Error 0x80508020, 0x800705b4 for Windows Defender

I have never used any third-party antivirus on my system for protection. The reason behind it is excellent working of Windows Defender, which is available as built-in security suite for Windows 10/8. It works in the same strategy as some other antivirus in its class do, and the best thing is that you don’t need to pay for it. But today, while working on my laptop, I received following error related to Windows Defender, here is the screenshot:


An unexpected problem occurred – Error code 0x80508020

In the dialog box, Windows says that Windows Defender is subjected to an unexpected problem. The error code given was 0x80508020. As soon as I clicked Close in the error dialog, I received another error prompt:


This time, Windows said that it couldn’t turn on real-time protection followed by error code 0x800705b4. So in order to resolve both the errors, I start my troubleshooting steps from Registry Editor as it gives an instant fix. Eventually, I reached a saturation point, from where I fixed this errors for Windows Defender in few seconds. Here is how:

Error 0x80508020, 0x800705b4

1. Press Windows Key + R combination, type put Regedt32.exe in Run dialog box and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor.

2. Navigate to the following location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender


3. In the right pane of this location, you’ll see DisableAntiSpyware named DWORD there having the Value data as 1. This DWORD is the root cause of both the errors which I received. So, double click on the DWORD to modify its Value data:


4. In the above box, replace the Value data to 0 from 1. Click OK. Alternatively, you can delete the Windows Defender key

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender

from the left pane of the image shown in step 2. Finally, reboot the system and Windows Defender will start protecting your Windows 8 without any hitch.


Hope you find the fix useful!

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
An Electrical Engineer by profession, Kapil is a Microsoft MVP and a Microsoft Content Creator. Please read the entire post & the comments first & create a system restore point before making any changes to your system.


  1. Dave

    Hi I cant find windows defender in regedit
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows Defender

    it only shows





    System Certificates


    Windows NT

    Next should come Windows Defender but it is not there

    I am trying to fix Error code – 0x800705b4

    Any help would be appreciated

    Regards Dave

  2. ^^ If the Windows Defender key is not there, you can create it manually using right click on the Microsoft key and navigating New -> Key. Then you can create the DWORD in the right pane as indicated in the article 🙂

  3. MCC_From_MS_Community

    The most common reason for both these error is remnants of previous antivirus. If instead of removing those remnants we follow your steps then it will surely lead to a conflict and will cause system instability.

  4. ^^ Exactly, in fact most of the users face issues with Windows Defender if they give a try to third-party antivirus. They mess up the things. I suggest everyone to keep their faith in Windows Defender and rely upon it 🙂

  5. MCC_From_MS_Community

    So what about adding on the top to first run removal tools of previous antivirus first and if it doesn’t help then they should follow the given steps.

  6. kiran

    hey i dint got windows defender option

  7. ^^ You can manually create the key.

  8. kiran

    thanks and got it

  9. Aaron

    When I go and try to run Windows Defender, it comes up with the following warning:

    “This app is turned off by group policy.

    If you’re using another app to check for malicious or unwanted software, use Action Center to check the app’s status.

    To allow this app to run, contact your security administrator to enable the program via group policy.”

    However, I am running the program as administrator, and from Action Center, it doesn’t let me enable Windows Defender. What is this group policy issue?

  10. ^^ It seems like you have tried any third-party security suite which have modified group policy settings but actually its hard to find that specific policy, so I suggest you to reset the Local Group Policy Editor. Here is how to:

  11. rob

    could I get really clear simple instructions on creating the DWORD? I don’t see Windows Defender either in the Registry (per Dave above). If I create the folder Windows Defender in the left, then what do I do to get DWORD in the right?

  12. Tiago Rodríguez Barros

    Thanks man!!!

  13. J M

    Hi, I have the same problem with the 705b4 error code and when I tried to do as you instructed I couldn´t find Windows Defender in the registry editor. Under Microsoft I found Windows and Windows NT but no sign of the Defender. Where can it be and how can I find it?

  14. ^^ Please refer to my first comment above, it have the instructions to get Windows Defender key.

  15. moiz

    i am facing a problem regarding my windows defender it is generating an error that real time protection is turned off , i am using windows 8
    i have applied all the above solution you told but there is no postive effect it is generating an error 0x8050800d
    please help me in this regard as soon as possible

  16. moiz

    hi again
    whe i am opening windows defender its saying that real time protection is turned off andgiving an error of 0x8050800d and after clicking on the option TURN ON its generating another error of 0x800705b4
    please help me in this regard as soon as possible as my security is at risk

  17. ^^ Make sure you’re not using any third-party antivirus program on your system. If so, uninstall it. Also remove third-party software loaded on your machine. Run SFC /SCANNOW command at administrative Command Prompt and reboot the system to get things normal 🙂

  18. ^^ Right click in the blank space in the right pane, select New -> DWORD Value.

  19. John

    Hi, sorry – I am a little new when it come to windows 8 and not very good with computers. It will not let me delete the key nor will it let me switch from “0” to “1”.. This is extremely frustrating. This has to be something else. When I try to turn on real time scan this error code shows… 0x800705b4 0 time expired, etc, etc. Any ideas? Please and Thank you.

  20. ^^ Please take the ownership of the Windows Defender key and then try modification.

  21. Brigitte

    Twice I went through this today by 2 different routes, yours was best 🙂 I don’t have an DisableAntiSpy… just the Default. What now? Thanks for your help. B

  22. ^^ Please create the DWORD manually, refer to my previous comments here 🙂

  23. Brigitte

    Hello, I’m back again and I don’t see my question of last night. I went in to all the files and when I get to Windows, there is only Windows NT. NO, NONE at of Windows Defender! When I tried to get one from the internet, Windows would not let me. Any clue how maybe, I can restore the Windows Defender in its entirety? Thanks for your help! B

  24. ^^ Please refer to previous comments here, you’ll got the clue 🙂

  25. Ralphralph13

    Finally! Thanks for your help!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was really irritated because i cannot find a way to solve my problem.

    I followed your instructions as well as the follow-up instructions in your comments pertaining to creating a Windows Defender folder) but I had a hard time following your instructions since I’m not really aware of the other things involved here.

    One step i missed is deleting the Windows Defender in the


    It took me a couple of minutes to figure out what’s the next thing to do… READ and RE-READ and i got the answer. haha. Thanks!

    Anyhow, i have another issue in using windows 8 (my first W8 PC)
    I love the user interface and other features of it


    The responsiveness of the mouse is very slow/sluggish.

    Sometimes, i need to re-click an app in order to open it. I’m experiencing this many times since i bought this laptop 4 days ago.

    Oooooops, i missed something.

    Since I am frustrated awhile ago, I deleted all McAfee files in My Computer as well as the folder in

    Will it affect the PC’s performance? I don’t think so?

  26. ^^ If you would have uninstalled McAfee, then these entries got erased automatically.

  27. Amélie

    Hi, I tried your fix but it didn’t work, it says that DisableAntiSpyware cannot be modified because of an error in the writing, but I did it correctly, as you can see on the pictures…



    (Sorry for my english, I’m French)

  28. Amélie

    And I didn’t have Windows Defender in Policies, I found it in the first Microsoft…

  29. Ji?í Fišer

    Did not help

  30. Ji?í Fišer

    This didn’t help me, I’m still getting the same error. Even after checking policies for the Windows Defender key and enabling full access for me

  31. atul damani

    The microsoft section is not there, so no windows defender folder!! what should i do??

  32. puff501

    i have error code “0x80073b01”
    what about that one?

  33. raily rindau

    nice man its really helpful!!!

  34. ChaosWoIf

    The value is already 0 for me, and it still doesn’t work

  35. change the value data to 1 then log off. then your good to go

  36. Ihthisham

    Was below Instruction really successfull?

  37. irokez

    It has worked for me (Win10; had to create the key). Thanks a lot!

  38. Dainsleif_10

    Thank you. It worked.. However I have a silly question. I edited as instructed and the Real time protection is now on, however is my Real Time protection REALLY on? I mean is it really working just like before? TIA.

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