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How to remove the Windows Defender security warning scam

The Windows Defender security warning scam is perfectly crafted to entice an unwitting victim into clicking on it. Don’t worry, here’s how you can recognize that the warning is fake, and how to remove it from your computer.

How to remove the Windows Defender security warning scam

What is the Windows Defender security warning?

The Windows Defender security warning is a pop-up warning message that will tell you your computer is infected, and needs immediate action to fix it. Once a user clicks it, they will be further directed to another part of the scam. The scammer will pretend to be an official Windows helper and try to get the victim to divulge some personal information, like financial credentials or login details, typically for identity theft. There’s also a chance that clicking the dodgy link will directly download malware onto your computer. If a trojan virus has been installed, your computer will have a backdoor installed so that a cybercriminal can freely enter whenever they want.

The fake warning has been specifically crafted to look exactly like an official Windows Defender message, making it a particularly dangerous example of a phishing scam. Any contact details shown throughout the message will lead you directly to another scammer.

Hackers and cybercriminals will take full advantage of social engineering tactics to make a trap seem as legitimate as possible.

Why am I getting the Windows Defender warning?

You’re getting the Windows Defender fake warnings because you may have clicked something you shouldn’t have, opened a malicious link, or accidentally downloaded malware that was wrapped up in a legitimate file. If the fake Windows Defender pop-up is showing, it means that, somehow, malware has rooted itself to your computer.

With the malicious adware installed, the fake Windows Defender warning will persist on your computer, no matter how many times you try to close the window or restart your browser.

Is the Windows Defender security warning legitimate?

If you’re ever worried about the legitimacy of a Windows Defender message or warning, carefully read and dissect the warning. Does it want you to follow another link to get in touch with someone? Does it urge you to call a number and chat with a security expert? Does it use extreme language to try and get your attention? If the answer is yes to all the above, it’s probably a fake error message.

Once you learn to recognize these signs, you’ll be able to identify a scam quite quickly, and easily avoid the digital pitfalls. If you’re still doubting yourself, why not search for Microsoft support contact details online? Get in touch and let them know of the scam.

How can you remove the Windows Defender security warning from your computer?

Here are a few different methods you can use to remove the Windows Defender warning:

Force close the warning and restart the computer

    1. Right click on the “Start” menu, and click “Taskbar.”
    2. You should now see a list of processes that your computer is currently in the middle of. Identify the process that you don’t recognize and click “End task.”
    3. Restart your computer to restart the processes, hopefully without the scam message this time around.

Scan for viruses and malware

    1. Now’s the time to use your real Windows Defender. Activate the software and start a full system scan.
    2. Windows Defender is built-in security. It might be a good idea to also download third-party antivirus software to give your computer a secondary sweep.

Removing the Windows Defender security warning from your browser

The fake Windows Defender security warning is usually hidden among your browser extensions. Luckily, deleting and reinstalling, or resetting your browser to the default settings, with no extensions enabled and your cache cleared, will normally remove the warning message. Reinstalling your browser is a quick and simple process.

    1. Uninstall your browser of choice and make sure it’s no longer on your computer.
    2. Download the browser again (make sure to check it’s from a legitimate source).
    3. Reinstall and open the browser to see if the issue still persists.

Here’s how you can reset Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Firefox:

Removing the Windows Defender security warning from Chrome

    1. Open Google Chrome and click on the three vertical dots in the top right corner.
    2. Look towards the bottom of the drop down menu and click “Settings.”
    3. Along the left hand side, find the “Reset settings” option and click it.
    4. Click “Restore settings to their original defaults.”
    5. Confirm your decision and click “Reset settings.”

Removing the Windows Defender security warning from Microsoft Edge

    1. Open Microsoft Edge and click on the three dots in the top right corner. Click “Settings.”
    2. You’ll see a list of options along the left of the screen. Click on “Reset settings” near the bottom.
    3. Click “Restore settings to their default values.”
    4. Confirm your decision and click “Reset.”

Removing the Windows Defender security warning from Firefox

    1. Open Firefox and click on the three horizontal lines in the top right corner. Click on “Help.”
    2. Click on “More troubleshooting information.”
    3. At the right of the window you should see a “Refresh Firefox” button. Click it.
    4. Confirm your decision and click “Refresh Firefox” a final time.

Try emptying your cache

Emptying your browser cache is another way to remove persistent software. However, be aware that resetting your cache and clearing your browser cookies could detract from several online conveniences. For example, website cookies remember your most searched for terms on a website, or they remember your username so you don’t need to type it in every time.

Here’s a guide that should tell you exactly how to clear your cache on your browser of choice.

Hopefully, after you’ve scanned and cleaned your computer and browsers, you’ll have the warning disappear.

How can I protect my PC against viruses?

Knowledge is power when it comes to cyberthreats. The ability to identify and dodge a scam is the best security. However, we all need a helping hand.

As viruses go, the Windows Security fake warning is fairly minor, and also quite simple to remove. There are far more dangerous threats online, and you would be wise to protect your online privacy with NordVPN. NordVPN will protect your connection and prevent any snoopers from spying on your activity.

NordVPN also offers Threat Protection feature. This security addition will automatically prevent you from entering any dangerous, malware-ridden sites, and even scans any recently downloaded files for malware, promptly deleting the malicious files if it’s compromised.