How to Fix a Blank Windows 10 Security Screen
"Windows Security offers built-in protection for Windows systems to keep your computer and files secure at no extra cost. However, at times when you try to open the app, it shows a blank screen.
Windows Defender is usually affected due to the presence of another antivirus in your PC. Here we discuss a few troubleshooting steps to help you resolve this issue in Windows 10 quickly.
Why Is Windows Security Showing a Blank Screen?
As mentioned earlier, Windows Security is usually affected if you have a third-party antivirus installed on your PC. And when you uninstall an antivirus, it is important to use its removal tool to fully complete the job.
Related: Is Microsoft Defender the Best Antivirus for Your PC in 2021?
Disabled or missing Windows Defender Antivirus Service in Services can also trigger this problem. In such instances, you may have to perform a Repair Upgrade to fix the issue. System file corruption is another common cause for this issue and may require you to perform an upgrade, reset, or clean install to resolve the issue.
If you experience this issue, here is how to troubleshoot and fix the problem for good.
1. Restart Windows Security Center Service
The Windows Security Center service is an essential aspect of the OS. It detects and notifies the users about the pending updates and security issues such as disabled antivirus, etc. If the service is closed or set to run manually, try restarting it to see if that helps.
To restart Windows Security Center Service:
Press Win + R to open Run.
Type services.msc and click OK.
In the Services window, scroll down and locate the Security Center service.
Check the status of the service. If it is not running, right-click and select Restart.
Close Services and check for any improvements.
2. Check for Pending Windows Updates
If a bug or glitch is causing Windows Security to malfunction, check if a fix is available in the Windows Updates.
To check and download Windows updates:
Go to Start > Settings > Windows Updates.
Click on Check for updates
Next, download and install all the pending updates.
Restart your PC and check if the issue is resolved.
3. Check with your Administrator
If you are using a work computer, the administrator may have blocked access to some Windows 10 settings. Verify the Group Policy and Registry entries to find and fix any issues with Windows Security.
If available, try performing an in-place upgrade to the latest available version. A Windows 10 to 11 upgrade will reinstall the OS without removing your apps and files.
4. Run the System File Checker Tool
Corrupt system files can cause one or more features to stop working in Windows 10. The System File Checker tool deployed with the sfc /scannow command will scan all protected system files and replace corrupted ones with a fresh cached copy.
To run System File Checker tool:
Type cmd in the Windows search bar.
Right-click on the Command Prompt option and select Run as administrator.
In the Command Prompt window, type the following command and hit enter:
The verification process may take some time, so wait till it is 100% complete.
After the process is complete, you will receive one of the following messages:
Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations—This means the System File Checker did not find any issues with your system files.
Windows Resource Protection found corrupted files and successfully repaired them.
Windows Resource Protection found corrupted files but was unable to fix some of them.
Windows Resource Protection could not perform the requested potation—In this stance, run the System File Checker in Safe Mode to resolve this error.
If the error is found and fixed, reboot the computer and check if the Windows Security blank screen issue is resolved.
4. Check for the Presence of Third-Party Antivirus
By design, Windows Security will be disabled in the presence of a third-party antivirus. Though, it will not affect the Window Defender functionalities.
Some antivirus software like Malwarebytes allows you to turn off the protection and exit the app. If not, you may have to uninstall your antivirus to see if that helps.
To check if you have a third-party antivirus installed:
Press Win + R to open Run.,
Type appwiz.cpl and click OK to open the Control Panel.
Go through the installed apps and look for any third-party antivirus installed.
Most antivirus companies offer a removal tool to completely remove the software from the user's computer. Head over to your antivirus company's official website and download the tool. Run the installer and follow on-screen instructions to delete your antivirus software.
5. Use the ""Reset This PC"" Tool
As a last resort, perform a reset to reinstall Windows 10 without affecting your personal files and folders. However, this will remove all the third-party apps installed on your computer, so make sure to create a backup before resetting your PC.
To reset your PC:
Go to Start and open Settings.
Open Update & Security.
Open the Recovery tab from the left pane.
Scroll down to the Advanced startup section and click on Restart Now.
Windows will not boot into the Windows Recovery Environment.
Select Troubleshoot and then click on Reset this PC.
Under Reset this PC, click on Keep My files. This option will reinstall Windows 10 while keeping your personal files. However, it will remove third-party apps and settings.
Once your PC restarts, select the user account and enter the password associated with your Microsoft account.
Click Continue to proceed.
In the How would you like to reinstall Windows? screen, select one of the following: Cloud Download: Requires a fast internet connection and can use up to 4GB of data to download required Windows files. Local reinstall: This allows you to reinstall Windows from your existing device. Select this option if you don't have a stable internet connection.
Read the description displayed on the screen and click the Reset button to confirm the action.
The reset process may take a few minutes to a few hours to complete. Leave your computer connected to a power source during the resetting process.
In most cases, resetting the PC to factory default should fix Windows Security showing blank screen problems in Windows 10 and Windows 11 systems. If not, you will have to clean install Windows 10/11 with a bootable drive.
Fixing Windows Security Showing Blank Screen in Windows 10
Windows Security showing blank screen issues can occur due to file corruption and is usually resolved with a repair install or upgrade to the latest version of the Windows OS. Before that, try to troubleshoot by restarting essential Windows Defender services, and checking for third-party antivirus interference.
If resetting or reinstalling Windows 10 is not an option, consider using a dedicated third-party antivirus solution for your system as a Windows Defender alternative.
The Best Antivirus Software for Windows 10
Want to tighten security on your PC? Here are the best antivirus software options for Windows 10.
About The Author
(39 Articles Published)
Tashreef is a technology writer at MakeUseOf. With a bachelor's degree in Computer Applications, he has over 5 years of writing experience and covers Microsoft Windows and everything around it. When not working, you can find him tinkering with his PC, trying some FPS titles or exploring animated shows and movies.
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"How to Fix a Blank Windows 10 Security Screen"
was written by Mary
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comments. The article was created on 30 January 2022
and updated on 30 January 2022