How To Fix Windows Defender Offline Scan Not Working

Microsoft Defender is one of the default apps on Windows, a major security component that uses in-depth threat resistance and machine learning to protect your device against potential threats. Windows Defender is the primary security app that protects your machine from viruses and malware in real time and lets you boot your device in a trusted environment. So, rather than installing a third party on your Windows PC, you can rely on the Windows Defender app instead.


Did you know you could also perform an offline scan on the Windows Defender app? Yes, that’s right. The offline scanning on Defender allows you to detect trojan viruses, ransomware threats, and other suspicious advanced threats.

So, if the offline scanning feature fails to work on the Windows Defender app, we’re here to help. In this post, we have listed a few solutions that you can use to resume the functionality of the offline scanning feature on Defender.

Let’s begin!

Also read: How To Clear The Windows Defender Protection History On PC

How to Use Windows Defender Offline Scan?

Tap on the search icon placed on the Taskbar and type “Windows Security.” Hit Enter to launch the app.


Switch to the “Virus and threat protection” section from the left menu pane. Tap on “Scan options.”


Select “Microsoft Defender Offline Scan.” Hit on the “Scan now” button.


Follow the on-screen instructions to run an offline scan on your device.

Also read: How to Fix Windows Defender Won’t Update

Windows Defender Offline Scan Not Working? Here’s the Fix!  

So, if Windows Defender offline scan fails to work on your device, here are a few solutions that you can use for troubleshooting.

Solution 1: Run the SFC and DISM Scan 

SFC (System File Checker) is a built-in Windows utility that scans and restores corrupt system files. So, if Windows Defender fails to operate on your device, you can quickly run the SFC command to overcome discrepancies. Here’s what you need to do:

Tap on the search icon placed on the Taskbar and type “Command Prompt.” Select the “Run as administrator” option.


Once the Terminal launches in admin mode, execute the following command and wait for the scan to complete:



After using the SFC scan, the next step is to run the DISM command on your device. DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) tool is used to service Windows images.


Launch CMD in admin mode and execute the following command:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth

SFC and DISM Commands can help you recover corrupt system files and configurations within no time.

Also read: Windows Defender Won’t Delete Trojans? Here’s the Fix!

Solution 2: Use the System Restore

Tap on the search icon placed on the Taskbar and type “Create a Restore Point.” Hit Enter.

The System Properties window will now pop up on the screen. Tap on “System Restore.”


You will now see a list of previously created restore points on the screen. Pick the last restore point created by Windows and hit on the “Next” button.


Follow the on-screen instructions to restore your device to a previous checkpoint to undo recent changes.

Reboot your machine and run an offline scan to check if the issue was resolved.

Also read: 5 Solutions to Fix the “Windows Defender Failed to Initialize” Issue.

Solution 3: Update Windows

Tap on the Windows icon on the Taskbar and select “Settings.” Switch to the “Windows Update” section from the left menu pane.


Hit the “Check for Updates” button to see if any update is available for your device. If an update is available, install it immediately to upgrade your Windows PC.

After updating the Windows OS, relaunch the Windows Defender app and run an offline scan to check if the issue was resolved.

Solution 4: Reset Windows 

Launch the Settings app and switch to the “System” tab. Tap on “Recovery.”

Hit on the “Reset PC” option.


Windows will now offer you two options: First, you want to keep all your files, and second, where Windows erases all of your files, apps, and settings.


Pick your option and proceed ahead to reset your Windows PC. After resetting your PC, launch the Windows Defender app and check if the issue persists.

Here were a few simple yet effective solutions to resolve the “Windows Defender offline scan not working” issue. These methods will help you repair the Windows Defender app within no time. Do let us know which solution did the trick for you. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

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