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How to remove Windows Defender security warning scam


The Windows Defender security warning that might randomly pop up on your screen while you’re browsing is a type of malware that wants you to trick into contacting scammers. You can get infected with it by visiting a suspicious website, clicking on a malicious link, or simply having adware on your computer.

Luckily, you can easily get rid of it. In this article, you’ll learn how to remove the Windows Defender security warning scam from your computer once and for all. Additionally, you’ll get some useful tips on how to protect yourself from other viruses.

windows defender scam warning

What is the Windows Defender security warning?

Windows Defender security warning is a type of scareware or a phishing scam.

It redirects you to a page that looks like the official Microsoft website, even though its URL suggests otherwise. The page will display a message that your computer has been infected with malware (Trojan, for example) and that you need to contact a customer support agent by phone so that they could fix the problem.

Windows Defender security warning

One thing you should know about the Windows Defender Security warning is that it looks like a legit message by Windows, and that’s why it’s so dangerous - many users might not even bat an eye and try to google about it.

It is a common tactic of scammers - making a pop-up look as legitimate as possible so that people would not suspect anything bad.

In any case, the telephone number is most likely to direct you to a scam call center where an agent will either try to infect your computer with malware, steal your personal information, or demand you pay money for fake services.

NameWindows Defender/Security Warning message
TypeScam, Social Engineering, Fraud
DevicesAny device with a web browser, but Windows devices are obviously more targeted
SymptomsFake error messages, fake warnings, pop-up errors, fake scans
DamageLoss of sensitive information, identity theft, monetary loss, possible further infections

Why I am seeing the Windows Defender security warning?

There could be a few different reasons why you’re seeing the Windows Defender security warning. Here are some of the possible ones:

  • You visited a compromised website that redirected you to the scam page
  • You clicked an ad that redirected you to the fake website
  • You have malicious adware installed on your device

In any case, simply closing the window might not solve the problem, as, once it appears, the pop-up message might show up every single time you open your browser.

How to remove Windows Defender security warning pop-ups

As the Windows Defender security warning is browser-based, most of the steps you should take to get rid of it are also related to your browser. Here are the possible measures you can take to make the warning disappear:

  1. Force close and reopen your browser
  2. If you still get redirected to the scam page, reset the browser’s settings (more instructions below), or completely reinstall the browser
  3. If this still occurs, you might have adware or some kind of a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program) installed on your computer and need to remove it

If you are unsure which one of the installed apps causes this behavior, an antivirus (like TotalAV) can detect that for you and remove it from your computer.

Remove Windows Defender security warning from your browser

Resetting the browser settings is one of the first things you should do if you want to get rid of the Windows Defender Security warning scam. Below you will find the instructions on how to do it on different browsers.

Remove Windows Defender pop-up from Chrome

1. Click on the three dots at the top right corner

2. Choose “Settings”

Three dots settings

3. Click “Advanced ” in the bottom left of the window.

4. Press ”Reset and clean up”

Advanced settings on Chrome

5. Choose “Restore settings to their original defaults”

Reset settings on Chrome

6. Click “Reset settings”

Remove Windows Defender pop-up from Firefox

1. Click the icon with the three lines on the top right corner

2. Open “Settings”

Firefox settings

3. Click on “Home”

Home settings on Firefox

4. Choose “Restore defaults” (if there is no such button, it means that you’re already using default settings)

Restore to default settings on Firefox

Remove Windows Defender pop-up from Microsoft Edge

1. Click on the three dots

2. Open “Settings”

Microsoft Edge settings

3. Press on “Reset settings”

Reset settings button on Microsoft Edge

4. Click “Restore settings to their default values”

Restore settings to their default values microsoft edge

5. Press “Reset”

Confirmation to reset settings on Edge

Remove Windows Defender pop-up from Safari

1. Open Terminal (press command + space to open the spotlight, type in “terminal”, and click enter)

Open terminal on Safari

2. Enter these commands one at a time. Execute each command by pressing “enter” after copying it into the terminal:

rm -Rf ~/Library/Caches/Metadata/Safari;

rm -Rf ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.Safari;

rm -Rf ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.WebKit.PluginProcess;

rm -Rf ~/Library/Preferences/Apple\ -\ Safari\ -\ Safari\ Extensions\ Gallery;

rm -Rf ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Safari.LSSharedFileList.plist;

rm -Rf ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Safari.RSS.plist;

rm -Rf ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Safari.plist;

rm -Rf ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.WebFoundation.plist;

rm -Rf ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.WebKit.PluginHost.plist;

rm -Rf ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.WebKit.PluginProcess.plist;

rm -Rf ~/Library/PubSub/Database;

rm -Rf ~/Library/Safari/*;

rm -Rf ~/Library/Safari/Bookmarks.plist;

rm -Rf ~/Library/Saved\ Application\ State/com.apple.Safari.savedState;
Type commands into terminal in Safari

How can I protect my PC against viruses?

The Windows Defender security warning scam is not the only virus you can get on your computer. There are lots of even bigger threats on the internet, and you should take every precaution to avoid them.

Here are the basic measures to protect your device against viruses:

  • Don’t click on random links without knowing where they will lead you to
  • Don’t download suspicious applications
  • Keep your OS and all the software updated
  • Don’t open suspicious emails or their attachments
  • Use an adblocker to block malicious ads
  • Use an antivirus (like TotalAV) to help you identify and remove threats

Conclusion

While, as a program, Windows Defender is a legit one, the security warning that appears on your browser is not. In fact, this seemingly harmless pop-up can do a lot of damage if you click on it or decide to call the number it displays.

Luckily, there are a few ways to get rid of it without causing any harm to your device. The most effective ones are restoring your browser settings and scanning the computer with a reputable antivirus tool.

Afterwards, you should also make sure that you don’t get infected with malware again. This means practicing internet hygiene (e.g., avoiding suspicious websites) and getting a good antimalware tool that would prevent such threats in the first place.

More malware removal guides from CyberNews:

How to remove Search Marquis form Mac
How to remove malware from Chrome browser

FAQ


Comments

Chris Bellis
Chris Bellis
prefix 2 months ago
I got this on a computer I was fixing for a friend. I had had to switch off the antivirus program to do some trouble shooting. I was browsing to find a specific sound driver, and one of the links in google - actually one of the first, so they must have paid google to list it so high up - gave me this bogus warning. Because I had already switched off the antivirus deliberately, I knew it was bogus. It's actually quite alarming, as it shouts at you not to switch off the computer. I did a hard reset and then a scan. I can understand people being taken in by this, as it was quite convincing.
Pieter Levels
Pieter Levels
prefix 2 months ago
How do I prevent malware from infecting my computer?
Cybernews Team
Cybernews Team
prefix 2 months ago
Hi! There are a few ways you can strengthen your computer’s security against malware. The first would be to use reliable antivirus software. You can check out our article on the best antivirus software on the market to select the best one for you here: https://cybernews.com/best-antivirus-software/

Another way is to avoid clicking on suspicious links or visiting untrustworthy websites. Also, using an adblocker will lessen the number of suspicious ads or popups you may encounter. And a VPN will provide additional security for your device and personal data.
Elizabeth Kennedy
Elizabeth Kennedy
prefix 2 months ago
I was duped by this pop-up and called the number. They tried to sell a firewall to me for $299. Now I’m worried because I allowed them access to my computer. What are the next red flags? Identity theft?
Cybernews Team
Cybernews Team
prefix 2 months ago
Hi!

We're sorry this happened to you. To make sure your device and data are safe, you can follow these steps:

1. Get a quality antivirus. We recommend Bitdefender, as it has very high malware detection rates, and also a free version. Once you've installed it, run a full scan of your device and then follow recommendations to remove any unwanted or malicious files. This is just to make sure that the scammers didn't install anything on your device.
2. Go to an online data breach checker, enter your email, and check whether any of your data has been leaked.
3. Change all of your passwords and enable two-factor authentication where possible.

We hope this helps. As for identity theft, while that is possible, we think it is pretty unlikely. However, it would be in your best interest to stay cautious.
Gary Leigh
Gary Leigh
prefix 4 months ago
To close the Windows Defender Warning scam page simply press Ctrl-Alt-Delete, which will open your task manager. In task manager, close the browser program you were using when the warning appeared (Chrome, Edge, etc.). This should escape you from the fake warning page. I would suggest doing a full PC scan at this time. When scan is complete and any issues fixed, you can try reopening the browser again. Hopefully the Defender scam warning will not reappear. Worked for me.
Kristy Guerra
Kristy Guerra
prefix 5 months ago
I called that scam center, they took control of my computer. The next thing I know they are trying to scam 600 from me goe viral protection. I quickly shut down my computer asap but guess that was a wrong move because now my computer will not reboot!! Any suggestions?
Cybernews Team
Cybernews Team
prefix 4 months ago
Hi Kristy,

does your computer simply not start, or are you not able to login?

If you cannot login, it's probably because hardware got encrypted, it could be a case of ransomware. You can read more about ransomware here: https://cybernews.com/malware/what-is-ransomware/

If your computer does not start, the only to fix this would be to bring the computer to a specialised computer service. There, professionals will find issue and fix it, or they will simply reinstall the operating system.

We hope this helps.
Frank J Lisak
Frank J Lisak
prefix 5 months ago
I have Norton Security. The popup came up on YouTube and a Google search. Sounds to me like Norton failed to do what I pay for it to do (again).
Chris Carson
Chris Carson
prefix 6 months ago
Re: Windows Defender Security Center will not let me access start menu or anything on my home screen, or task bar.
Kate
Kate
prefix 5 months ago
You may be in full screen. If so, need to exit full screen. I right clicked the screen and got that option.
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