What is “Windows Defender Security Center” pop-up

Windows Defender Security Center as a fake security message promoted on many scam pages. Such pages may look similar to official websites like Microsoft, but have no actual relation to them. A scheme like this has been employed by many cybercriminals to trick inexperienced users into downloading unreliable security software. The page shows some threats have been detected saying they are urgent to be addressed. Fraudulent figures ask their victims to call their customer line and get live guidelines on how to remove the threats. After reaching out to them, cybercriminals may tell you whatever they want and make users believe in fake information. It is more likely they will attempt to extort money for fake security software or other services that may be provided. In fact, your system might be fully safe and does not need any fix or assistance whatsoever. Thus, it is important to ignore messages like “Windows Defender Security Center”. Note that scam pages may employ special scripts to prevent users from closing the page in traditional steps. If you face problems closing the visited website, try to force-quit your browser via Task Manager or simply reboot your PC, instead. In case you became a victim of a scam or cannot get rid of such messages, follow our guide to restore PC safety and remove all traces from unwanted software that could be unintentionally installed.

How “Windows Defender Security Center” pop-up infected your computer

Websites that display such messages can be visited after clicking on suspicious links or ads scattered around third-party resources. As mentioned above, it is enough to close such messages and not react to what they claim. In other cases, such messages may be forcefully generated by some unwanted program installed on your system. Such an installation could be committed due to inattentive and negligent behavior while downloading third-party stuff from the web. Many rely on pirated or cracked software installers. These installers tend to include promotional offers. Cybercriminals mark these offers as something useful or highly recommended. It can be a fake security software like one promoted through “Windows Defender Security Center” scam pages. Do not agree to install it and check all additional sections like “Advanced” for third-party offers. We encourage you to follow our tutorial below and explore more information on how to avoid inadvertent infections in the future.

  1. Download Removal Tool
  2. Remove/Uninstall unwanted apps, that may cause Windows Defender Security Center pop-ups from Control Panel and Applications
  3. Remove unwanted extensions, that may cause Windows Defender Security Center pop-ups from browsers
  4. Reset browser settings
  5. Block Windows Defender Security Center pop-ups
  6. How to protect from threats like Windows Defender Security Center pop-up

Step 1. Remove malware from your computer

Download SpyHunter

To remove “Windows Defender Security Center” pop-ups completely, we recommend you to use SpyHunter. It can help you remove files, folders, and registry keys of programs and extensions that can cause “Windows Defender Security Center” pop-ups and eliminate hijackers, toolbars, and unwanted add-ons from the Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Edge or Safari browsers. The trial version of SpyHunter offers virus scan and 1-time removal for FREE.

Step 1. Download pop-up blocker

Download AdGuard

To block “Windows Defender Security Center” pop-up completely, we recommend you to use Adguard. It detects and removes or blocks all unwanted banners, ad links, pop-ups from browser pages, helping you avoid infection by clicking on malicious ads. Adguard builds additional layer of protection and prevents “Windows Defender Security Center” pop-ups. The trial version of SpyHunter offers 14 days for FREE.

Remove unwanted programs, that may cause “Windows Defender Security Center” pop-ups from Control Panel or Applications

To start removing unwanted program you should uninstall them using Control Panel. It can be present by different names. It should uninstall correctly, however, we recommend you to use IObit Uninstaller or CleanMyMac to clean leftover items after uninstalling. Here are instructions for Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows 11 and Mac.

Remove unwanted program from Windows XP:

  1. Click on Start button.
  2. Choose Control Panel.
  3. Click Add or Remove Programs.
  4. Find recently installed suspicious program.
  5. Click Uninstall.

Remove unwanted program from Windows 7:

  1. Click Start button.
  2. Then go to Control Panel.
  3. Click Uninstall a Program.
  4. Find recently installed suspicious program and click Uninstall.

Remove unwanted program from Windows 8:

  1. Hover mouse pointer to the bottom-right corner to see Menu.
  2. Click Search.
  3. After that click Apps.
  4. Then Control Panel.
  5. Click Uninstall a Program under Programs.
  6. Find recently installed suspicious program, click Uninstall.

Remove unwanted program from Windows 10:

There are 2 ways to uninstall unwanted program from Windows 10

Way one
  1. Click on the Start button.
  2. In opened menu choose Settings.
  3. Click on the System tile.
  4. Click Apps & features and locate recently installed suspicious program in the list.
  5. Click on it and then click Uninstall button near it.
Way two (classic)
  1. Right-click on the Start button.
  2. In opened menu choose Programs and Features.
  3. Locate recently installed suspicious program in the list.
  4. Click on it and then click Uninstall button above.

Remove unwanted program from Windows 11:

  1. Right-click on the Start button.
  2. In opened menu choose Settings.
  3. Click on the Apps tab on the left side.
  4. Click Apps & features and locate recently installed suspicious program in the list.
  5. Click on 3-dots icon near it and then click Uninstall button near it.
  6. Depending on the type of application (Windows Store app or classic Win32 app) it will be removed immediately or you will need to confirm the action and go through standard uninstall procedure.

Remove unwanted program from Mac:

  1. In the Finder sidebar, click Applications.
  2. unwanted program might have an Uninstaller.
  3. Otherwise, drag unwanted program from the Applications folder to the Trash (located at the end of the Dock).
  4. Then choose Finder > Empty Trash.

Cannot uninstall unwanted program in Windows

In some cases, program unwanted program won’t uninstall and gives you a message that “You do not have sufficient access to uninstall “unwanted program” Please, contact your system administrator” when you try to remove it from Control Panel or “Access denied” error when removing the unwanted programs’ folder and files. This happens because the process or service does not allow you to do it. In this case, I will recommend you to use SpyHunter 5 or Malwarebytes AntiMalware or uninstall unwanted program in Safe Mode. To boot in Safe Mode do the following:

  1. Reboot your computer.
  2. While it starts booting type F8 button.
  3. This will open Advanced Boot Options menu.
  4. Choose Safe Mode and wait until Windows loads.
  5. Go to Control Panel > Uninstall a program and remove recently installed suspicious program

>> See detailed instructions and video tutorial on how to boot in Safe Mode

Cannot uninstall unwanted program in MacOS

If you can’t uninstall unwanted app related to “Windows Defender Security Center” pop-up from MacOS using instructions above, or it keeps coming back, you can use free AppCleaner for Mac to remove all residual data and libraries of the app. Follow instructions below:

  1. Download free AppCleaner.
  2. Drag unwanted app from Applications folder to AppCleaner window.
  3. Choose files and folders you want to remove along with unwanted app.
  4. Click Delete button.

Remove malicious add-ons from your browsers

Uninstalling unwanted program from Control Panel often does not bring the desired effect. It sometimes has a browser extension and it may still be active in Safari, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. Here are instructions on how to remove extension related to “Windows Defender Security Center” pop-up from your browsers manually.

Google Chrome:

  1. Start Google Chrome browser
  2. In address box type (or copy-paste) chrome://extensions.
  3. Find suspicious extension.
  4. Click the Remove button to remove them.
  5. Also remove other suspicious extensions from the list.

Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Start Mozilla Firefox browser.
  2. In address box type (or copy-paste) about:addons.
  3. Find suspicious extension.
  4. Click three-dots icon near it and choose Remove in the menu.
  5. In opened dialog window click Remove button to confirm the action.
  6. Remove all suspicious extensions from the list.

Safari:

  1. Start Safari on your Mac, click Safari to open drop-down menu and choose Preferences
  2. Click Extensions tab.
  3. Find suspicious extension.
  4. Click Uninstall button to remove it.

Microsoft Edge:

  1. Start Microsoft Edge browser.
  2. In address box type (or copy-paste) edge://extensions.
  3. Find suspicious extension.
  4. Click Remove link under the name of extension.
  5. In opened dialog window click Remove button to confirm the action.
  6. Remove all suspicious extensions from the list.

Internet Explorer (9, 10, 11):

Note: There is no feature to remove browser extensions from browser in latest version of Internet Explorer. To remove suspicious add-on from Internet Explorer, please, perform instructions for uninstalling program from Control Panel. To disable unwanted add-on, please, do the following:

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. Click on gear/asterisk icon in the top-right corner.
  3. In opened menu Manage Add-ons.
  4. Select Toolbars and Extensions.
  5. Click Disable suspicious extension.
  6. Also disable other suspicious extensions from the list.

Opera Browser:

Generally, such extensions does not install in Opera browser however you can always double check. Do the following:

  1. Start Opera browser and click on Opera icon in the top-left corner.
  2. Choose Extensions > Extensions.
  3. Find suspicious extension.
  4. Click Details button and scroll down to the bottom.
  5. Click Remove extension link and confirm the action by clicking Remove button on opened dialog window.
  6. Also remove other suspicious extensions from the list.

Reset browsers settings (homepage, default search)

To make sure there are no malicious settings in your browsers, that may cause “Windows Defender Security Center” pop-ups, please, do the following:

Google Chrome:

  1. Start Google Chrome browser
  2. In address box type (or copy-paste) chrome://settings.
  3. On the left panel expand Advanced options.
  4. Choose Reset and clean up.
  5. Click on Restore settings to their original defaults link and confirm by clicking Reset button.

Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Start Mozilla Firefox browser.
  2. In address box type (or copy-paste) about:support.
  3. Click Refresh Firefox… button.
  4. Click Refresh Firefox button in opened dialog window to confirm.

Reset Safari:

  1. Start Safari on your Mac, click Safari to open drop-down menu and choose Preferences
  2. Go to the Privacy section of Safari’s preferences.
  3. Click Remove All Website Data button.
  4. In opened window click Remove Now button to remove data stored by websites in Safari.
  5. Go to the Advanced section of Safari’s preferences.
  6. Click the Show Develop menu in menu bar option.
  7. In the menu click Develop and select Empty Caches from this menu.
  8. Again, go to Safari menu and choose Clear History….
  9. Choose to clear all history and click Clear History button.

Microsoft Edge:

  1. Start Microsoft Edge browser
  2. Click on 3-dots icon in the top-right corner and choose Settings.
  3. On the left panel find and click Reset settings option.
  4. Click on Restore settings to their default values link and confirm by clicking Reset button.

Internet Explorer (9, 10, 11):

  1. Start Internet Explorer.
  2. Click on gear/asterisk icon in the top-right corner.
  3. In opened menu choose Internet options.
  4. Click Advanced tab.
  5. Click Reset button.
  6. Choose Delete personal settings and click Reset.

Opera Browser:

  1. Start Opera browser and click on Opera icon in the top-left corner.
  2. Choose Settings and click Advanced on the left side and choose Browser.
  3. Scroll down to the very bottom and click on Restore settings to their original defaults link.
  4. Confirm by clicking Reset button.

How to block “Windows Defender Security Center” pop-ups

“Windows Defender Security Center” pop-ups, in some cases, are caused by a program installed on your PC or an add-on installed in browsers. However, sometimes it can appear on a clean computer when visiting a malicious website, using an advertising script. To protect your PC and browsers from phishing websites, pop-up ads, banners, malicious scripts it is recommended to use AdGuard. Download free trial here:

Download AdGuard for Windows Download AdGuard for Mac

Final tips

Be careful surfing the internet and downloading software, as threats, like “Windows Defender Security Center” pop-up, may become a real headache as they are hard to get rid of and can break your privacy. To keep safe from such threats we recommend you always use antivirus and one of the anti-malware programs available on the market. One of the best anti-spyware and anti-malware programs is SpyHunter 5. It can protect your PC from threats, causing “Windows Defender Security Center” pop-ups.

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