"Windows protected your PC" removal instructions
What is "Windows protected your PC"?
"Windows protected your PC" is the name of a tech-support scam promoted using a deceptive website. Like most of these scam websites, it often tricks people into believing that they need to contact scammers who pose as 'technicians', since the computers are supposedly infected and blocked. These websites cannot be trusted and the best option is to ignore and close them. They are usually opened by potentially unwanted apps (PUAs) installed on browsers or computers. People do not generally visit these scam websites intentionally.
When visited, this website displays a pop-up window presented as a virus alert from Microsoft stating that the visitor's computer is blocked. It encourages users not to close it or to restart their computers. It is stated that the computer is blocked due to illegal software installed on the operating system, the system registration key is illegal, or the operating system has been hacked and is proliferating viruses. To "reactivate" their computers, users are encouraged to contact the Microsoft helpline via the +1-833-779-4992 number. Another pop-up window (orange) states that Windows has protected the computer using the SmartScreen feature and has prevented an unauthorized application from running, which could cause damage. According to this pop-up, the application is called "windows10manger (1).exe". Like the previous pop-up window, this one also encourages people to contact "technical support". Furthermore, it asks if the application can be opened. This is irrelevant, since none of this information should be trusted. This is a fake virus alert, a scam used to trick people into contacting the scammers who designed it. Ignore it and close the window. If this cannot be done in the normal way, close the entire browser using Task Manager. The closed browsing session should not be restored, since this will reopen the scam website.
Scam websites are often opened by installed unwanted apps, which then cause redirects and deliver intrusive ads. The ads include coupons, banners, surveys, pop-up ads, and so on. If clicked, they open potentially malicious websites or run scripts designed to download and install or other unwanted applications. Additionally, many PUAs gather browsing-related data. For example, IP addresses, entered search queries, URLs of visited websites, geolocations, and so on. Developers share the details with other parties who might be cyber criminals - they misuse the data to generate revenue. For these reasons, uninstall PUAs immediately.
|Name||"Windows protected your PC" virus|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.|
|Fake Claim||The fake error claims that the system is supposedly blocked due to a number of reasons (usage of pirated software, illegal activation key, malware distribution, etc.)|
|Tech Support Scammer Phone Number||+1-833-779-4992, +866 933-8076, +1-833-724-6389, +1-888-206-1813|
|Serving IP Address (mjtcxx[.]club)||22.214.171.124|
|Symptoms||Fake error messages, fake system warnings, pop-up errors, hoax computer scan.|
|Distribution methods||Compromised websites, rogue online pop-up ads, potentially unwanted applications.|
|Damage||Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft, possible malware infections.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
"Hard Drive Safety Delete", "Virus Support Alert", and "Windows Is Not Activated" are examples of just a few of these scam websites. There are many others. Typically, they are used to encourage people to contact scammers who then they try to sell dubious software or services. Their goal is to extort money from people in various ways. The aforementioned PUAs also share many similarities. Most are presented as harmless tools, however, once installed, they cause unwanted redirects to scams such as "Windows protected your PC", feed users with ads, gather data, and so on.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
Many users download and install PUAs unintentionally. These apps are installed through clicked ads or when software developers employ the "bundling" method to trick people into downloading/installing unwanted apps with other software. They hide bundled apps in "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings of the installation/download set-ups. Developers do not provide information regarding the inclusion of apps into set-ups. Frequently, people grant permission for PUAs to be installed/downloaded simply by skipping software setup steps and leaving all available settings unchanged.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Download computer software from trustworthy and official websites. Do not use Peer-to-Peer networks such as torrent clients, eMule, various untrustworthy websites and other sources of this kind. Check "Advanced", "Custom" and other settings of the download or installation setup and deselect offers to download/install unwanted applications (bundled programs). If you continually encounter advertisements that cause redirects to dubious websites (gambling, pornography, adult dating, etc.), it is very likely that PUAs are already installed on the default browser or operating system. Check for unwanted extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons installed on the browser and remove all unwanted/unknown or suspicious entries immediately. Apply this to unwanted programs installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
Another variant of Windows Protected Your PC pop-up scam (the scam message is exactly the same, crooks only use a different telephone number - +1-833-724-6389):
Another variant of this pop-up scam (the scam message is exactly the same, crooks only use a different telephone number - +1-833-779-4992):
Text presented in the first "Windows protected your PC" pop-up:
VIRUS ALERT FROM MICROSOFT
This computer is BLOCKED
Do not close this window and restart your computer
Your computer's registration key is Blocked.
Why we blocked your computer?
The window's registration key is illegal.
The windows is using pirated software.
This window is sending virus over the Internet.
This window is hacked or used from undefined locations.
We block this computer for your security.
Contact microsoft helpline to reactivate your computer.
Windows Support Alert
Your System Detect Some Unusual Activity
Report this activity to +1-833-799-4992
Screenshot of this "Windows protected your PC" pop-up variant:
Text presented in this pop-up:
Windows protected your PC
Windows SmartScreen prevented an unrecognised app from starting. Running this app might put your PC at risk. For technical support call on +1-833-779-4992
Publisher: Unknown Publisher
Run anyway Don't run
The appearance of this "Windows protected your PC" variant (GIF):
Yet another variant of "Windows Protected Your PC" pop-up scam:
Text presented within this scam:
Windows protected your PC
Windows SmartScreen prevented an unrecognized app from starting. Running this app might put
your PC at risk. For technical support call +1-888-206-1813 (Toll Free) .
Publisher: Unknown Publisher
App: windows10manager (1).exe
Another variant of "Windows Protected Your PC" pop-up scam:
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 protected your PC"?
- 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 applications:
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 application, 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 protected your pc" 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 protected your pc" 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 protected your pc" 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 protected your pc" 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 protected your pc" virus from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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