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.
How to remove Windows Defender scam?
- Reset your browser's settings or reinstall it
- Scan your computer for malicious software
- For scans, use a reputable antivirus tool
- We recommend TotalAV – a top Windows protection solution
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.
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.
|Name||Windows Defender/Security Warning message|
|Type||Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Devices||Any device with a web browser, but Windows devices are obviously more targeted|
|Symptoms||Fake error messages, fake warnings, pop-up errors, fake scans|
|Damage||Loss 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:
- Force close and reopen your browser
- If you still get redirected to the scam page, reset the browser’s settings (more instructions below), or completely reinstall the browser
- 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”
3. Click “Advanced ” in the bottom left of the window.
4. Press ”Reset and clean up”
5. Choose “Restore settings to their original defaults”
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”
3. Click on “Home”
4. Choose “Restore defaults” (if there is no such button, it means that you’re already using default settings)
Remove Windows Defender pop-up from Microsoft Edge
1. Click on the three dots
2. Open “Settings”
3. Press on “Reset settings”
4. Click “Restore settings to their default values”
5. Press “Reset”
Remove Windows Defender pop-up from Safari
1. Open Terminal (press command + space to open the spotlight, type in “terminal”, and click enter)
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;
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
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:
What do I do if I get a Windows Defender security warning?
If you get the Windows Defender security warning, close your web browser, reopen it, and check if the warning still appears. If it does, reinstall the browser, look for suspicious apps on your computer, or run an antivirus scan.
Is Windows Defender security warning real?
No, it is not real. It is a fake warning designed to scare you into performing steps that could get your computer infected, or make you share sensitive personal information that could later be used in financial fraud or identity theft.
How do I get rid of the Windows Defender security warning?
There are steps you can take to get rid of the Windows Defender security warning. You can close and reopen your browser, reset your browser settings, or use an antivirus tool to scan your device.