Windows Defender Browser Protection (Removal Instructions) - Free Guide

Windows Defender Browser Protection Removal Guide

What is Windows Defender Browser Protection?

Windows Defender Browser Protection is a fake alert that attempts to imitate a legitimate Microsoft protection tool

Windows Defender Browser ProtectionWindows Defender Browser Protection is a tech support scam which aims to intimidate users by claiming that their computer is infected with malware

Windows Defender Browser Protection is a fake notification that users may encounter while browsing the web on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, or another browser. As soon as they enter a malicious website (which they might have been redirected to from another site or due to adware infection), they are informed that the banking account information is in danger of being stolen, but the intrusion was supposedly stopped. However, Windows Defender Browser Protection red screen also claims that users' sensitive information is still in danger and that they should contact the tech support at +1 (578) 844-2039 help desk (although keep in mind that this number might vary).

Under no circumstances call the provided number, as the person who picks up the phone will try to convince you that your machine is in grave danger due to some alleged malware infection. As evident, Windows Defender Browser Protection popup is just an online scam designed to trick you into paying fake tech support fees for crooks. Nevertheless, if you encounter the notification often, you should check your system for adware.[1]

The misconception about Windows Defender Browser Protection alert being legitimate comes from the name itself – it is Microsoft's legitimate application. Nonetheless, since the release of Chrome-based Edge in January 2020, the tech giant discontinued the distribution and support of the tool. Hence, if you see any alerts mentioning its name, it's a scam – do not respond to it and call the cybercriminals.

Name Windows Defender Browser Protection
Type Tech support scam, online fraud message
Distribution Online scams can be populated on any type of websites that users get redirected to by clicking a suspicious ad on another site or get redirected by adware which is secretly installed on their systems
Content The message claims that Mozilla Firefox has detected malware on user's machine and that sensitive information is in danger until the call is made to an alleged Microsoft technician at +1 (578) 844-2039 (note: number may vary)
Associated risks Money loss, sensitive information lead to malicious parties, installation of malware, identity theft
Error code displayed System_Protect_-_PROTECT_ERROR_0xEB4748216
Termination Simply because you see a Windows Defender Browser Protection scam message, it does not mean your machine is infected, although you should close down the tab that displays the alert immediately. However, you should make sure that adware is not involved – scan your machine with anti-malware or check our manual removal guide below
System fix If despite checking and removing adware or malware from your machine, you are suffering from system crashes, BSoDs, and other issues, you can use PC repair tool FortectIntego to fix them

Initially, Windows Defender Browser Protection is a legitimate extension developed and released by Microsoft as a tool that could stop users from entering malicious websites and those of dubious content. The extension principle is simple: it blocks all the URLs that are included in Microsoft's database, [ironically] including the ones that push the fake Windows Defender Browser Protection red screen alert.

Therefore, those who never installed Windows Defender Browser Protection on their web browsers in the first place should be wondering why they see notifications from this app. The truth is that everything compiled on the alert is fake and not genuine. In fact, the Windows Defender Browser Protection popup is riddled with grammar and spelling mistakes, as well as various inconsistencies from a technical point of view, for example:

  • Windows Defender Browser Protection is a name of an extension, which would limit the credibility of the fake pop-up to those who actually have it installed;
  • The mentioned “Stop code” suggests that Mozilla Firefox has detected malware (regardless of which browser is used), while the phone number of the alleged support belongs to Microsoft;
  • Constant vague statements about the alleged malware infection: at some points in the Windows Defender Browser Protection error message it is claimed that the alleged virus has been stopped, while only a few sentences later, the user is informed that danger is not gone at all. So which one is it?

Aside from these traits of Windows Defender Browser Protection scam, you should also be aware that Microsoft (or Mozilla) would never provide a contact number. For that, error codes are used, and the legitimate tech support has other means (such as email) to contact its users.

Finally, you should always remember that every single message that claims your computer is infected with viruses is bogus, as it is virtually impossible to detect malware via the browser unless a remote connection is established to the device. Speaking of which – if you would call scammers[2] behind Windows Defender Browser Protection alert, they would most likely ask you to allow them to connect to your computer remotely via TeamViewer or similar software.

After that, crooks would show you various files or connections that are allegedly made by cybercriminals, and that their tech support would take care of the matter, only after payment is made, of course. In some cases, the criminals could ask you for as much as $1,000 for their “services.” Therefore never engage in any talks with these scammers and simply remove Windows Defender Browser Protection popup message by closing down the malicious site that is showing you the red screen notification.

Windows Defender Browser Protection scamWindows Defender Browser Protection is a fake notification that tries to make users call alleged Microsoft tech support

Nevertheless, Windows Defender Browser Protection removal might not be over yet, even if this is the first time you encountered this fake alert. You should still check whether your system is clear from adware – this software is often to blame for redirects, banners, offers, coupons, and other potentially malicious content being displayed to you.

To get rid of adware, which leads to dangerous sites displaying Windows Defender Browser Protection scam, you should check the installed application list and uninstall everything suspicious. In other cases, the culprit could be a browser extension, in case of which you should reset your installed browsers. If you still suffer from system slowdowns and are seeing errors regularly, there might be a technical problem that could be fixed with a repair tool like FortectIntego.

Social engineering is a tool that help crooks earn millions each year – don't fall a victim

Online scams are incredibly prevalent; there are multiple stories online on how the law enforcement managed to stop another Indian-based call center that specializes in scamming users.[3] However, the sad truth is that all of these crooks will never be stopped, and online fraud will continue – unless the internet shuts down globally for some reason, which is highly unlikely to happen.

Therefore, the best way to protect yourself from online scams is to learn about them as much as possible. As we previously mentioned, threat actors often use familiar names such as Microsoft or Google in order to make users believe that the message is legitimate. Also, fake alerts often include bogus claims about virus infections and are riddled with various mistakes.

Additionally, one more important note that could help you to detect scams is the domain name which the alert is displayed from – these often are completely unrelated to Microsoft, Apple, or other reputable companies. Nevertheless, you should be aware that crooks might incorporate these words within a bogus URL, such as

While knowing about scams is important, it is best not to encounter them in the first place to avoid confusion. For that, you should avoid all the potentially unwanted programs by carefully installing apps from third-parties (remove ticks from pre-ticked boxes, read fine print, watch out of misleading deals, and always pick Advanced installation settings instead of Recommended when prompted), and also install security tools that could aid you with computer and browser protection – anti-malware, firewall, and the ad-blocker.

Windows Defender Browser Protection red screenWindows Defender Browser Protection fake alert is presented on the red screen, immediately causing uneasiness among users (especially those not familiar with online fraud)

Get rid of Windows Defender Browser Protection root cause – adware

While there is no rule that you are definitely infected with the Windows Defender Browser Protection virus (namely, adware), you should be cautious, as PUPs often travel within software bundles,[4] which hinders users' ability to stop them on time before they are installed automatically. As mentioned above, you should never rush while installing freeware from third-parties.

Therefore, to remove Windows Defender Browser Protection related adware, you should either check the installed program list and uninstall everything suspicious or make use of anti-malware software. Note that not all security software can detect potentially unwanted programs, so you should employ one that has the feature or specializes in PUPs.

If your system was indeed infected with adware, you should also make sure that you reset all the installed browsers after Windows Defender Browser Protection removal, as explained in the instructions below.

Finally, if you called cybercriminals and provided them with any type of sensitive information, you should think of preventive actions to protect yourself: contact your bank and explain that you have been scammed online, change your passwords and report the encounter to your local authorities that handle fraud.

You may remove virus damage with a help of FortectIntego. 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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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect 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 Fortect, 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.

Getting rid of Windows Defender Browser Protection. Follow these steps

Uninstall from Windows

To remove adware that brought you to Windows Defender Browser Protection scam site, follow these steps:

Instructions for Windows 10/8  machines:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program. Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find the entry of the suspicious program.
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK. Uninstall from Windows 2

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program. Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Delete from macOS

macOS users should follow this guide to get rid of adware:

Remove items from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for all related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash) Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove an unwanted app, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the related .plist files. Uninstall from Mac 2

Remove from Microsoft Edge

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom. Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear. Clear Edge browsing data

Restore new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge if the above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running. Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick Delete Advanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -Verbose Advanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove. Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy, search and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now. Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset. Reset Chromium Edge

Remove from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Reset Firefox as soon as you remove PUPs from your computer:

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove. Remove extensions from Firefox

Reset the homepage:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla Firefox.

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear. Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

Reset Mozilla Firefox

If clearing the browser as explained above did not help, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information. Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox. Reset Firefox 2

Remove from Google Chrome

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to the unwanted program by clicking Remove. Remove extensions from Chrome

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data. Clear cache and web data from Chrome

Change your homepage:

  1. Click menu and choose Settings.
  2. Look for a suspicious site in the On startup section.
  3. Click on Open a specific or set of pages and click on three dots to find the Remove option.

Reset Google Chrome:

If the previous methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the unwanted components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings. Reset Chrome 2

Delete from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall. Remove extensions from Safari

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History. Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches. Reset Safari

After uninstalling this potentially unwanted program (PUP) and fixing each of your web browsers, we recommend you to scan your PC system with a reputable anti-spyware. This will help you to get rid of Windows Defender Browser Protection registry traces and will also identify related parasites or possible malware infections on your computer. For that you can use our top-rated malware remover: FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

How to prevent from getting adware

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 from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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