Windows security settings switched off and greyed out


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One that hasn't been mentioned.

In the run box type Services.msc
Scroll through the list and see if avira has ben left in there.
Next scroll to " Security centre" Switch it off and restart it.
Ditto security Accounts manager.
 
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Okay this is getting really silly now. When I got the computer it was set up with one user, me. That makes me the administrator. Now when I switch the computer on it says incorrect password! I never use a password, why would I as I live on my own! Then in the bottom left of the screen three users pop up. At the top is Alex Administrator, below that is Alex, and below that is Alex! I did try logging in as Alex Administrator but it took me back to the empty computer that I bought. I have no idea what this new user account at the bottom is as I haven’t tried logging into it but the one I want is the one in the middle. I can log into that using my Microsoft account password. But how can I get rid of these other two accounts, especially the administrator one because I think that is what is causing all the problems. A mate said that if I manage to delete this administrator account I could end up with a dead machine, and as all the three accounts are called Alex how can I be sure I’m deleting the right ones? I don’t seem to be alone with this ghost account thing as people have been talking about it going back 7 years at least since they changed over to Windows 10.
 
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One that hasn't been mentioned.

In the run box type Services.msc
Scroll through the list and see if avira has ben left in there.
Next scroll to " Security centre" Switch it off and restart it.
Ditto security Accounts manager.
Did that and no trace of Avira. Was able to disable security Accounts manager and then reset it but no such option with Security Centre.
 
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I'm at a loss then. In your position I would be doing a clean reinstall.
Okay I ran this and the funny this is that about three quarters of the way through it said that it had found 177 suspect files or whatever. When I let it run to the end it said no viruses, malware or suspect files were found! So I'm not sure how reliable it is. All settings are still greyed out!
So what happened? Did you get this fixed? If not, reinstall Malware Bytes accept the agreement that lets you try the premium version for two weeks or whatever, and don't turn it off for now. Run the program. Now search for Glary Utilities, it should be version 5, you want the latest FREE version of the program. It will ask you to try the paid version, say no. It should then say download and a second entry download from cnet. Hit download, ignore cnet. After it downloads hit the install button. For now hit One click maintenance and let it run completely. It will take a couple of minutes. You can look at the results, but Don't mess with anything and hit the fix problems button, this will take a few minutes too. After that you will see on the bottom a big blue arrow pointing up, it should have some numbers in red, these are the number of programs that need updating. Click on this, a page opens. Only update programs you recognize for now and and do so. After this, run Windows update which you should let run several times a week. After this, see if Glary is running in the system tray, (bottom of page) if it's there right click and hit exit, if asked if you're sure hit yes. Restart the computer, and see how it runs. This will clean any junk files in your registry, and useless temporary files, it will remove useless shortcuts. Neither program will hurt your computer, and don't try to second guess the programs, let them do their jobs. You need to Always have an anti-virus program running, All the time. There are several ways to fix corrupted windows files and programs. You should talk with one of the Microsoft MVP's about anything like that for advice. My credentials, I'm 72, I've been playing with and building my own computers for 10 years now, but have been using them from before Windows ME came out. Any mistakes you can make on a computer, I've made them, including screwing up the registry so bad I did have to reinstall windows. Both programs I suggested can be left on your computer. Unless you want to keep the premium version of Malware bytes, let it revert to the free version and run both at least once a week. Any problems doing this, reply to this post and I'll try to get back with you. If anyone else wants to comment, reply to this post too.
 
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So what happened? Did you get this fixed? If not, reinstall Malware Bytes accept the agreement that lets you try the premium version for two weeks or whatever, and don't turn it off for now. Run the program. Now search for Glary Utilities, it should be version 5, you want the latest FREE version of the program. It will ask you to try the paid version, say no. It should then say download and a second entry download from cnet. Hit download, ignore cnet. After it downloads hit the install button. For now hit One click maintenance and let it run completely. It will take a couple of minutes. You can look at the results, but Don't mess with anything and hit the fix problems button, this will take a few minutes too. After that you will see on the bottom a big blue arrow pointing up, it should have some numbers in red, these are the number of programs that need updating. Click on this, a page opens. Only update programs you recognize for now and and do so. After this, run Windows update which you should let run several times a week. After this, see if Glary is running in the system tray, (bottom of page) if it's there right click and hit exit, if asked if you're sure hit yes. Restart the computer, and see how it runs. This will clean any junk files in your registry, and useless temporary files, it will remove useless shortcuts. Neither program will hurt your computer, and don't try to second guess the programs, let them do their jobs. You need to Always have an anti-virus program running, All the time. There are several ways to fix corrupted windows files and programs. You should talk with one of the Microsoft MVP's about anything like that for advice. My credentials, I'm 72, I've been playing with and building my own computers for 10 years now, but have been using them from before Windows ME came out. Any mistakes you can make on a computer, I've made them, including screwing up the registry so bad I did have to reinstall windows. Both programs I suggested can be left on your computer. Unless you want to keep the premium version of Malware bytes, let it revert to the free version and run both at least once a week. Any problems doing this, reply to this post and I'll try to get back with you. If anyone else wants to comment, reply to this post too.
No still not fixed. Everything is still greyed out. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised as I've been using Windows since the old days of Windows and Dos 6 and they have never got it right! The best version that ever came out in my opinion was Windows 7 but of course Microshaft had to try and improve that and brought out Windows 8 which was a pile of c*ap! I only moved to Windows 10 and bought a very expensive laptop because they were removing support for Windows 7 and because they said that Windows 10 would be the last version of windows. As usual that was a lie and now they are trying to move people onto Windows 11 and no doubt they are working on Windows 12! For my part I will not be moving off Windows 10 and if they remove support I will be switching to MacOS or Linux as I'm totally fed up with theit buggy OS's. I don't even allow Windows to install updates because every time that happens people complain about faults on their computers so I disable all updates and only allow them when I think it's safe to do so. I'll install Malwarebytes again and then try this Glary Utilities thing to see if it makes any difference. By the way have you ever tried removing Malwarebytes? Using Add Remove Programs doesn't get rid of it completely as it leaves all sorts of rubbish in the registry. So last time I tried the offical Malwarebytes removal tool. Guess what, that doesn't get rid of all the rubbish either!
 
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Okay I tried this and no difference, everything is still greyed out. Malwarebytes is listed as my antivirus program but below that it says, Microsoft Defender Antivirus Options. It says, You can keep using your current provider and get Microsoft Defender Antivirus to check periodically for threats. Below that it says Periodic Scanning and there is a button set to off but not greyed out. If I click on this to turn it on I'm asked if I want Windows Security to make changes to my device. I click yes and the button switches to off again! By the way that hasn't changed due to this latest scan, that's what it does when I install Malwarebytes or any other antivirus program.
 
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A you say you have even stopped updates, I doubt if any third party program is going to help either.
"For my part I will not be moving off Windows 10 and if they remove support I will be switching to MacOS or Linux"
You appear to have removed support yourself? Maybe time to move, as you seem to have had more than a fair share of problems with MS?
FWIW. Plenty to google and read - MS never said it was the last version. IT was a misinterpretation of their demonstrating salesman's remark. ( Last - Previous)

This was also discussed in my last post (joke)
 
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No still not fixed. Everything is still greyed out. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised as I've been using Windows since the old days of Windows and Dos 6 and they have never got it right! The best version that ever came out in my opinion was Windows 7 but of course Microshaft had to try and improve that and brought out Windows 8 which was a pile of c*ap! I only moved to Windows 10 and bought a very expensive laptop because they were removing support for Windows 7 and because they said that Windows 10 would be the last version of windows. As usual that was a lie and now they are trying to move people onto Windows 11 and no doubt they are working on Windows 12! For my part I will not be moving off Windows 10 and if they remove support I will be switching to MacOS or Linux as I'm totally fed up with theit buggy OS's. I don't even allow Windows to install updates because every time that happens people complain about faults on their computers so I disable all updates and only allow them when I think it's safe to do so. I'll install Malwarebytes again and then try this Glary Utilities thing to see if it makes any difference. By the way have you ever tried removing Malwarebytes? Using Add Remove Programs doesn't get rid of it completely as it leaves all sorts of rubbish in the registry. So last time I tried the offical Malwarebytes removal tool. Guess what, that doesn't get rid of all the rubbish either!
Here's one more thing to try, all this involves is a bit of time on your PC which depends on how fast it is. This always finishes in under 15 minutes on my machine, but it was built for speed to play games. Open settings and click Update & Security. With that open click on Windows Security. In this new list click Virus & Threat Protection. This of course lists whatever virus protection you have installed. Scroll down to Scan Options and click on it. About the middle of the page it should say Quick Scan, right below that will be Scan Options, click on it. You should have Quick Scan highlighted then Full Scan, Custom Scan and below that, Microsoft Defender Offline Scan. Highlight this last one and hit the scan now button. You now get a final warning that says "Microsoft Defender Offline Scan will take some time and restart your device, Save all work before continuing." You get two choices Scan or Cancel. Hit scan, one more screen pops up to tell you your computer will restart in X number of minutes, ether wait or hit restart. That's it, your computer will restart but will run an offline scan before you can log back in. Unless it finds something you will not get a results page. In most cases no warning pops up. This may not do anything you can see, but can still ease your mind that you most likely don't have anything seriously wrong. Run Glary utilities next, this cleans up all kinds of junk, make sure Malware Bytes is running, after that (And Run Microsoft Update) when it's complete, run it again. You want it to say there are no more updates before you stop. There is only one group of people who will tell you not to update. Those people want to hack your computer. Microsoft does know what they're doing, they give you security patches every single month and more often if necessary. Stop thinking you know more than they do about protecting the Operating System, you most emphatically don't. All those security breaches these big companies admit to are the result of them not having the latest protection, or using outdated software. Some people still do use Windows 7, something nobody supports anymore. No Antivirus and not having the newest updates is the most dangerous thing you can do if you are connected to the internet. As the owner of the machine, this is all your responsibility. Nobody on this forum will tell you not to update, they all do and they all run antivirus. If you believe someone who tells you not to, they probably already have your passwords. Hopefully you use good passwords, another subject but one I won't get into that now. First Glary Utilities.
 
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Try iobit uninstaller free as it was removes even stubborn software and even deletes registry keys to completely remove the program. Ive found it a really useful tool.
 
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Here's one more thing to try, all this involves is a bit of time on your PC which depends on how fast it is. This always finishes in under 15 minutes on my machine, but it was built for speed to play games. Open settings and click Update & Security. With that open click on Windows Security. In this new list click Virus & Threat Protection. This of course lists whatever virus protection you have installed. Scroll down to Scan Options and click on it. About the middle of the page it should say Quick Scan, right below that will be Scan Options, click on it. You should have Quick Scan highlighted then Full Scan, Custom Scan and below that, Microsoft Defender Offline Scan. Highlight this last one and hit the scan now button. You now get a final warning that says "Microsoft Defender Offline Scan will take some time and restart your device, Save all work before continuing." You get two choices Scan or Cancel. Hit scan, one more screen pops up to tell you your computer will restart in X number of minutes, ether wait or hit restart. That's it, your computer will restart but will run an offline scan before you can log back in. Unless it finds something you will not get a results page. In most cases no warning pops up. This may not do anything you can see, but can still ease your mind that you most likely don't have anything seriously wrong. Run Glary utilities next, this cleans up all kinds of junk, make sure Malware Bytes is running, after that (And Run Microsoft Update) when it's complete, run it again. You want it to say there are no more updates before you stop. There is only one group of people who will tell you not to update. Those people want to hack your computer. Microsoft does know what they're doing, they give you security patches every single month and more often if necessary. Stop thinking you know more than they do about protecting the Operating System, you most emphatically don't. All those security breaches these big companies admit to are the result of them not having the latest protection, or using outdated software. Some people still do use Windows 7, something nobody supports anymore. No Antivirus and not having the newest updates is the most dangerous thing you can do if you are connected to the internet. As the owner of the machine, this is all your responsibility. Nobody on this forum will tell you not to update, they all do and they all run antivirus. If you believe someone who tells you not to, they probably already have your passwords. Hopefully you use good passwords, another subject but one I won't get into that now. First Glary Utilities.
When I do this it lists Malwarebytes as my antivirus. It does not offer quick scan, full scan, custom scan or microsoft defender offline scan. It just offers scan! Below the malwarebytes box it says, microsoft defender antivirus options. If I click on that it shows a button marked periodic scanning. If I turn that on a window opens asking me if I want to allow this app to make changes to my computer. If I click yes it switches off the periodic scanning again. If I click no it switches off the periodic scanning again! The only time I have seen Microsoft Defender Offline Scan was when Malwarebytes was not installed. When I tried to run it nothing happened!
I never said that I don't run updates, I said I block them until such times as I feel they are safe to install, because I don't think there has ever beren a Windows update that has not caused problems on users systems. So I let those people who trust Microsoft do their downloads, possibly screw up their computer in some way and report it to Microsoft who then iron out the bugs and at that point I feel it's safe to download and install. I always check for and install security updates. At the moment my laptop is up to date ewith regard to updates apart from one which won't install. Funny enough the one that won't install is, Security Intelligence Update for Microsoft Defender Antivirus - KB2267602 (Version 1.359.1302.0) It downloads and starts to install but at around 3% it stops and says, 'There were some problems installing updates, but we’ll try again later. If you keep seeing this and want to search the web or contact support for information, this may help: (0x80070643)
 
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Try iobit uninstaller free as it was removes even stubborn software and even deletes registry keys to completely remove the program. Ive found it a really useful tool.
I tried this about a week ago and it made no difference. I removed it from my computer again.
 
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I tried this about a week ago and it made no difference. I removed it from my computer again.
Please, stop trying to fix this - especially with third party tools. It's becoming clear from what you're now saying that your Windows installation is pretty messed up. The only reliable way to fix that is with a fully clean reinstall of Windows. I appreciate that you don't want to have to do that but you've been struggling with this issue for a month already - a clean install will take you only a few hours.
 
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When I do this it lists Malwarebytes as my antivirus. It does not offer quick scan, full scan, custom scan or microsoft defender offline scan. It just offers scan! Below the malwarebytes box it says, microsoft defender antivirus options. If I click on that it shows a button marked periodic scanning. If I turn that on a window opens asking me if I want to allow this app to make changes to my computer. If I click yes it switches off the periodic scanning again. If I click no it switches off the periodic scanning again! The only time I have seen Microsoft Defender Offline Scan was when Malwarebytes was not installed. When I tried to run it nothing happened!
I never said that I don't run updates, I said I block them until such times as I feel they are safe to install, because I don't think there has ever beren a Windows update that has not caused problems on users systems. So I let those people who trust Microsoft do their downloads, possibly screw up their computer in some way and report it to Microsoft who then iron out the bugs and at that point I feel it's safe to download and install. I always check for and install security updates. At the moment my laptop is up to date ewith regard to updates apart from one which won't install. Funny enough the one that won't install is, Security Intelligence Update for Microsoft Defender Antivirus - KB2267602 (Version 1.359.1302.0) It downloads and starts to install but at around 3% it stops and says, 'There were some problems installing updates, but we’ll try again later. If you keep seeing this and want to search the web or contact support for information, this may help: (0x80070643)
This is my second to last suggestion. Open control panel, locate and click troubleshooting. At top left click "view all" at the bottom you should see the windows update troubleshooter. Run that and see what suggestions it gives you. If you've done that already, there are still options. I suggest you copy and paste this in your browser, read what it says and decide if you want to try it before reinstalling windows. Use the directions from windows central. I trust them more than an online site. ( How to repair Windows 10 with System File Checker ) This option can save you from having to reinstall programs. Good luck.
 

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