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Error 0x80240438 in Windows Defender: what to do to avoid it

Why the error 0x80240438 appears

What is the cause for the error code 0x80240438? It is not a failure that can appear for a single reason, but generally the cause is in some problem with the system update or with some additional security program that we have installed.

If this error appears in Windows Defender after updated Windows, maybe a corrupt file has been left without updating correctly or during the installation there has been a cut. This can lead to problems with certain programs, such as Microsoft’s antivirus.

It could also happen that we have installed other security program. For example, it may be that we have another antivirus beyond Windows Defender and that is generating conflict. Maybe even a firewall that detects it as a threat and blocks it.

Another reason that can be an error of this type is that we are browsing through a proxy or VPN. This would lead to problems when using certain system components, such as antivirus.

What to do to solve this problem

We have seen that it can have different causes. So what can we do to fix the problem? Let’s see how we can avoid error 0x80240438 and get Windows Defender to work normally again and protect our device.

Control installed security programs

The first thing we must do is carry a control of security applications that we have installed. Do we have another antivirus installed? This is not a good idea, since there could be a conflict between them and even that they do not work, which would leave the computer completely unprotected.

If we have installed another security program such as Bitdefender, Avast, Kaspersky or any other, we should disable it. This is possibly the cause of the problem and we can fix it quickly.

But something similar can also happen if we have a firewall installed. Although having an antivirus and a firewall should not cause problems and they are compatible, it is true that sometimes a bad configuration or using an inappropriate program could be blocking certain applications and this includes Windows antivirus.

Update definitions Windows Defender

The cause may be that we have outdated Windows Defender. New versions are usually installed automatically, but there could be a conflict and problems. Those updates may be stuck.

What we are going to do is manually download the files necessary to update Windows Defender. For this we have to go to the official Microsoft page and there choose the version of the operating system and download the EXE file that we will later have to run.

Once we have installed it, you have to restart the computer. This will allow the changes to take effect and we will have the latest version of Microsoft’s antivirus definitions available. It is a solution in case it has not been updated automatically or there is a problem such as error 0x80240438.

Check for problems with system updates

Have you recently updated Windows and since then this error appears? In that case, the error is most likely due to a failure in the update process. This is something that can happen sometimes. For example, it happens if during the installation we run out of Internet or for some reason the equipment has been turned off.

Therefore, what we are going to do is check that we really have good updated Windows and, if necessary, update it manually. We have to go to Start, we enter Settings and we go to Update and security. There it will show us what version we have installed and it will indicate if there is a more recent one available.

Disable the VPN or proxy

Navigate through a VPN or a proxy It can bring certain problems if we have configured something wrong or the program we use does not work correctly. This also includes errors in Windows antivirus itself, so it is something we must control.

Both options are used to encrypt the connection. Basically we are going to connect through an intermediary instead of our information going directly to the server of the web that we are visiting, for example. There are many options in both cases, such as NordVPN or ExpressVPN for VPN. What we must do to find out if it is a failure derived from these programs is to disable them momentarily.

It is wise to avoid VPNs that are free, as many of them can cause problems like this one we see. We must opt ​​for an alternative that is reliable and works well.

Reset the network

One more step we can take if we see that the problem with Windows Defender has not been solved is to reset the network. It is a function that is integrated into the operating system and that allows resolving certain failures that may have occurred with some component of the network, such as the Wi-Fi card.

We have to go to Start, we enter Settings, we go to Network and Internet and there we will find the option to Network reset. We must click on it and continue the process. This will allow all the configuration to return to the default state and once done we can restart the computer and check if it has had any positive effect.

Reset the network

In short, if you see the error 0x80240438 and you see that Windows Defender does not work well, the causes can be several but it is normal that it is an update failure or the use of an additional antivirus. You can follow these steps that we have seen and thus make it work correctly again and your computer is not left unprotected.

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