[Fix] Windows Security Does not Open in Windows 11

After installing/upgrading to Windows 11, you may notice that the Windows Defender Security settings page can’t be opened. Nothing may happen when you open the Windows Security dashboard, or the following error may occur when you do so:

You'll need a new app to open this windowsdefender link

Look for an app in the Microsoft Store

windowsdefender link open in store app

Also, none of the windowsdefender:// protocol links work. None of the options (“View security dashboard,” “Run a quick scan,” etc.) in the Windows Security tray menu work.

reinstall security health ui powershell

As a result, you’re unable to view the “Virus & threat protection,” “Account protection,” “Firewall & network protection,” and other Windows Defender settings GUI.

The above error happens if the Security Health UI app (SecHealthUI.exe) is broken. The app’s official name is”Microsoft.Windows.SecHealthUI“in Windows 10 and”Microsoft.SecHealthUI“in Windows 11.

The above issue can easily be fixed by resetting or reinstalling the Windows Security Health UI app package using PowerShell.

[Fix] You’ll Need a New App to Open This Windows Defender Link

To reset/repair the Microsoft Defender Security Health UI, open PowerShell elevated (Run as administrator).

Run the following command and hit Enter:

Solution for Windows 11

Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.SecHealthUI -AllUsers | Reset-AppxPackage

reset security health ui powershell

If you see the “Deployment operation progress:” message and end up with no error message/output, the command was successful. You should be able to launch the Windows Defender security settings dashboard now.

Some users may get the following error instead:

"Reset-AppxPackage : Package was not found.
Windows cannot remove Microsoft.SecHealthUI_1000.22000.1.0_neutral__8wekyb3d8bbwe because the current user does not have that package installed. Use Get-AppxPackage to see the list of packages installed.
At line:1 char:51
+ Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.SecHealthUI -AllUsers | Reset-AppxPackage
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
+ CategoryInfo : NotSpecified: (:) [Reset-AppxPackage], COMException
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : System.Runtime.InteropServices.COMException,Microsoft.Windows.Appx.PackageManager.Commands.ResetAppxPackageCommand"

reset security health ui powershell error

The above indicates that the package is not installed for your user account. In that case, (re)installing the Microsoft.SecHealthUI package ought to fix the problem. To do so, run the following PowerShell command:

Windows 11

add-appxpackage -disabledevelopmentmode -register ((Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.SecHealthUI -allusers).InstallLocation + '\AppxManifest.xml')

reinstall security health ui powershell

Before and After repairing the app

Note that on a Windows 11 computer where the app wasn’t installed for the current user, it shows the Local System account, and the status may read “Staged” or “Paused.”

reinstall security health ui powershell

After reinstalling or repairing the package using add-appxpackage or reset-appxpackage command, the app now shows as “Installed” for the user account.

reinstall security health ui powershell

Add-AppxPackage returns an error!!

On some Windows 11 systems, the Add-AppxPackage command may throw the following error:

add-appxpackage : Cannot find path 'C:\AppxManifest.xml' because it does not exist.

sechealthui add-appxpackage error

The above error occurs if the Microsoft.SecHealthUI package folder is entirely missing. In that case, open the following folder:

C:\Windows\System32\SecurityHealth

In one of its subfolders, locate the file named”Microsoft.SecHealthUI_8wekyb3d8bbwe.appx“.



sechealthui folder appx missing

Suppose the above Appx file is found. Double-click to install it. It launches the App installer screen. Follow the instructions and install the app.

Alternatively, you can use admin PowerShell to install the app if the installer doesn’t start when double-clicking on the file.

Right-click on “Microsoft.SecHealthUI_8wekyb3d8bbwe.appx” and click “Copy as Path”.

Switch to the Admin PowerShell window, and run the following command:

Add-AppxPackage -Path <PASTE THE FILE PATH HERE>

Example:

Add-AppxPackage -Path "C:\Users\ramesh\Desktop\Microsoft.SecHealthUI_8wekyb3d8bbwe.appx"

sechealthui add-appxpackage powershell

Download the SecHealthUI Installer

If the SecurityHealth folder is empty and you can’t find the file Microsoft.SecHealthUI_8wekyb3d8bbwe.appx on your Windows 11 (22H2) computer, you can download it from the following link:

File		: Microsoft.SecHealthUI_8wekyb3d8bbwe.appx ( Download link - 8.23 MB)
Verified	: Signed
Signing date	: 8:07 AM 7/21/2022
Publisher	: Microsoft Corporation
MD5		: ED40FF73722CD65C173B9368E7E6AFE2
SHA1		: 721F9C18C9529EDCC4F721E06EF74FADB4B1A6C2
SHA256		: 33940191DB200F5AD8373E6A6A02361A5B816D957203E1DF9B103D9E5F1CFCB0
VT detection	: 0/74
VT link		: https://www.virustotal.com/gui/file/33940191db200f5ad8373e6a6a02361a5b816d957203e1df9b103d9e5f1cfcb0/detection

The above package requires the following dependencies to be installed. These two dependencies would most likely be installed already on the system, as they’re used by other Inbox apps like Microsoft Store, etc.

  • Microsoft.VCLibs.140.00_14.0.30704.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe
  • Microsoft.UI.Xaml.2.4_2.42007.9001.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe

Verify if the Package has been installed correctly

If the installation was successful, you should be able to launch the Windows Security page correctly. Also,  running the windowsdefender:// protocol command via the Start, Run dialog should open the Windows Security dialog.

Running the “Get-AppxPackage *sechealth*” command in PowerShell should show an output like the one below:

Name              : Microsoft.SecHealthUI
Publisher         : CN=Microsoft Corporation, O=Microsoft Corporation, L=Redmond, S=Washington, C=US
Architecture      : X64
ResourceId        :
Version           : 1000.22621.1.0
PackageFullName   : Microsoft.SecHealthUI_1000.22621.1.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe
InstallLocation   : C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.SecHealthUI_1000.22621.1.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe
IsFramework       : False
PackageFamilyName : Microsoft.SecHealthUI_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PublisherId       : 8wekyb3d8bbwe
IsResourcePackage : False
IsBundle          : False
IsDevelopmentMode : False
NonRemovable      : True
Dependencies      : {Microsoft.VCLibs.140.00_14.0.30704.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe,
                    Microsoft.UI.Xaml.2.4_2.42007.9001.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe}
IsPartiallyStaged : False
SignatureKind     : Store
Status            : Ok

sechealthui reinstall powershell verify


Solution for Windows 10

On Windows 10, the command-line is slightly different due to the app name difference:

add-appxpackage -disabledevelopmentmode -register ((Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.Windows.SecHealthUI -allusers).InstallLocation + '\AppxManifest.xml')

Caveat

The Security Health app package location is different in Windows 11. The paths for Windows 10 and 11 are given below:

[Windows 10 v21H2]
C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.SecHealthUI_cw5n1h2txyewy

[Windows 11 v21H2]
C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.SecHealthUI_1000.22000.251.0_neutral__8wekyb3d8bbwe
(The above folder name would change according to your Windows 11 Build number.)

One common mistake users make is that they run the Add-Appxpackage command mentioning the explicit Windows 10 path on a Windows 11 computer. In that case, the following error would pop up:

Add-AppxPackage : Cannot find path
'C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.SecHealthUI_cw5n1h2txyewy\AppXManifest.xml' because it does not exist.
At line:1 char:1
+ Add-AppxPackage -Register -DisableDevelopmentMode "C:\Windows\SystemA ...
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
+ CategoryInfo : ObjectNotFound: (C:\Windows\Syst...ppXManifest.xml:String) [Add-AppxPackage], ItemNotFoundException
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : PathNotFound,Microsoft.Windows.Appx.PackageManager.Commands.AddAppxPackageCommand

Closing Words

As a last resort, running a repair installation (a.k.a, in-place upgrade) by running setup.exe from Windows 11 DVD/USB/ISO should automatically rectify the Windows Security Dashboard. Repair installation is suggested, especially when some built-in apps, such as Calculator, Weather, Notepad, Paint, and Feedback Center, go missing after the Windows 11 upgrade.


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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded Winhelponline.com in 2005.

3 thoughts on “[Fix] Windows Security Does not Open in Windows 11”

  1. THIS is the correct solution to fix the issue of not having access to windows security. Thank you so much! Merci! Gracias!

    Reply

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