“Windows Defender Security Warning” seems like a legitimate warning message, but it is a fake error made by scammers. This phishing attack redirects you to a fake Microsoft support page and displays a warning error.
It may also put your browser in full-screen mode, where you can’t see other tabs. Their website is unresponsive, making it seem like your computer has frozen. However, these are nothing more than scam tactics, and your computer should be totally fine.
It will only be a problem if you dial the scammer’s support number and give them access to your computer. These scams are triggered mainly by visiting shady websites, downloading software from unknown sources, and opening suspicious links.
How to Remove Windows Defender Security Warning?
Depending on whether this pop-up appears inside or outside your browser, you would need to perform different methods to remove this warning. However, you might want to try all the methods on this list just to be on the safe side.
Force Quit from Task Manager
When you face this fake security warning, you should first remove it from your display. For browser-based warning messages, you can simply close the scammer’s website. For pop-up messages outside your browser, you can force quit them from Task Manager.
Additionally, if the scammer’s website refuses to close, you can force quit your whole browser.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Right-click the start menu.
- Click on Task Manager to open it.
- Select the process the pop-up appeared in and hit End task.
- If you can not find the process, you can go to the Details header and search for it there.
Reset Browser Settings
While closing the website will remove this pop-up, it won’t permanently solve the issue. You can try resetting your browser settings to restore the default settings configuration. If misconfigured settings were allowing such pop-ups to easily infiltrate your browser, it will fix those issues.
Follow the steps below to do so in different browsers:
On Chrome & Edge
- Click on the browser menu (three dots) in top right corner.
- Navigate to Settings > Reset and clean up/Reset settings.
- Select Reset setting to their original defaults/default values.
- Click on Reset again.
- Click on the Firefox menu (three parallel lines).
- Navigate to Help > More troubleshooting information.
- Click on Refresh Firefox and Refresh Firefox again.
Disable Pop-ups & Redirects
These fake error messages usually utilize pop-ups and site redirects to display their warning. You can simply disable them to remove these kinds of fake errors from ever popping up.
Follow the steps below to do so:
- Click on the three dots in the upper right of your browser.
- Select Settings and go to Privacy and security > Site settings.
- Locate Pop-ups and redirects and click on them.
- Select Don’t allow sites to send pop-ups or use redirects.
- You can give permissions for a few select sites from the option below.
- Select the menu option (…) in the top right.
- Navigate to Settings > Cookies and site permissions > Pop-ups and site redirects.
- Make sure Block is enabled.
- You can also add specific sites that are allowed to access this feature while others can’t.
- Open Firefox menu (three parallel lines).
- Navigate to Settings > Privacy and security.
- Scroll down and select Block pop-up windows.
- You can add exceptions to this feature from the Exceptions button.
Disable Site Notifications
Fake websites can trick you into scams by sending legit-looking notifications if you have enabled notifications for them. Just like pop-ups, fake phishing websites can even send error messages as notifications from their fake support website.
Here’s how you can disable these:
- Open Chrome settings from the menu.
- Navigate to Privacy and security > Site settings > Notifications.
- Add the scam website in the Not allowed to send notification list.
- Go to Edge Settings from the menu options.
- Navigate to Cookies and site permissions > Notifications.
- Add the website to the Block list.
- Select the Firefox menu (three horizontal lines) and click on Settings.
- Go to Privacy and security.
- Scroll down and select Notifications settings.
- If the scam website is there, it means the website has permission to send you notifications.
- Select the website and click on Remove website.
Check for Viruses and Malware
If the security warning pop-up appears outside your browser and even has an icon in the system tray, the malware is already on your computer.
You can run the actual Windows Security and scan your computer to detect and remove such malware.
Here’s how you can do so:
- Access Settings from the start menu.
- Navigate to Privacy & security > Windows Security.
- Click on Virus & threat protection.
- In the new window, select Scan options.
- Choose Full scan and Scan now.
Note: A legitimate Windows Security process won’t produce a pop-up and only notify you through notification. While they can tell you to contact support staff, they don’t leave a contact number.
Uninstall Suspicious Software
Malware that causes this security warning issue can come bundled with software you install from unreliable sources. So, you should never download anything from shady sites.
Furthermore, Windows may show several prompts asking whether you want to install such software. They carry additional information, and if Windows shows unknown manufacturers or other red flags, do not install that software.
Additionally, you can also try uninstalling suspicious software or software you don’t remember downloading.
Follow the steps below to do so:
- Access Run Utility by pressing the Windows and R keys together.
- Enter control to open Control Panel.
- Click on Uninstall a program.
- Search and select the application that looks suspicious or the one you don’t remember downloading.
- Click on Uninstall.