Windows Defender Security Center removal instructions
What is Windows Defender Security Center?
"Windows Defender Security Center" is a fake error message displayed by various websites. Users visit often these sites inadvertently - they are redirected by potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) or intrusive advertisements delivered by other rogue sites. Research shows that many PUPs infiltrate systems without users’ permission. As well as causing redirects, they deliver intrusive advertisements, record user-system information, and run unwanted background processes.
The "Windows Defender Security Center" error states that the system is infected with a number of viruses and encourages users to immediately remove them by downloading and installing fake anti-virus/system optimization tools (such as, for example, System Keeper). All claims regarding the infection are false. After running a full system scan with the downloaded tool, users are presented with many "infections". Since the free version of the tool is apparently unable to remove them, users are encouraged to purchase the 'full version'. In this way, cyber criminals generate revenue by scaring and tricking unsuspecting users into purchasing full versions that are not required. Your system is likely to be perfectly safe and optimized. The full version will simply clear the list and nothing more, delivering no real value. Therefore, ignore "Windows Defender Security Center" and never download promoted apps. Note, however, that fake error-displaying websites often employ scripts that prevent users from closing browsing tabs/windows. In these cases, terminate the browser via Task Manager or simply reboot the system. The next time you run the browser, do not restore the previous session, otherwise you will re-open the malicious sites.
Potentially unwanted programs are notorious for delivering intrusive advertisements (e.g., coupons, banners, pop-ups, etc.) To achieve this, developers employ tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site. Therefore, delivered ads often conceal underlying website content, thereby significantly diminishing the browsing experience. Furthermore, intrusive ads can lead to malicious websites and even execute scripts that stealthily download and install malware. Therefore, even accidental clicks might result in high-risk computer infections. Another important issue is data tracking. Most PUPs gather IP addresses, website URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, keystrokes, and other similar data that typically includes personal details. Developers later share this data with third parties to generate revenue. These people (potentially, cyber criminals) generate revenue by misusing personal details. Therefore, the presence of data-tracking app(s) can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. In addition, potentially unwanted programs mine cryptocurrencies or run other unwanted processes without users' consent. These programs essentially misuse system resources, thereby significantly reducing overall performance. For these reasons, you are advised to uninstall all potentially unwanted programs immediately.
|Name||"Windows Defender Security Center" virus|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Symptoms||Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of one's computer.|
|Distribution methods||Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.|
|Damage||Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
There are dozens of fake errors similar to "Windows Defender Security Center". The list of examples includes (but is not limited to) Your Windows 10 Is Infected With 3 Viruses, Windows Is Resetting Itself, Microsoft Edge Critical ERROR, and Comcast Cable Warning Alert. All claim that the system is damaged (e.g., infected, missing files, and so on), however, rather than promoting potentially unwanted programs, most fake errors attempt to trick users into contacting fake 'tech support' and paying for services that are unnecessary. Potentially unwanted programs also share many similarities. Most claim to provide "useful features", however, such claims are merely attempts to give the impression of legitimacy and trick users to install. In fact, rather than giving any real value for regular users, PUPs pose a direct threat to your privacy and Internet browsing safety.
How did potentially unwanted programs install on my computer?
Some PUPs have official download/promotion websites, however, due to the lack of knowledge and careless behavior of many users, PUPs often infiltrate systems without permission. Developers proliferate them using intrusive advertisements and "bundling" method (stealth installation of PUPs together with regular apps). Developers know that users often rush download/installation processes and skip steps. Therefore, they hide "bundled" apps within "Custom/Advanced" settings (or other sections) of the download/installation processes. Skipping download/installation steps and clicking advertisements often leads to inadvertent installation of PUPs.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
To prevent this situation, be very cautious when browsing the Internet, and downloading/installing software. Intrusive advertisements may seem legitimate, but can redirect to dubious websites (e.g., gambling, adult dating, pornography, etc.) If you experience these redirects, immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins. Remember also to carefully analyze each step (especially "Custom/Advanced" settings) of the download/installation processes and opt-out of all additionally-included programs. You are advised to avoid using third party downloaders/installers, since criminals monetize them by promoting PUPs (the "bundling" method). Applications should be downloaded only from official/trusted sources and, preferably, using a direct download link. The key to computer safety is caution.
The appearance of "Windows Defender Security Center" pop-up (GIF):
At the time of research, "Windows Defender Security Center" promoted the System Keeper PUP:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Windows Defender Security Center?
- STEP 1. Uninstall deceptive applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove adware from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove rogue extensions from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove potentially unwanted plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue extensions from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Removal of potentially unwanted programs:
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
Windows XP users:
Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.
Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:
Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.
Mac OSX users:
Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.
In the uninstall programs window, look for any suspicious/recently-installed applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove rogue extensions from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the "windows defender security center" virus, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.
Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and remove them.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the "windows defender security center" virus, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.
Computer users who have problems with "windows defender security center" virus removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....
In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the "windows defender security center" virus, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
Commonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove "windows defender security center" virus from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
Post a comment:
If you have additional information on "windows defender security center" virus or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.