Fix Microsoft Defender Error 0x80004004 on Windows 11/10

When updating Microsoft Defender (formerly Windows Defender) may encounter the error code 0x80004004. This happens when Windows Defender is unable to download updated definitions from the Microsoft website. In this article, we identify the possible cause and also provide the solutions you can try to fix this problem successfully.

The error may appear on your computer screen with a message stating:

Error 0x80004004: This application could not check for virus and spyware definition updates. Definition updates could not be installed

This error can appear due to another antivirus program installed on the same system. It can cause conflicts by preventing the Windows Defender program from updating. Another reason for this error could be some missing system files. Poor internet connection can also cause this error to appear.

Fix Microsoft Defender error 0x80004004

If you are facing this problem, you can try our recommended solutions below in no particular order and see if that helps to fix the problem.

  1. Set the Windows Defender service to Automatic
  2. Temporarily disable any third-party antivirus programs
  3. Manually update Windows Defender from Command Prompt
  4. Download the Windows Defender definitions package directly

Let’s take a look at the description of the process for each of the listed solutions.

1]Set the Windows Defender service to Automatic

Microsoft Defender Antivirus service

Proceed as follows:

  • Hurry Windows key + R to bring up the Run dialog box.
  • In the Run dialog box, type the following services.msc and press Enter to open Services.
  • In the Services window, scroll down and find the Microsoft Defender Antivirus service.
  • Double-click the entry to edit its properties.
  • Make sure the option under the startup type menu in the service properties window is set to Automatically.
  • Confirm any dialog boxes that appear when changing the startup type.
  • Click on Apply > IN ORDER.

After that, restart the update and check if it completes successfully. Otherwise try the next solution.

2]Temporarily disable any third-party antivirus programs

Third-party security programs installed on your Windows 10 PC can also cause conflicts Error 0x80004004 during the Windows Defender virus definitions update process. Therefore, disabling antivirus before updating Windows Defender can be a solution.

You can temporarily disable third-party antivirus programs on your PC from the Program Settings page. Once the update process is complete, you can re-enable it for full protection.

3]Manually update Windows Defender from Command Prompt

Update Windows Defender from Command Prompt

Proceed as follows:

  • Hurry Windows key + R to bring up the Run dialog box.
  • In the Run dialog box, type the following cmd and press Enter to open Command Prompt.
  • In the Command Prompt window, type or copy and paste the following command and press Enter after each line.
cd /d "\Program Files\Windows Defender"

mpcmdrun.exe -signatureupdate

When executing the command. If you still have errors, you can try the following solution.

You can also update Windows Defender definitions using PowerShell.

4]Download the Windows Defender definition package directly

You can also try to manually download and update the latest Defender definitions.

This is a “silent installation” – nothing seems to happen when you double-click the downloaded file, but it installs in the background.

I hope this helps you!

Similar article: Windows Defender is not updated automatically.

Windows Defender Error 0x80004004

Leave a Comment