When updating Windows Defender, you may encounter the error code 0x80004004. It happens when Windows Defender fails to download updated definitions from the Microsoft website. So, how can you fix this error code? This tutorial written by MiniTool is for you.

Virus and Spyware Definitions Connection Failed

In Windows 10 and 8, there is a built-in antivirus program – Windows Defender. It is a great security service provided by Microsoft in Windows and it is used to protect the system from external threats including spyware, malware, etc.

However, you always experience some problems when using Windows Defender, for example, Windows Defender not turning on, error code 0x80073afc, 0x80070015, error 577, Windows Defender blocked by Group Policy, etc.

Besides, you may be bothered by another error code 0x80004004 while you are trying to update Windows Defender on your PC. On your computer screen, you get the error message “Virus and spyware definitions couldn’t be updated” and the error code: 0x80004004 can be seen.

The reasons behind the Windows Defender error code include conflict with some other security software, missing system files, corrupted registry files, bad Internet connection, outdated or damaged PC drivers, Windows Defender service not working, etc.

To keep your PC safe well, it is essential to fix this issue. In the following part, let’s see some possible methods.

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How to Fix Error 0x80004004

Set Windows Defender Service to Automatic

There is a clever method to resolve the error code and it is automating the Windows Defender service. The following is the guide you can follow:

Step 1: In Windows 10, input services to the search bar and click the result to enter the Services window.

Step 2: Locate Windows Defender Antivirus Service and make sure its Startup Type is set to Automatic.

After that, restart the update again to check if you won’t have the issue of virus and spyware definitions connection failed.

Disable Your Third-Party Antivirus Program Temporarily

If you have installed an antivirus program from third-party manufacturers, there will be a conflict with Windows Defender causing the error code 0x80004004. To get rid of this error, you can disable that program temporarily.

Different products have different methods and you can search for the way based on your antivirus. If you are using Avast, you can follow these methods mentioned in this post - Multiple Ways to Disable Avast for PC and Mac Temporarily/Completely.

disable Avast shields control

Run System File Checker

System File Checker (SFC) is a good Windows tool provided by Microsoft to find and fix system missing or corrupted files automatically. To get rid of Windows Defender 0x80004004, you can run a scan with this tool.

Step 1: Click Cortana, input cmd and right-click it to choose Run as administrator.

Step 2: Input the sfc /scannow command and press Enter.

Step 3: This will take some time, so wait patiently.

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Install the Latest Drivers for Your PC

As mentioned, the Windows Defender error code can be caused by outdated or damaged PC drivers. To fix this issue, you can install the latest drivers for your PC.

You can go to Device Manager and do this work but this is time-consuming since you need to install the driver for each device one by one. To effectively update the drivers, you can use a professional tool like Driver Easy. 

In addition, there are other solutions you can also try:

  1. Check Internet connection
  2. Perform a system restore
  3. Run Windows Update Troubleshooter
  4. Remove suspicious software
  5. Run CHKDSK

After trying these methods, now you should get rid of the error code 0x80004004.

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