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“Windows Defender Security Center” scam. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Malware

“Windows Defender Security Center” scam baffles Windows users

Screenshot of “Windows Defender Security Center” scam

“Windows Defender Security Center” is a newly detected tech support scam[1] which tricks Windows users into believing that their machine has been infected with malware and the only way to fix it is to call a support number provided. However, this alert is only indirect alert that your computers is infected with adware.

Typically, redirects to “Windows Defender Security Center” scam starts after unintentionally installing potentially unwanted program (PUP). As soon as adware gets inside, it might affect all installed web browsers, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer. After altering their settings, PUP starts redirects to tech support scam website or displaying other shady ads.[2]

“Windows Defender Security Center” virus is designed to look just like all other Microsoft notifications. The theme of the pop-up is copied precisely. Hence, it might be quite difficult to distinguish whether these claims of threat are legitimate or not. Please be aware that these computer crooks have nothing to do with Microsoft.

The fake “Windows Defender Security Center” alert explains to the user that his/her machine has been infected with Spyware/Riskware which was detected by Windows Defender. Therefore, the user should telephone the following number: +855-559-2111 (note that telephone number may vary) to seek the alleged tech support:

Windows Defender found some Malicious Spyware/Riskware. Please call us immediately at:
1-855-559-2111

Do not ignore this critical alert. If you close this page, your computer access will be disabled to prevent further damage to our network. Your computer has alerted us that it has been infected with a Spyware and riskware.

You must contact us Immediately so that our expert engineers can walk you through the removal process over the phone to protect your identity. Please call us within the next 5 minutes to prevent your computer from being disable of from any information loss.

Researchers have noticed several versions of this scam that uses slightly altered message. However, the main principles remain the same. Victims have to call “specialists” who would walk them trough virus removal procedure.

“Windows Defender Security Center” scam also tries to threaten people into making a phone call by telling hat they will lose access to their computer if they do not follow the provided instructions. However, security specialists warn that calling “technicians” might end up with big problems, researchers from dieviren.de[3] say.

Once the fake tech support is contacted, they would often ask the user to allow them the remote access to their machine and then demand payment for “services” provided. At this time, hackers might attempt to steal personal data or download malware into victim’s machine.

Also, the call itself might cost the user extortionate amount of money. Please be vigilant and do not fall a victim of these scammers! Ignore these messages and close down your browser at once. Afterwards, proceed with “Windows Defender Security Center” virus removal.

At the end of this article, you can find detailed instructions how you can remove “Windows Defender Security Center” adware from the computer manually. However, we recommend opting for automatic elimination and scan the system with Reimage to make sure that all adware-related components are gone for good.

Adware which is responsible for redirecting to tech support scam spreads as optional component in software bundles

Typically, potentially unwanted programs get into users’ machines without their consent. A deceptive marketing campaign called bundling is used. Users are often careless when installing free software from the internet. They frequently skip through steps and use Recommended settings.

Despite developer recommendations, Advanced settings should always be used. Users should pay attention to process, read through installation instructions properly and opt out of any unwanted programs.

Remove “Windows Defender Security Center” malware from your computer

There are two ways you can remove “Windows Defender Security Center” virus from your machine. First one is manual. To do that, please follow out step-by-step guide below. Please be aware that it is critical to perform every step carefully and in exact order. Otherwise, your browser might continue redirecting you to scam website.

The second “Windows Defender Security Center” removal method is easier. It requires scanning the system with an updated anti-malware/anti-spyware software. However, once your chosen security software cleans dangerous components, you should reset your web browsers as well.

You can remove “Windows Defender Security Center” scam automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Malwarebytes Malwarebytes, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareNorton Internet Security. We recommend these applications because they can easily delete potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

We might be affiliated with any product we recommend on the site. Full disclosure in our Agreement of Use. By Downloading any provided Anti-spyware software to remove “Windows Defender Security Center” scam you agree to our privacy policy and agreement of use.
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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall “Windows Defender Security Center” scam. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
Press mentions on Reimage
Alternate Software
Plumbytes Anti-Malware
We have tested Plumbytes Anti-Malware's efficiency in removing “Windows Defender Security Center” scam (2018-01-15)
Malwarebytes
We have tested Malwarebytes's efficiency in removing “Windows Defender Security Center” scam (2018-01-15)
Hitman Pro
We have tested Hitman Pro's efficiency in removing “Windows Defender Security Center” scam (2018-01-15)
Malwarebytes
We have tested Malwarebytes's efficiency in removing “Windows Defender Security Center” scam (2018-01-15)

To remove “Windows Defender Security Center” scam, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete “Windows Defender Security Center” scam from Windows systems

Follow these steps to locate and remove all adware-related components from Windows operating system:

  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 “Windows Defender Security Center” scam and related programs
    Here, look for “Windows Defender Security Center” scam 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'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall “Windows Defender Security Center” scam 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 “Windows Defender Security Center” scam 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'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of “Windows Defender Security Center” scam from Internet Explorer (IE)

Follow these guidelines to reset Internet Explorer and stop redirects to “Windows Defender Security Center” technical support scam website:

  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 “Windows Defender Security Center” scam 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 “Windows Defender Security Center” scam removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase “Windows Defender Security Center” scam from Microsoft Edge

Fix Microsoft Edge by following these steps:

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, “Windows Defender Security Center” scam should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate “Windows Defender Security Center” scam from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Uninstall questionable add-ons from Mozilla Firefox to stop unwanted activities on the browser.

  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 “Windows Defender Security Center” scam 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 “Windows Defender Security Center” scam removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove “Windows Defender Security Center” scam from Google Chrome

The adware that is responsible for redirecting to scam website may have arrived on the system in the form of Chrome extension. Check the list of installed extensions and remove unknown entries.

  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 “Windows Defender Security Center” scam 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 “Windows Defender Security Center” scam removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete “Windows Defender Security Center” scam 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 “Windows Defender Security Center” scam 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 “Windows Defender Security Center” scam removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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