If Windows Security (Microsoft Defender) throws Error 8024402f, Protection definition update failed on Windows 11, then follow this post to successfully fix the issue. Several users have complained of receiving the error code 8024402f while installing security signatures updates on Windows Security or Windows Denedfer.
When triggered, you will most likely see the following error message on Windows Security:
Protection definition update failed.
Error code: 8024402f
An unexpected problem occurred while checking for updates. For information on installing or troubleshooting updates, see Help and Support.
This error seems to be exclusive to Windows 11, so don’t confuse it with the generic 8024402f error code that occurs on older versions of Windows.
Now, if you are facing the same error preventing you from installing new security signatures on Windows 11, try the fixes that we have mentioned in this post. Before that, let us try and understand the scenario that may trigger the security definition update error 8024402f on Windows 11.
What causes the Windows Security definition update error 8024402f on Windows 11?
After analyzing the error reports, here are some of the possible causes that may trigger this error:
- It can occur if you don’t have enough space on your drive to install the updates. So, clean up some space to download and install updates.
- You have set an incorrect date & time on your system, it can also cause the error at hand. So, make sure the date & time is right.
- Some glitches with the Windows Update service can also be one of the reasons causing the error. You can try disabling the service for some time to fix the issue, if and only the scenario is applicable.
- The error can be triggered if certain dependency services are disabled.
- Other reasons for the same can be that Windows Security is disabled or you are dealing with some system file corruption.
Based on the scenario best suited to you, you can try the below fixes to resolve the issue.
Fix Windows Security Definition Update Error 8024402f on Windows 11
Here are the methods to fix the error 8024402f when installing new security updates on Windows 11/10:
- Ensure you have enough space.
- Set the correct date & time.
- Temporarily disable the Windows Update service.
- Make sure that Windows Security is enabled.
- Make sure that every dependency is enabled.
- Perform a clean install or repair install.
1] Ensure you have enough space
One of the potential causes of this error can be the fact that your PC is running out of disk space to install the security updates. Windows Security requires about 16 GB of free space to install definition updates for Windows Defender or Windows Firewall. Hence, the first thing you should do is to make sure that you have enough space on the OS drive to install security updates without any hiccups.
You can open File Explorer using the Win+E hotkey and then go to the C drive. Select and right-click on the C drive and select the Properties option. Inside the Properties window, navigate to the General tab and look for the amount of Free Space you have on the drive. If it has more than 16 GB free space, well and good. If not, you will have to clear some space for installing updates.
There are multiple methods to free up space on your system. You can use Windows inbuilt utility called Disk Cleanup Utility to delete temporary and junk files. Free software like Comet (Managed Disk Cleanup) or Cleanmgr+ can also be used for the same. Other than that, try deleting duplicate files to get some required free space on your PC.
In case you have enough disk space to install the updates and you still get the same error code, there must be some other underlying cause for the error. So, you can move on to the next fix to resolve the error.
2] Set the correct date & time
In some instances, you are likely to experience this error code due to inconsistency with the date and time. The Microsoft server used for downloading and installing Window Security updates may reject the connection with your PC due to incorrect date and time. So, try noticing your date & time and if it is off, there are chances that is what causing the error. If the scenario is applicable, you should be able to fix the error by updating the correct date & time on your system.
Here are the steps to set the correct date & time on Windows:
- Firstly open Settings using Win+I hotkey and then go to the Time & language > Date & time section.
- Now, enable the toggle associated with the Set time automatically andSet Time zone automatically options.
Note: Make sure the internet is turned on to force the correct date & time.
- Next, reboot your PC and the date and time should not be adjusted correctly.
You can now try installing the security updates and see if the error is fixed now.
In case this scenario doesn’t apply to you, go ahead with the next potential fix.
Read: List of Microsoft Defender error codes and solutions.
3] Temporarily disable the Windows Update service
If the above two solutions didn’t work for you, there are possibilities that the error is caused due to glitches with the Windows Update service. You can try disabling this service temporarily as it won’t be used for installing definition updates – a sub-service will be used. It is kind of a workaround and has proven to be successful for some affected users. So, you can also give it a try and see if it works for you or not.
To disable the Windows Update service, you can follow the below steps:
- Firstly, evoke Run dialog using Win+R hotkey and enter services.msc in it.
- Now, in the Services window, scroll down and locate the Windows Update service.
- Next, tap on the Windows Update service and right-click on it.
- From the context menu, select the Stop option.
- After that, minimize the Services window and go to Windows Security to install security updates. See if the error is now fixed.
Whether or not this method fixes the error, you should enable the Windows Update service again. Go to the Services window, right-click on Windows Update, and select the Start option to turn it on again.
4] Make sure that Windows Security is enabled
If you get the same error code whenever installing updates related to Windows Security, make sure you have Windows Security enabled on your PC. The users of PRO, Enterprise, or Education edition can easily do that using Group Policy Editor. Let us check out how.
- Firstly, open Run using the Win+R shortcut key, type gpedit.msc in it, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to launch the Local Group Policy Editor window as an administrator. Press Yes on the UAC prompt.
- Now, navigate to the following address in Local Group Policy Editor:
Computer Configuration > Administrative templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender Antivirus
- On this location, look for the policy called Turn off Microsoft Defender Antivirus in the right-side panel, and double-click on it.
- Inside the policy options, make sure it is set to either Disabled or Not Configured. If it is not, adjust the settings accordingly.
- Next, press Apply > OK button to enforce the policy.
- Finally, reboot your PC and attempt to install the security signature that was previously giving you error code 8024402f.
This solution worked for some affected users, so do give it a try.
5] Make sure that every dependency is enabled
If you still get the same error code, another this you can try is to ensure that every dependency required for installing Windows Security update is enabled. If not enabled, it can trigger the error. Here are the services that you need to check for:
- Background Intelligent Transfer Service
- COM+ Event System
- DCOM Server Process Launcher
- Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
So, open the Services window (as we did in method (3)) and then look for each of the above services and make sure they are enabled. If not enabled, right-click on a service and select the Start option to enable it. Repeat this for each service that we have mentioned above.
Also, you need to set the Startup type for each of the above-mentioned services to Automatic. For that, you can follow the below steps:
- Right-click on a service and select Properties.
- Choose the Startup type drop-down option and select the Automatic option.
In case the problem still persists, try the next fix.
6] Perform a clean install or repair install
If you tried all the above methods and the error is still not fixed, there are high chances that the problem is caused due to intense corruption present on your system which is affecting Windows Security’s update component. In that case, you can either try performing a clean install or repair install. In a clean install, you may lose your data present on the OS drive. While in repair install, your system files will be refreshed without affecting your data. So, choose whichever way you prefer and see if it fixes the error for you.
How do I troubleshoot a Windows update?
The easiest way to troubleshoot a Windows update error is to run the inbuilt Windows Update Troubleshooter provided in Windows 11/10. Open Settings, go to System > Troubleshoot > Other troubleshooters, and run the Windows Update troubleshooter.