Windows 8 Services

Windows Defender Service - Windows 8 Service

Helps protect users from malware and other potentially unwanted software.

This service also exists in Windows 10, 7 and Vista.

Startup Type

Windows 8 edition Windows 8 Windows 8.1 Windows 8.1 Update 1
Core Automatic Automatic Automatic
Pro Automatic Automatic Automatic
Enterprise Automatic Automatic Automatic

Default Properties

Display name:Windows Defender Service
Service name:WinDefend
Path:%ProgramFiles%\Windows Defender\MsMpEng.exe
Error control:normal
  • SeLoadDriverPrivilege
  • SeImpersonatePrivilege
  • SeBackupPrivilege
  • SeRestorePrivilege
  • SeDebugPrivilege
  • SeChangeNotifyPrivilege
  • SeSecurityPrivilege
  • SeShutdownPrivilege
  • SeIncreaseQuotaPrivilege
  • SeAssignPrimaryTokenPrivilege
  • SeTcbPrivilege
  • SeSystemEnvironmentPrivilege

Default Behavior

The Windows Defender Service runs as LocalSystem in its own process of MsMpEng.exe. It does not share its process with other services. If Windows Defender Service fails to start, the error is logged. Windows 8 startup proceeds, but a message box is displayed informing you that the WinDefend service has failed to start.


Windows Defender Service won't start, if the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service is stopped or disabled.

Restore Default Startup Type for Windows Defender Service

Automated Restore

1. Select your Windows 8 release and edition, and then click on the Download button below.

2. Save the RestoreWindowsDefenderServiceWindows8.bat file to any folder on your hard drive.

3. Right-click the downloaded batch file and select Run as administrator.

4. Restart the computer.

Note. Make sure that the MsMpEng.exe file exists in the %ProgramFiles%\Windows Defender folder. If this file is missing you can try to restore it from your Windows 8 installation media.