At times, Windows Defender software gets unresponsive or displays certain annoying errors. The error code 0x800704ec is one of them. 

Whenever the Windows Defender error code 0x800704ec appears, a notification frequently pops up on the screen. It states: “This program is blocked by group policy. For more information contact your system administrator. (Error Code: 0x800704ec)”.

When this error arises, users can’t use Windows Defender anymore until the error gets eradicated.

If you are experiencing the same problem, you must resolve the error immediately. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with this error. So, go through this post and resolve the Windows Defender error on your own.

Causes of Windows Defender Error 0x800704ec

To make sure that Windows Defender turned off error code 0x800704ec, try to analyze its causes. So, let’s discuss them first. 

This error code usually appears due to the installation of third-party security programs like AVG or Norton.

If Security Center finds any other security program, then the Windows Defender gets disabled automatically. It will remain so until the program gets eliminated from the device. 

Also, the culprit might be corrupted system files or damaged Group Policy in Windows.

Sometimes, this error can be triggered by malware or virus that gets into the device and remain unnoticed. 

Due to this error, the device starts to lag and applications keep crashing continuously. Under such circumstances, frequent BSOD errors can also occur.

Outstanding Hacks to Resolve Windows Defender Error Code 0x800704ec

Now, you know all the leading aspects that are responsible for the Windows Defender error  0x800704ec. Therefore, let’s move on to the troubleshooting measures to fix the Windows Defender error efficiently. 

Fix 1: Disable/Uninstall Third-Party Security Program (If installed)

As we have already mentioned that a third-party security program can be the foremost cause behind this issue. So, before attempting any other fix, we suggest you disable the security program.

Steps to Disable Security Program:

  • Firstly, try to find out the security program icon on the Windows notification area.
  • Once you find it, right-click on it and choose the “Disable Auto-Protection” button from the left pane.
  • Thereafter, initiate the Security Request window and select the duration drop-down list from the appeared menu.
  • Now, choose the duration for which you want to disable the security software.
  • Save the recent changes by tapping on the Apply button as well as the OK button.

After disabling the third-party security software, verify whether the Windows Defender error gets eradicated. If the error persists, uninstall the security program from your device. 

Steps to Remove the Security Program:

  • Tap on the Start icon to initiate the Start menu.
  • Then, go to Settings.
  • Inside the Settings window, tap on “System”.
  • After that, go to the “Apps and Features” section.
  • Under this section, locate and select the third-party security program.
  • Now, right-click on it and hit the “Uninstall/Remove” option from the queue window.
  • Confirm the process by tapping on the OK button.

Once the security program removed from your device, reboot your PC to let the new changes take effect.

Fix 2: Utilize Registry Editor

Some of the affected users claim that after utilizing the Registry Editor, the Windows Defender error has been resolved. Therefore, you can also give it a try.

To proceed to this fix, follow these steps.

Step 1: Press the combination of the Windows logo key + R key. This will invoke the Run dialog box. Inside the box, type “regedit” and hit the Enter key to execute the command.

Step 2: Now, use the left pane and go to the “HKey_Local_Machine\\Software\\Policies\\Microsoft\\Windows Defender” location.

Step 3: After that, try to locate the “DisableAntiSpyware” key and make an attempt to remove its value. To do so, double-tap on the “REG –DWORD” and change its value to 0.

In this way, you can easily reset the Registry entries. We hope, using this fix, you will able to troubleshoot the Windows Defender error code 0x800704ec.

Fix 3: Attempt to Enable Windows Defender

If you do not have any third-party security program installed on your device, there is a chance that you have disabled the Windows Defender unknowingly. This can often result in error code 0x800704ec.

On such occasions, we suggest you enable the Windows Defender by following these steps. 

  • Open the Run window and write “services.msc” into the dialog box.
  • Next, press the Enter button to run the command.
  • Now, find the Windows Defender and right-click on it.
  • After that, go to the Startup section and hit the drop-down menu.
  • Thereafter, set the Startup-Type as Automatic.
  • Lastly, hit the Start button for enabling the Windows Defender.

Fix 4: Optimize the Device

Sometimes, corrupted or damaged system files can also influence the Widows Defender error. Therefore, if you face the error due to this reason, then by running the System File Checker and DISM tools you will be able to overcome it.

Here are the steps that should be followed to repair the corrupted system files.

  • Open the Run window and write “cmd” into the dialog box. After that, hit the OK button to execute the command.
  • Now, choose the Command Prompt option from the top search result and right-click on it.
  • Then, choose the “Run as Administrator” option from the resultant menu. It will initiate the Command Prompt in Admin mode.
  • Now, write the command “sfc /scannow” into the Command Prompt window and hit the Enter key to run it.
  • Thereafter, write these commands into the same Command Prompt window. “DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth” and “DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth”.
  • Once you are done with the above instructions, close the CMD window and reboot the device to apply the recent modifications.

Fix 5: Reset Group Policy Settings 

After optimizing the device, if you still get stuck with the same Windows Defender turned off error code 0x800704ec, the Group Policy might influence this issue. 

To restrict such situations, resetting the Group Policy’s settings can be the best possible way. To do so, follow the underlying dedicated steps.

Step 1:

At first, log in your device as an Administrator by following the above steps. Then, write “gpedit.msc” into the Run dialog box and hit the Enter key.

Step 2:

Now, select the Local Computer Policy and choose “Administrative Templates” from the appeared menu.

Step 3:

Afterward, hit the Windows Components and tap on the Windows Defender. Once the Windows Defender opens, go to the right pane and double-tap on the “Turn off Windows Defender” option.

Step 4: 

You will find a new window that pops up on the screen. From the new window, choose the “Disable” option and hit the OK button to confirm the process.

Sum It Up

Therefore, these are some reliable ways to troubleshoot Windows Defender error code 0x800704ec. In case, if the above-mentioned fixes fail to resolve the error or you face any troubles while applying them, let us know in the command section below. We will try to provide a few more fixing methods to resolve such Windows Defender error.

In case, you have any valuable information regarding troubleshooting error code 0x800704ec, feel free to share them with us in the feedback below.