Fix Error Code 0x800704ec In Windows Defender [Solved]

Before learning how to fix error code 0x800704ec, you should know what this error code means in Windows Defender.

As you may already know, Windows Defender is an antivirus software developed by Microsoft. It makes sure that your operating system works fine by detecting and removing viruses, spyware, and malware. 

It starts and runs each time your PC starts up automatically unless you choose to disable it. Windows Defender comes for free in every Windows operating system. 

What Does ‘Error Code 0x800704ec’ Mean?

error code 0x800704ec

The error code 0x800704ec is quite common and if you are here, you must have either encountered it or you just want to learn about it. Nevertheless, let us see what this code means.

When you try to turn on  Windows Defender on your PC in any Windows operating system, its icon is grayed out and a notification appears “error code 0x800704ec”. This error implies that you cannot open the application. 

This can happen because of several factors such as if the group policy editor has disabled in Windows Defender or if your PC has corrupted or damaged files.

Here, in this article, let us see what are the causes of the error code 0x800704ec and how you can fix them.

How To Fix ‘Error Code 0x800704ec’ When Running Windows Defender

Here are the different methods you can follow to fix the error code 0x800704ec:

1. Disable Or Remove Any Third-Party Anti-Virus 

We all know there are certainly better options out there for system protection like Avast, Bit Defender, Norton, etc. Even after having Windows Defender or Microsoft system essentials (before) pre-installed, people still counted on third-party choices either because of habit or they are that good! 

Though, one security software is preferable at once for Windows. The error you are facing maybe because of a difference between security tools. So either you disable Windows Defender or the third-party antivirus

Still, if you want an alternative that may be helpful in the future, simply disable it for now and let the defender work but not both at the same time.

Yes, if disabling anyone doesn’t help then remove the third-party antivirus software.

One can also remove by using third party uninstallers to ensure there are no leftovers.

Some popular uninstallers are CCleaner, Revo uninstaller, Geek uninstaller.

Follow these simple steps to remove third-party antivirus.

Step 1: One should first end all the processes associated with the program/software through the task manager.

Step 2: Open the control panel then click on the ‘Uninstall a program’ or ‘programs and features’ option.

error code 0x800704ec

Step 3: Search the antivirus software you want to remove. Right-click it and select uninstall or remove.

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Step 4: Then follow onscreen instructions. Reboot your PC after you remove the software.

Though, Some software like Avast displays an error if you try to uninstall it because it has a mechanism to prevent the removal of the software by malware. Thus, one cannot directly uninstall it from the control panel. Firstly, you have to stop its mechanism after which you will be able to end its processes in the task manager and uninstall it through the control panel.

Step 1: Open Avast program

Step 2: In the menu button select settings and go to Troubleshooting.

Step 3: Now find the enable Self Defense checkbox and uncheck it.

Step 4: Click ‘OK’ for confirmation and then close Avast. 

If avast is not the antivirus you are using then consult the appropriate one’s help guide.

2. Enable Windows Defender Services

Normally when you disable or remove a third-party app, the Windows Defender itself turns on. But if it is still showing you the same error then check out the Microsoft services related to defender are running or not.

For this, you have to open the Microsoft services window and follow the steps.

Step 1: Open the run box by holding the Windows key and press R (Win + R) and type “services.msc” in the box and click on ok.

Step 2: Now look for Windows services and check their status. If it appears blank that means it’s not running so right-click on it and select start.

error code 0x800704ec

Step 3: After checking all the related services, restart your PC and try to run the windows defender once more.

This should help you fix the error code 0x800704ec. If not, let’s move on to the next step.

3. Use Registry Editor To Fix The Error

In this, you will be using a Registry Editor that comes built-in in Windows. 

Step 1: Once again press the Windows key and R (Win + R) to open the run dialog box. 

Step 2: Then type “regedit.exe” and continue by clicking ok.

error code 0x800704ec

Step 3: Now you have to navigate to the Windows Defender by following the path given or just copy and paste it.

  • Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender

Step 4: On your right pane you will find REG-Z double click it and set its value to 0.

error code 0x800704ec

If this doesn’t work then follow the same path and double click on Windows Defender and select the ‘Disable Anti-spyware’ option.

Step 5: Now double click on Disable Anti-spyware from the right pane and enter the value to 0 then click ok.

error code 0x800704ec

Step 6: Make sure your windows defender is turned on and check if it works now.

4. Change Settings Of Group Policy

Occasionally, the error code 0x800704ec may also occur when it is turned off in Group Policy or due to flawed settings. So, look at the Group Policy Settings and check if Windows Defender is active to fix the error.

Step 1: First run the command “gpedit.msc” in the Run dialog box to open Local Group Policy Editor.

Step 2: Now from the window you have to navigate to Windows defender antivirus by the following path given or simply paste it in the search box and quickly hop there.

  • Computer Configuration\ Administrative Templates\ Windows Components\ Windows defender antivirus

Step 3: On the right pane search for “Turn Off Windows Defender Antivirus” and right-click on it.

error code 0x800704ec

Step 4: Now the settings window pops up, select not configured or disabled. Then click on apply and ok.

error code 0x800704ec

After you complete all the steps, restart your PC and check windows defender error code 0x800704ec is fixed or not.

5. Run System File Checker Using CMD

SFC or system file checker is a built-in tool in Windows Operating System that is used to scan and repair corrupted/violated system files so that everything works fine.

DISM is also a command-line tool used to modify/ replace or repair your windows images. Sometimes the errors/ cases are much deeper and so it’s recommended to run the DISM scan along with the SFC scan. 

Step 1: To open the Command Prompt press Windows key and X together or type cmd in the search box and select command prompt (admin).

error code 0x800704ec

Step 2: Now type your commands on the command prompt window. 

Step 3: Type sfc /scannow and press enter to run the system file checker. 

error code 0x800704ec

 After the scan is finished it may show you “windows resource protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them”. Then reboot your PC.

However, if you encounter the same error again then the DISM tool may help you. So for this, type the following commands

  • DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth
  • DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
error code 0x800704ec

Yeah, wait for a while as the scan may take some time. Now after the complete process is done, reboot your PC and confirm, if the error code 0x800704ec is solved.

Related: How To Fix Page Fault In Non-Opened Page Area In Windows


So, now you know what may be the reasons for the error code 0x800704ec and how to fix it.

The above methods must have helped you in fixing the error though if you still find the same error either reinstall or update Windows. 

If you have any other helpful ways to fix this error then do let us know in the comment box.

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