How to fix Windows Security Center not starting error

The longer Windows Security Center is down, the more at risk your computer is. Luckily, you can try some troubleshooting steps to resolve the issue.

Windows Security Center is an indispensable part of the operating system's security ecosystem. It helps you monitor the health of important security components in Windows, such as Microsoft Defender. Therefore, you may be concerned when you suddenly receive the following error message: "Windows Security Center service can't be started" .

The longer Windows Security Center is down, the more at risk your computer is. Luckily, you can try some troubleshooting steps to resolve the issue.

1. Make sure you have Windows Security Center turned on

You can check if Windows Security Center is enabled in Registry Editor. Just be sure to create a system restore point in advance, as even the slightest mistake can render your PC unusable.

Once your system restore point has been created, follow the steps below to enable Windows Security Center:

1. Press Win + R to display Windows Run, type regedit in the text box, then press Enter to open the Registry Editor.

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2. Click Yes on the UAC prompt.

3. Copy the text below and paste it into the Registry Editor's address bar:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesSecurityHealthService

4. Double click the Start key on the right to edit.

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5. If Value data is set to 4 , it means Windows Security Center is disabled, so set it to 2.

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6. Click OK to apply and save the changes.

7. Perform steps 4 to 6 for the key below:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServiceswscsvc

Now, restart your computer and see if you get the "Windows Security Center service can't be started" error message.

 

2. Make sure services related to Windows Security Center are operating normally

For Windows Security Center to start properly, you need to make sure that the configuration of the services it depends on is not messy. To do that, follow the steps below:

1. Press Win + R to open Windows Run, enter services.msc in the dialog box and press Enter.

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2. Locate Windows Management Instrumentation and double-click it.

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3. In the General tab , ensure that Startup type is set to Automatic . If not, click the drop-down menu and select Automatic .

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4. Next, ensure that Service status is set to Running and if not, click the Start button .

5. Perform steps 3 and 4 for the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service .

We do this because Windows Security Center relies on both WMI and RPC services for various important functions. And when you're done, restart Windows and check if you can now start Windows Security Center.

3. Repair WMI Repository

A damaged WMI Repository can cause Windows Security Center to fail to start, and repairing it can fix the problem in most cases. To do that, follow the steps below:

1. Click the search bar on the Taskbar and enter cmd.

2. Right-click the Command Prompt application in the search results and select Run as administrator .

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3. Enter the command below into Command Prompt and press Enter to run it:

winmgmt /salvagerepository

When Windows finishes repairing the WMI Repository, Command Prompt will display the message: WMI Repository matches. Now, restart your computer and check if everything is okay with Windows Security Center.

4. Reset Windows computer

If none of the above fixes work, it may be time to resort to last resort. To fix the error once and for all, you should back up all your data and reset Windows to factory defaults. Hopefully you won't need to use this method, but it will be much less hassle than using your computer without Windows Security Center active.

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