

There are several reasons why this error occurs and one of them might be yours. So, here we are going to mention some of the popular and known reasons for this error:

  • Interference of third-party antivirus software.
  • Group Policy Settings might be blocking Windows Defender.
  • Improper Registry Files settings.
  • Disabled Windows Defender Services
  • Corruption in system files.
How to Fix Error Code 0x800704ec in Windows 10

There are some tricks, hacks and methods that we can apply to fix this occurring error in Windows 10. Let’s discuss them one by one.

  • Disable third-party antivirus software if any:
    The very first step is to uninstall the third-party antivirus software. If you have any anti-virus installed on your system, then this may happen that this antivirus software is interfering with Windows. Follow the below-mentioned steps to uninstall this antivirus software from your system:

    1. In the search box of your Windows, type Control Panel and search for it. Finally, open it.
    2. In Control Panel, look for the Program and Features section.Program and Features
    3. In this step, you will see a new window with heading Uninstall or change a program.Uninstall or change a program
    4. Now, select the antivirus software and uninstall it from your the antivirus software and uninstall
  • Once the software is uninstalled properly, clear all its residues and check if error occurs again.

  • Turn Windows Defender Services On:
    Another solution to fix this error is to turn the Windows Defender Services on. If this service is on in Windows will no more face this error. For this, you will need to follow the below-mentioned steps:

    1. First, start with pressing the Win + R key.
    2. As you press it, the Run window will be on your screen. In the search box of the Run window, type service.msc and press Enter to start the search.service.msc
    3. As the service window opens, you need to look for all of the services associated with Windows Defender. These services may include Windows Defender Antivirus Network Inspection Service, Antivirus Service, Advanced Threat Protection Service, Security Center Service, and Firewall.Windows Defender Service
    4. On each of the Windows Defender services, make a right click and select Start from the menu. Do it one by one, until all of the services are enabled.Start Windows Defender services
    5. Once, all of the services are done, it is the time to restart your system. Once the system is rebooted, check if the error shows up or not.
  • Make changes in Group Policy settings:
    This solution includes making changes in Group Policy settings, because sometimes it interferes with Windows Defender and blocks it. Let’s follow some steps to do so:

    1. Open the Run dialogue box, by pressing the Win + R key.
    2. Now, in the search box type gpedit.msc and press Enter to continue.gpedit.msc
    3. A new Local Group Policy Editor window will be opened on your screen, follow this path: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender AntivirusLocal Group Policy Editor
    4. Now, from the right side, look for Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus and double-click.Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus
    5. In the Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus window, check the box next to Not Configured and click on Apply and then on OK to continue.check the box next to Not Configured
    6. Once done, restart your system. Check if the problem is solved for you.
  • Try Registry Editor:
    The next method we want to try to fix the occurring error is by using Registry Editor. So, let’s get started with this method:

    1. To open the Registry Editor press Win + R key and in the search box of the Run window, type regedit and click on OK.Type regedit
    2. Now, in the Registry Editor window, follow the path mentioned-below:Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender

      Registry Editor window

    3. Once you have finally navigated to the Windows Defender look for REG_SZ and double-click.REG_SZ
    4. As the Edit String dialogue box opens change the Value data to 0. Click on OK to finish and proceed.Edit String dialogue box

    Once done successfully, try rebooting your system and check if the error persists.

    Another reason for this error might be the corruption or some kind of the damage to the system files. In this method, we are going to implement the SFC Scannow command from the Command prompt. Let’s get started:

    1. In the search box, type Command and a Command Prompt option will be displayed to you.
    2. Now make a right-click on the Command Prompt option and select Run as administrator from the options menu.Run as administrator
    3. Now, an Administrator command line window will open, there you need to type sfc / scannow and press Enter.type sfc / scannow
    4. As the scanning process starts, wait for it to finish and once it shows 100% done reboot your system.

    Let the system start again and check if it worked for you.

  • Fix corruption with a Windows Data Recovery Tool:
    Well, if it is the case of corruption or damage to the system files, then it is very important to use a reputed third-party tool. There is an automated tool called Kernel for Windows Data Recovery Free Version . It is a Windows data recovery tool that can fix the corruption in the system files, ultimately fixing the error 0x800704ec. This Free Data Recovery Tool is so powerful that it fixes corrupt system files, and also recovers lost and inaccessible files. It recovers all types of system files and gives you an option to preview the files before saving them. This tool can recover up to 2 GB data for free.

    To get this tool, you can visit the website of the tool and if your requirement is more than 2 GB, then there is a premium version of the tool with which you can recover and restore unlimited data in one go.


In this blog, we reviewed user queries where some users were facing an error 0x800704ec on their Windows 10 system. So after explaining the error we tried to provide a solution for this error. In this process we came to know that a user may face this error due to the corruption or damage in system files. So we tried to fix the corruption in the system files with sfc scannow; we also suggested what to look for if it didn’t work for you. We suggested to the users to use Kernel for Windows Data Recovery (free version) to recover and restore up to 2 GB data for free. Hope this tool helps you with fixing the error.

Kernel for Windows Data Recovery