Windows 10 Security Measures May Not Start Up

John Lister's picture

Windows 10 users have been warned to watch out for an error message that could mean their PC is less secure than normal. Thankfully the glitch can be fixed with a simple restart.

The problem affects two key security measures, one of which may be used on company networks and the other is more likely to be harnessed by expert users. In both cases, it's worth employees pointing out the error message to company IT staff if it appears.

Microsoft says one of two messages will appear if the error is triggered:



"E_PATHNOTFOUND (0x80070003)"

Computers running Windows 10's Pro and Enterprise editions, updated to at least the first major update from last year (version 1903) are vulnerable to the bug. (Source:

Secure Facility For Browsing

The first tool affected is Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG). This is designed to protect against online attacks that happen while a user is visiting a website, rather than relying on them downloading or opening a file.

Windows Defender Application Guard effectively works by creating a virtual version of Windows and a browser for each session. This isolates any activity from the page from the other activity on the computer.

It's actually a version of the Edge browser, so this won't affect people running Chrome of Firefox. The average user is most likely to encounter it at work if the system administrator has made it the default or only browsing option.

Sandbox May Not Start

The other affected tool is the Windows Sandbox. This lets users open an application in a completely secure environment. It's both a usability and security tool as it heavily removes the risk that a bug in an application could cause it to corrupt other data on the computer, or that a malicious app could intentionally cause damage or access data.

Microsoft is working on a fix and will include it in a future update. In the meantime, the error message may appear when either of the tools are opened. Microsoft says there's a simple fix: restarting the computer should allow them both to operate as normal. (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Have you encountered this problem? Do you intentionally use either of these tools? Should software developers try to use more helpful error codes in case they are seen by ordinary users?

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