Windows 10: Windows Defender drops error 0x80070578

Some Windows 10 users are facing  a curious issue: Windows reports after each login an offline Windows Defender and shows error code 0x80070578. Here a few hints how to solve this problem.


In part 1 of this article series I cover the case, where a user is still able to login to his user account.

The error description

I stumbled upon this issue within a Microsoft Answers post. A user reported a curious behavior.

Windows defender offline (win 10) shows error: 0x80070578.

After each restart Windows Defender offline drops the same error code. Windows can't be launched! There is an endless loop.

How can I prevent my system from launching Windows Defender during Windows start?

Ok, the first question is, what is causing error 0x80070578? Error 0x80070578 stands for ERROR_INVALID_WINDOW_HANDLE. That isn't too helpful – and also this Microsoft Answers post dealing with this error code doesn't help to much. But searching the web reveals a few more details.

Missing Defender-Updates and third party AV software

The root cause for this issue seems to be caused from third party antivirus software. This software tries to deactivate Windows Defender, so Windows Defender won't be updated.

Microsoft has announced a change in Windows 10: Limited Periodic Scanning in Windows 10 … allows two antivirus scanners running in parallel.

Fix #1 for the problem

The first solution is: Just uninstall your third party antivirus solution and run also a clean tool provided by AV vendor, to clean the system from install files/entries left after uninstalling. Then reboot Windows and check, whether Windows Defender is active again. Then let Windows search for Defender updates and let Windows install those updates.


Fix #2 for the problem

Another approach: Let Windows Defender update its signature files. Go to Settings app and then let Windows search for updates. Maybe, Defender-Updates will be found and installed.

If that doesn't work: Open an administrative command prompt (see Windows 10: Open command prompt window as administrator) and enter the commands below:

„%PROGRAMFILES%\Windows Defender\MPCMDRUN.exe" -RemoveDefinitions –All

This command removes the Defender signature files. The screenshot below shows this in my German Windows.

Defender zurücksetzen

Then use the command below to fetch the newest Defender signature updates:

„%PROGRAMFILES%\Windows Defender\MPCMDRUN.exe" –SignatureUpdate

After the Defender updates has been downloaded and installed, try a Windows restart. If that doesn't help, repeat Fix #1.

In part 2 I will cover the case, where Windows 10 is locked in a Windows Defender Offline (WDO) boot loop, so the operating system can't start.

Windows 10: Windows Defender drops error 0x80070578 – Part 1
Windows 10: Defender Offline Scan boot loop – Part 2

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