Windows Security Center is an integral part of your operating system’s security ecosystem. It helps you monitor the health status of critical Windows security components, such as Microsoft Defender. Because of this, it can be concerning when you suddenly get the following error message: “The Windows Security Center service can’t be started.”
The longer Windows Security Center is down, the longer your computer is at risk. Luckily, you can take a few troubleshooting steps to fix the issue. Here are five of them.
1. Check for a Malware Infection
Before taking other trouble shootings steps, you might want to make sure Windows Security Center isn’t disabled because of malware. Try updating your anti-malware program and run a full system scan to locate and remove these unwanted programs from your Windows PC.
2. Make Sure Windows Security Center’s Configuration Is Okay
For Windows Security Center to start properly, you need to ensure that the configurations of the services it depends on aren’t a mess. Open the Windows Service Manager by pressing Win + R, typing “services.msc” in the dialog box, and hitting Enter. Locate Windows Management Instrumentation and double-click on it.
In the General tab, ensure Service status shows that the service is running and that its Startup type is Automatic.
Do the same for the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service.
Now, restart your computer and see if the Windows Security Center runs normally. If that fixed the problem, the error message telling you that Windows Security Center can’t start will not pop up again.
Another way is to check if Windows Service Center is running is in the Windows Services Manager. Just launch it again, scroll down the list of services until you see Security Center, and double-click on it. Then, make sure that Service status says “is running” and Startup type is Automatic (delayed start) in the General tab.
3. Perform a WMI Repository Repair
A corrupt WMI Repository can make Windows Security Center fail to start, and repairing it can fix the issue in most cases. Type “cmd” in the Search bar of the Taskbar, right-click on the Command Prompt app in the search results, and click on Run as administrator. Next, type “winmgmt /verifyrepository” and hit Enter.
If the repository is fine, you’ll get a message saying, “WMI repository is consistent.” But if it isn’t, you can repair it by typing “winmgmt/salvage repository” in Command Prompt and hitting Enter.
When Windows finishes repairing the WMI repository, Command Prompt will display the message: “WMI repository has been salvaged.” Restart your computer and check if everything is okay with Windows Security Center.
4. Fix Window Security Center Issues With System File Checker
If Windows Security Center doesn’t start because of a corrupted system file, a utility known as System File Checker can help. It will scan your system for corrupted files and repair any that it finds. Open command prompt as administrator, type “sfc /scannow” and press Enter to begin the scan.
Once Windows completes the scan, restart your PC and see if that resolved the problem.
5. Perform a Windows Repair
It might be time to perform a deep repair of the entire operating system when all else fails. There are a couple of free tools that you can use to repair Windows 10 and repair Windows 11. Be sure to create a system restore point before repairing Windows so that you can roll back the changes if something goes wrong.
Now Windows Security Center Will Start
Seeing an error alerting you that Windows Security Center is failing to start means your computer’s security is compromised. The steps outlined above should put an end to the error message: “The Windows Security Center service can’t be started.” This will signify that the service is running smoothly, and in doing so, make your computer significantly less vulnerable.
If the Windows Security app fails to start, it can prevent you from making important security tweaks. Here’s how to fix it.
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