Your IT administrator has disabled Windows Security

When accessing Windows Security, the built-in Anti-Virus/Security solution, if you receive an error saying— Cannot Open this app, Your IT administrator has disabled Windows Security. Contact your IT Help desk; then, this post can help you find a solution for this. It’s one of the odd issues I faced recently, and it happened on both of my computers, and I was able to resolve it by changing some settings. I searched for it on the Internet and found that there was absolutely no mention of this particular error message at all. I tried several methods, but this is what finally helped me.

Your IT administrator has disabled Windows Security

Your IT administrator has disabled Windows Security

The error appears as soon as you launch Windows Security, and it may show the Windows Security app for a moment, it will instantly be replaced by this small window asking you to contact your IT hed. The strange part was that it appeared on my Windows 10 computer at home, and I am the only admin on that account. The other computer belongs to my son; he has a standard account on the computer.  If you face this issue, log into your admin account and use one of these methods to fix this.

  1. Group Policy Method
  2. Registry Method

Since Windows 10 Home users don’t have access to Group Policy, they can use the Registry method. However, make sure to create a system restore point.

1] Group Policy Method

Open Group Policy Editor by typing gpedit.msc in the Run prompt (Win + R). Then navigate to:

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Security.

Here you have multiple policies for Windows Security, which you will need to change to enable back access:

  • Account protection
  • App and browser protection
  • Device performance and health
  • Device Security
  • Family Options
  • Firewall and network protection
  • Notifications
  • Systray
  • Virus and Threat Protection

Open each of these folders, and double click to open the policies inside it. Change it from Not Configured to Disabled.

I will recommend not to change anything which is under Enterprise Customization policy unless it is applicable for your computer.

Enable Policy Settings Windows Security

Here is a screenshot when I enabled a few settings. When you do so, it will automatically appear in Windows Security.

The first setting change following this method will enable access to the Windows Security app.

Compare the image above with the one below. As soon as I selected disabled for Device performance and health area policy, it appeared right away in the Windows Security app.

Enable Device Performance and Health in Windows Security


After enabling all of them, I was able to access all settings of Windows Security without a problem. I am guessing that something changed all these settings and blocked my access to Windows Security app. It was not is disabled because it was able to block any virus or unwanted program from the internet, and I was able to see it in the Task Manager. I wasn’t able to access it even with the admin permission.

Windows Security Enabled Completely

Related read: Your IT Administrator has limited access to some areas of this app.

2] Registry Method

Open Registry Editor by typing Regedit in the Run prompt (Win +R) followed by pressing the enter Key. Then navigate to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows Defender Security Center

Set the following or create respective DWORD as follows:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows Defender Security CenterAccount protection


To create a DWORD, go into Account protection key, and then right-click on the right side. Create a DWORD with name UILockdown, and set its value as 0.

Your IT administrator has disabled Windows Security

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows Defender Security CenterApp and Browser protection


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows Defender Security CenterDevice performance and health


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows Defender Security CenterDevice security


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows Defender Security CenterFamily options


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows Defender Security CenterFirewall and network protection


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows Defender Security CenterNotifications


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows Defender Security CenterSystray


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows Defender Security CenterVirus and threat protection


If the computer restricts from accessing either the group policy or the registry editor, create an admin account on your computer, and use that to change the settings.

I hope the post helps you access the Windows Security app.

Related Read: How to reset Windows Security to default settings.

Your IT administrator has disabled Windows Security

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Alice AUSTIN is studying Cisco Systems Engineering. He has passion with both hardware and software and writes articles and reviews for many IT websites.

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