Operation did not Complete Successfully Because the File Contains a Virus

Microsoft releases new security features with each OS update. It eliminates the security patches to enhance device protection. Though, these security features help the users to prevent unwanted cyber-attacks. But, Windows applications, such as Firewall or Defender, can sometimes generate security issues.

Many faced an issue while opening a file after this software detected a virus in the folder’s location. It could happen by downloading a virus-infected file from a malicious site.

Did you tap on a misleading link from an email attachment? There’s a high chance of experiencing the “operation did not complete successfully” error. Never install any file or application from any illicit website.

Moreover, you should check the email links twice before opening them. Use compatible antivirus software on the device to avoid this issue. Change the wireless network settings to prevent malware attacks. Remove the suspicious files to resolve this complicated error.

Easy Troubleshooting Methods for “Operation did not Complete Successfully” Error

Several reasons can trigger this error in Windows devices. Sometimes, Windows Defender can identify a genuine file as “malicious” for the device. This software does this when the scanned file code matches with known malware.

Disabling the Windows Defender application can resolve this problem. And, there are two ways by which PC users can disable this built-in Windows application. You can either use Settings or access the Registry Editor to do that.

Here, we have mentioned both these methods to disable Windows Defender:

Via Windows Settings

The Windows 7 or 8 users can disable Defender within a minute from Settings. First, tap on the Windows icon to open the “Settings”. Alternatively, you can hold the Windows key and I keys together to get the Settings menu.

Choose “Control Panel” from the list of the built-in Microsoft applications. Locate the “System and Security” option when the Control Panel window pops up. Navigate to “Windows Defender”, and tap on the “Turn off Windows Defender” option to disable it.

Do you use a Windows 10 or 11 computer or laptop? Then, you need to first choose “Update & Security” from the Settings menu. Head to Windows Security and toggle on the “Virus & threat protection” option. Now, it’s time to choose the “Manage settings” option and wait until a new page opens.

Choose “Real-time protection” to disable Windows Defender temporarily. Now, open the file which was showing the error message. If the error remains, also toggle off the “cloud-delivered protection” option.

Via Registry Editor

Disabling Windows Defender from the Registry Editor might be time-consuming. But, if you can not disable it from the Settings, use the Registry to do that. First, hold the Windows and S keys to open the search box and write “Registry Editor”. If that doesn’t show this application, hold the Windows and R keys instead to open the Run dialogue box.

Write “Regedit”, press the Enter key, and choose “ Yes “ when the pop-up window appears, choose “Yes”. This will direct you to the Registry Editor window. The Registry Editor window might take time to load sometimes.

Follow these steps to disable Windows Defender when it shows the registry entry keys:

  • First, move to the address bar and enter:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender

  • Find the “DisableAntiSpyware” folder, right-click on it to choose “Properties”.
  • If you don’t find this folder, right-click on the Registry Editor’s blank space and opt for the “New” option.
  • Select “DWORD(32-bit) Value” from the list and rename the folder as “DisableAntiSpyware”.
  • Change the folder’s value data to 1 to turn off Windows Defender and antimalware services.

Close the Registry Editor window, and restart the device after a few minutes. Now, open the file which was showing the error. Wait for a few seconds and check if it is showing the error message. But, operating a PC or laptop without any antivirus program might be risky. It makes the devices more vulnerable to security threats. Use an anti-malware program to secure the computer from data breaching instances.

Disable the Third-Party Antivirus Softwares

Third-party antivirus applications can prevent the Windows services from working properly. Besides, these programs can block the users from accessing certain sensitive files. Disable these programs to avoid this error message on Windows PCs. And, you need to access the Task Manager to toggle off the problematic apps.

Hold Shift, Ctrl and Escape keys to open the Task Manager window. Ensure this Windows app is running in Compact mode. Tap on the “Mode Details” option, when the Task Manager window opens.

Now, head to the “Start-up” section and search for the required third-party antivirus programs. Go to the “Status” tab, click on the app name and select “Disable”. Restart the computer and open the file and Windows won’t display that it contains a virus.

Fix the File Explorer

This error message might appear if there is an issue in the File Explorer. Repairing the File Explorer will resolve this error from the stored Windows files. Don’t know the steps to fix this File Manager application? Hold the Windows and R keys together and wait until the Run dialogue box opens.

Now, write “cmd”, press the “Enter key or tap on the “OK” button. Ensure to run this built-in Windows application as an administrator. Write “sfc/SCANFILE=c:\windows\explorer.exe” and hit the “Enter” key. Enter the “sfc /SCANFILE=C:\Windows\SysWow64\explorer.exe” command line.

Press the “Enter” key, restart the PC and check if you can open the file again. If the file is still displaying the error message, then run the disk cleanup utility. Remove the temporary files to overcome Windows PC’s security issue.

Alternative Ways to  Solve Operation did not Complete Successfully” Error

Remove the temporary internet files and caches from Windows backup. Additionally, you can scan the device with an antivirus program when this error message appears. Locate the problematic system files and programs and uninstall them immediately.

Besides, Windows users can perform a system restore to fix this error. Run the computer in Safe Mode to troubleshoot this critical Windows error. And, if that doesn’t fix this problem, contact an experienced IT expert immediately.