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Remove “System Warning” Pop up (Microsoft Support Scam) - 2020 update

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Adware

“System Warning” is a scam message which tries trick you into calling fake tech support

System Warning virus

“System Warning” is a fraudulent pop-up which claims that the computer is damaged by a virus. The scam aims to trick novice computer users into believing that they must contact the so-called tech support via toll-free 844-373-0540 number. Unfortunately, such alerts are categorized as tech support scams and are merely designed to generate illegal profits or distribute less than reliable software.

Name “System Warning” 
Type Adware
Danger level Medium
Distribution Spreads via unprotected P2P networks or with the help of bundling method
Symptoms Users start encountering intrusive fake alerts claiming that their systems are infected with a virus. Commonly, the scam messages persist for long periods of time and becomes annoying
Elimination Simply closing the tab or window won't help uninstall “System Warning,” for permanent removal you should get Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego and run a full system scan

Microsoft security system warning popup emerged in 2009. Unfortunately, it is still actively spreading around in 2018. Since the beginning, it has improved a lot and has started using such phrases as “SYSTEM WARNING: DO NOT PRESS ANY KEY UNTIL YOUR KNOW SAFE SIDE INSTRUCTIONS”. It seems that scammers have learned new social engineering tactics which allowed them to create more advanced fraud schemes, one of which will be discussed below.

Once the victim is convinced that he/she has some problems related to PC's security, he/she is asked to dial the number which is given in the fake system warning to contact Microsoft Help and Support service. “System Warning” scam is based on the same deceptive technique.

Of course, you should never dial the number given to you on such System Warning alert because it is fake. Usually, scammers behind the line have the following goals reached with the help of “System Warning”:

  1. Ask remote access to the system and infiltrate potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) to ensure that you continue calling via indicated number;
  2. Offer counterfeit security software to promote affiliate products and gain pay-per-install revenues.

Note that if your search sessions have been interrupted by this misleading alert claiming to be from Microsoft Help and Support service, you are infected with “System Warning” virus.

"System Warning" virus example
"System Warning" is similar to other Tech Support scams lurking in the cyber space.

Technically, it is an adware-type [1] program which hijacks every web browser installed on the system and starts displaying “System Warning” scam. Once inside computer, it alters their settings and may cause a change of your start page or the default search engine. No matter that adware-type viruses are not considered dangerous, they can't be called harmless as well.

They can not only lead you to malicious websites by redirecting your browser and cause misleading ads on your computer's desktop. They can also track you and collect NPII [2] without your consent. However, the main task of Tech support scams is to cause fake ads telling that your computer in not protected. To prevent them, you need to remove “System Warning” from your computer. For that, you can use Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego.

"System Warning" pop-up image
"System Warning" can remain on the system for long periods of time if user doesn't get rid of an adware.

If you have been seeing fake System Warning ads for a while, you should stay away from it! Some years ago, it had been used for promoting rogue anti-spyware application called System Protector. At the moment of writing, it seeks to scare PC users into believing that their computers are seriously infected and claims “Your computer is not protected!”.

As we have already mentioned, it claims that it belongs to Microsoft Help Center, but believe us it has nothing to do with it. This fake warning message seeks to swindle people's money by pushing them into thinking that they can dial some number for the free assistance.

System Warning pop-up virus illustration
System Warning pop-up is a Tech Support Scam that urges victims to call a support number and supposedly fix their computers.

If you would call this number, you would have a conversation with a scammer who will do its best to lengthen the conversation as much as possible. If you don't want to receive an increased telephone bill or install a dangerous program on your computer, stay away from this fake pop-up window.

If you have been convinced by this fake Microsoft employee that you need to install additional software on your computer and you have already done that, you need to check your computer for malware. Besides, the same is recommended if you want to take care of “System Warning” pop-up removal. You can leave this task for anti-spyware programs that are given at the end of this article.

Learn how to protect your system from adware and get rid of online scams

If you want to stop seeing fake virus messages, you must protect your system from potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) which are usually distributed in software-bundles.

"System Warning" example
There are numerous fake virus alerts similar to "System Warning" online.

This distribution method cannot be initiated without the user – he or she is the one who selects the program and follows the installation wizard. However, when you install programs straight from the Internet, you need to check the developer first and users' reviews to get more information about the program.

Then, make sure you double check optional components of the software to prevent the installation of the unwanted ones. For that, we highly recommend selecting Custom or Advanced installation option and then unchecking pre-checked check boxes that claim that you want to install additional components on your computer.

Programs that you should avoid:

  • various toolbars,
  • browser add-ons,
  • extensions,
  • plugins,
  • scanners and other system tools.

If you have been suffering from “System Warning” redirect programs and similar problems while browsing the Internet, you are hijacked. Make sure you follow a guide below.

Microsoft Edge: protect your browser from fake malware warnings 

Even though people believe that the most vulnerable browser of 2018 is Internet Explorer, this particular cyber threat targets Microsoft Edge users more often. In fact, a simple search on Google with a query of “Microsoft Edge virus 2018” will bring up thousands of results. Indeed, there are quite a number of adware and browser hijackers which target this particular browser.

"System Warning" picture
"System Warning" appears as an intrusive pop-up during browsing sessions.

You probably know what that means. When there is an adware infection involved, there is a high chance of encountering Microsoft Edge security warning forgery. In order not to get your Microsoft Edge infected with “SYSTEM WARNING: DO NOT PRESS ANY KEY UNTIL YOUR KNOW SAFE SIDE INSTRUCTIONS” scam, you should make sure of a few things:

  • First, you must make sure your browser is updated to the newest version and receives the latest security patches.
  • Also, you must enable automatic Windows Updates as they will fix and patch up vulnerabilities of the system
  • Finally, don’t believe everything you see online. Security warnings and other system related notifications won’t show up on random web pages. If you see one, close your browser and run a system scan to learn whether your PC is not infected with malware.

“System Warning” FAQ

Question: Please help! I believe I am infected with Microsoft Edge Security Warning malware. I can't do anything with that browser because the virus makes it stuck. How can I remove the annoying window and close the browser? How can I remove this virus for good?

Answer: Dear visitor, if you are suffering from Microsoft Edge virus 2017 attack, we suggest you follow the instructions we provided to eliminate the virus for good. The virus is quite old but we believe that you are talking about the latest fake virus warning pop-up that cyber security experts noticed this year.

After removing unknown/suspicious/rogue computer programs and browser extensions, you have to check your computer system professionally, so make sure you use a good anti-malware software. We highly recommend using Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. If you can't remove the tech support scam virus no matter what, reboot your computer in a Safe Mode with Networking and run a full system scan using the anti-malware software once again.

Question: What is this Microsoft Security Warning pop-up 2017 trying to tell me? It displays year, month, date, type of my browser and operating system, and asks me to call someone for help. The message claims that I must get in touch with certified Microsoft technicians because my computer system was infected with a mysterious virus that does everything that a malicious program can possibly do. How do I know whether it is a scam or is my computer really in danger?

Answer: Dear visitor, if you started receiving pop-up messages telling you that you must call “certified Microsoft technicians,” understand that your computer is infected with “Security Warning” pop-up virus. It is a scam virus that attempts to frighten you and make you call tech support scammers.

However, the first thing that you want to do when such message pops in your Chrome or Firefox browser (Safari is a target, too) is to scan your computer with anti-malware software. It is the only tool that can help you identify computer problems, not some fraudster that has no access to your computer. We suggest you perform a system check to remove the tech support scam virus. Once you uninstall it, the annoying “Security Warning” pop-ups won't bother you again.

Question: Mozilla Firefox virus warning haunts me. Whenever I attempt to use this web browser, it takes about 3 minutes for it to display a scary message saying that my computer is a mess and that I have to fix the detected issues immediately. It says that my passwords, logins, personal data is being stolen and suggests calling a provided toll-free number. Is it typical or am I facing some kind of Internet scam?

Answer: Dear visitor, such overly aggressive virus warnings reveal that your computer is infected with malware that displays fake pop-ups, but doesn't actually harm your computer. However, it doesn't mean that you should ignore these warnings.

The only thing that you should know is that the message this Firefox virus is trying to deliver is fake. These messages are auto-composed and displayed to anyone infected with the same tech support scam virus. They do not reflect the real computer status at all. Therefore, we advise you to scan your PC with a good anti-malware software to identify the tech support scam malware and remove it.

Get rid of System Warning virus and enjoy safe browsing

In case you start receiving a fraudulent pop-up, you should immediately exit the tab or window and start “System Warning” removal. For that, you can choose between two options — manual and automatic elimination. 

Experts from[3] remind you that there can be several programs related to the appearance of this “System Warning” virus. You should get rid of them as well by checking the guidelines at the end of this article.

Unfortunately, if you have already been tricked by hackers who are hiding behind this fake System Warning, you need to scan your computer with the reliable anti-spyware to make sure that you are not infected with other dangerous cyber threats. If you want to remove “System Warning” scam manually, you should go thru the steps below.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.
“System Warning” Pop up snapshot
"System Warning" warning message

To remove “System Warning” Pop up, follow these steps:

Remove “System Warning” Pop up from Windows systems

System Warning pop-up ads can be related to various PUPs. Make sure you uninstall the ones that look suspicious and unsafe. You can also delete these entries that were installed on the same day when you started seeing a fake warning telling you that your computer is not protected.

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs). Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Uninstall “System Warning” Pop up and related programs
    Here, look for “System Warning” Pop up or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'

Uninstall “System Warning” Pop up from Mac OS X system

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for “System Warning” Pop up or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash. Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'

Eliminate “System Warning” Pop up from Internet Explorer (IE)

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for “System Warning” Pop up and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete “System Warning” Pop up removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Get rid of “System Warning” Pop up from Microsoft Edge

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, “System Warning” Pop up should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Delete “System Warning” Pop up from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

To get rid of Mozilla Firefox virus warning you should first eliminate any suspicious add-ons from your browser and then reset it to the default settings.

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select “System Warning” Pop up and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  4. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete “System Warning” Pop up removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Erase “System Warning” Pop up from Google Chrome

To fix Google Chrome web browser after the infiltration of System Warning virus you need to remove malicious add-ons that could be related to it. For that, use these steps:

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select “System Warning” Pop up and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  4. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  5. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  6. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  7. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete “System Warning” Pop up removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Remove “System Warning” Pop up from Safari

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for “System Warning” Pop up or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  4. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete “System Warning” Pop up removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer various losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Software issues created by malware or direct data loss due to encryption can lead to problems with your device or permanent damage. When you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work.

It is crucial to create updates to your backups after any changes on the device, so you can get back to the point you were working on when malware changes anything or issues with the device causes data or performance corruption. Rely on such behavior and make file backup your daily or weekly habit.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware occurs out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the system restoring purpose.

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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