Windows Defender Antivirus Service (WinDefend) Defaults in Windows 10

Helps protect users from malware and other potentially unwanted software.

Default Settings

Startup type:Automatic
Display name:Windows Defender Antivirus Service
Service name:WinDefend
Service type:own
Error control:normal
Path:%ProgramFiles%\Windows Defender\MsMpEng.exe
Registry key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WinDefend
  • SeImpersonatePrivilege
  • SeBackupPrivilege
  • SeRestorePrivilege
  • SeDebugPrivilege
  • SeChangeNotifyPrivilege
  • SeLoadDriverPrivilege
  • SeSecurityPrivilege
  • SeShutdownPrivilege
  • SeIncreaseQuotaPrivilege
  • SeAssignPrimaryTokenPrivilege
  • SeTcbPrivilege
  • SeIncreaseBasePriorityPrivilege
  • SeSystemEnvironmentPrivilege
  • SeTakeOwnershipPrivilege

Default Behavior

Windows Defender Antivirus Service is a Win32 service. In Windows 10 it is starting automatically when the operating system starts. Then the Windows Defender Antivirus Service is running as LocalSystem in its own process of MsMpEng.exe. If Windows Defender Antivirus Service fails to start, the failure details are being recorded into Event Log. Then Windows 10 will start up and notify the user that the WinDefend service has failed to start due to the error.


Windows Defender Antivirus Service cannot be started under any conditions, if the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service is disabled.

Restore Default Startup Configuration for Windows Defender Antivirus Service

1. Select your Windows 10 edition and release, and then click Download.

2. Save the Win10_WinDefend_Service_Startup.cmd file to a local storage device.

3. Run the saved file as an administrator.

4. Restart the computer.

The WinDefend service is using the MsMpEng.exe file that is located in the %ProgramFiles%\Windows Defender folder. If the file is changed, damaged or deleted, you can restore its original version from Windows 10 installation media.