Windows Expert Console

Also Known As: Expert Console Antivirus
Damage level: High

What is Expert Console?

Windows Expert Console is a fake antivirus program created by cyber criminals and distributed using fake downloads or 'exploit kits'. After successful infiltration, this rogue software modifies operating system registry entries and configures itself to start automatically on each system start-up.

Furthermore, it disables the Task Manager and blocks execution of installed programs. In some cases, it blocks the entire desktop. Registry modifications are applied in order to make the removal process more complicated and create a sense of high-risk malware and virus infections.

This bogus program is developed by cyber criminals in the hope that unsuspecting PC users will trust the software and purchase the license key in order to eliminate the supposedly 'detected' security threats. PC users should be aware that no security infections identified by Windows Expert Console actually exist on their systems - it is merely a scam.

Windows Expert Console fake antivirus program

This fake antivirus program originates from a family of rogue security scanners called FakeVimes. Cyber criminals responsible for creating this scam attempted to develop the rogue software to appear as if it was created by Microsoft. Microsoft, however, develops only one antivirus program called Microsoft Security Essentials - legitimate antivirus software, which is free of charge.

If you observe Windows Expert Console scanning your computer for security infections, your PC is infiltrated with fake antivirus software - ignore the fake security warning messages and do not buy the license key.

Previous variants of this rogue antivirus program were named Windows Maintenance Guard and Windows Active Defender. Cyber criminals responsible for creating these fake antivirus programs have already released over 200 bogus programs under different names and with similar functionality.

PC users should be aware that paying for the license key of Windows Expert Console is equivalent to sending their money and banking information to cyber criminals - they will lose their money and their computers will remain infected with this fake security scanner. Furthermore, revealing your banking information could result in further theft from your accounts.

When dealing with this rogue program, be aware that any 'identified' security infections and security scans are displayed only to scare PC users into purchasing the useless license key. The correct way to deal with this bogus software is to eliminate it from your computer.

Some fake security warning messages generated by this fake antivirus program:

"Warning! Virus Detected Threat detected: FTP Server Infected file: C:\Windows\System32\dllcache\wmploc.dll"

"Warning! Identity theft attempt Detected Hidden connection IP: Target: Your passwords for sites".

"Error Key-logger activity detected" System information security is at risk. It is recommended to activate protection of Windows Expert Console and run a full system.

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Quick menu:

Windows Expert Console removal:

Before downloading the removal software for this rogue antivirus program, complete these steps:

1. Wait until this rogue antivirus program completes the fake security scan and click "Settings" (at the top of the main window).

Accessing Windows Expert Console settings

2. Select "Allow unprotected Startup".

Windows Expert Console unprotected Startup

3. After selecting "Allow unprotected Startup", close Windows Expert Console. A notification will appear, "Unprotected startup is unsafe for your private data!". Click "OK".

Windows Expert Console confirming unprotected startup

4. Windows 7 users: Click on a Windows logo, in the "Search programs and files" field, type "Command Prompt". In the opened list, click the right mouse button over the "Command Prompt" entry and select "Run as administrator".

Windows XP users: Click Start and navigate to Accessories menu - Start > All Programs > Accessories. Select Command Prompt.

Windows Expert Console ending process step 1

5. In the opened window (command prompt), type: taskkill /IM guard* and press Enter.

Windows Expert Console ending process step 2

6. After killing the Windows Expert Console process, download legitimate anti-spyware software to completely remove this rogue antivirus program from your computer.

If you are unable to download or run the spyware remover, try running the registry fix (link below). It enables execution of programs. Download the registryfix.reg file, double click it, click YES and then OK.

Windows Expert Console removal using Safe Mode with Networking:

Step 1

Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer starting process press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Starting Windows in Safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Video showing how to start Windows XP in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Step 2

Remove proxy settings from Internet Explorer. This rogue antivirus adds a proxy to the Internet connection settings in order to display various errors when user attempts to access the Internet. To remove the proxy settings: Open Internet Explorer and click on the gear icon. In the opened menu select "Internet Options".

Removing proxy setings from Intenret Explorer step 1

In the opened window select the "Connections" tab.

Removing proxy settings from Internet Explorer step 2

In the "Connections" tab, click on "LAN settings".

Removing proxy settings from Internet Explorer step 3

If "Use a proxy server for your LAN" is checked, uncheck it and click OK.

Removing proxy settings from Internet Explorer step 4

Step 3

Download legitimate anti-spyware software to completely remove this fake antivirus program from your computer.

Step 4

After removing this rogue software, you should reset the Hosts file. Do not skip this step since Windows Expert Console modifies your Hosts files, and you will encounter browser redirect problems if malicious entries are not eliminated.

The Hosts file is used to resolve canonical names of websites to IP addresses. When it is changed, the user may be redirected to malicious sites, despite seeing legitimate URLs in address bar.

It is difficult to determine sites are genuine when the Hosts file is modified. To fix this, please download the Microsoft Fix It tool, that restores your Hosts file to the Windows default. Run this tool when downloaded and follow the on-screen instructions. Download link below:

After completing all these steps your computer should be clean.

Other tools known to remove Windows Expert Console:


The fake antivirus programs (also known as "rogue antivirus programs" or "scareware") are applications that tries to lure computer users into paying for their non-existent full versions to remove the supposedly detected security infections (although the computer is actually clean). These bogus programs are created by cyber criminals who design them to look as legitimate antivirus software. Most commonly rogue antivirus programs infiltrate user's computer using poop-up windows or alerts which appear when users surf the Internet. These deceptive messages trick users into downloading a rogue antivirus program on their computers. Other known tactics used to spread scareware include exploit kits, infected email messages, online ad networks, drive-by downloads, or even direct calls to user's offering free support.

A computer that is infected with a fake antivirus program might also have other malware installed on it as rogue antivirus programs often are bundled with Trojans and exploit kits. Noteworthy that additional malware that infiltrates user's operating system remains on victim's computer regardless of whether a payment for a non-existent full version of a fake antivirus program is made. Here are some examples of fake security warning messages that are used in fake antivirus distribution:

Fake pop-up used in rogue antivirus distribution example 1

Fake pop-up used in rogue antivirus distribution example 2

Computer users who are dealing with a rogue security software shouldn't buy it's full version. By paying for a license key of a fake antivirus program users would send their money and banking information to cyber criminals. Users who have already entered their credit card number (or other sensitive information) when asked by such bogus software should inform their credit card company that they have been tricked into buying a rogue security software. Screenshot of a web page used to lure computer users into paying for a non-existent full version of expert console antivirus and other rogue antivirus programs:

example of a webpage used to collect payments for fake antivirus programs

To protect your computer from expert console antivirus and other rogue antivirus programs users should:

  • Keep their operating system and all of the installed programs up-to-date.
  • Use legitimate antivirus and anti-spyware programs.
  • Use caution when clicking on links in social networking websites and email messages.
  • Don't trust online pop-up messages which state that your computer is infected and offers you to download security software.

Symptoms indicating that your operating system is infected with a fake antivirus program:

  • Intrusive security warning pop-up messages.
  • Alerts asking to upgrade to a paid version of a program to remove the supposedly detected malware.
  • Slow computer performance.
  • Disabled Windows updates.
  • Blocked Task Manager.
  • Blocked Internet browsers or inability to visit legitimate antivirus vendor websites.

If you have additional information on expert console antivirus or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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