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“Microsoft Critical Alert”

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“Microsoft Critical Alert”

Hijackers such as “Microsoft Critical Alert” are only able to cause all the aforementioned changes to your browsers, no matter what type you use. Also, the generated ads might be based on your interests, as “Microsoft Critical Alert” could access your browsing history and base the ad suggestions on your most recent search requests.

In today’s article we will be discussing “Microsoft Critical Alert” – a type of a browser hijacker. Let’s be clear about something first – if you see a warning pop-up message on your screen about a “Microsoft Critical Alert”, do not believe it. It’s more than likely a scam and you are dealing with a browser hijacker instead. What characterizes these programs is that they are capable of infecting all kinds of browsers – Firefox, Chrome, Explorer, and enforcing certain changes to their settings. As a result, your browser may start to authorize unnecessary redirects; your default search engine and homepage could be changed to other ones; and many pop-up ads might begin to show up on your screen. More details about the nature and the effects of that program are available below.

Can browser hijackers be dangerous? What about “Microsoft Critical Alert” in particular?

The aforementioned characteristics are typical for any hijacker. This is pretty much what such a program is able to do to your browser in brief. In fact, you have nothing to worry about. Of course, you might be annoyed by the possible alterations that generally come from the activities of any browser hijacker, but nothing really malicious could result from that. To illustrate the difference between “Microsoft Critical Alert” (or any other hijacker) and any dangerous computer virus, let’s have a look at the comparison below:

How could you end up infected with such an irritating program as “Microsoft Critical Alert”?

Actual viruses are able to harm your files or encrypt them (as Trojans and Ransomware viruses do). The malware infection could result in identity theft, file encryption, system crashes, destruction of data and extensive spying on you.

Browser hijackers as a whole and “Microsoft Critical Alert” in particular are also widely considered to be potentially unwanted programs, because of their ability to distribute many ads and to pry into your browsing patterns. However, this does not identify them as malicious or dangerous in any way. 

It might be a relief to know that you are not facing a malicious program. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that you need such programs on your PC. We have compiled a detailed list of the most common hijacker sources so that you can avoid them as often as possible. Browser hijackers love lurking inside program bundles: these software mixtures are typically offered for free. They may consist of games, new apps, various programs and often ad-producing software like Adware and browser hijackers. Torrents/ shady web pages and shareware platforms are also likely sources of browser hijackers. You may get infected if you load them, visit them or use them. As for the legality of program bundles as a method of distributing hijackers, they are fully legal. Software developers, who create them, typically do not include anything malicious inside them. It’s true that this is a rather tricky way to make you install such a bundle and as a result – get contaminated with “Microsoft Critical Alert”. The secret is not to install the entire content of the bundle, but only the part you are interested in and to avoid the ad-broadcasting program inside it. For that purpose, when you venture into installing any downloaded bundle, once you see the installation wizard on your monitor, look for the options that provide a detailed installation process. Such a feature is either named Advanced or Custom. Make sure that you go with these only. All the others that you will be presented with will not give you the opportunity to choose what to get installed on your PC.

What else you should bear in mind to avoid any potential infections with hijackers

You should always keep your anti-malware tool updated and ready to scan your PC and defeat any upcoming threats. Also, just be picky when it comes to the places you go to while surfing, as some of them might be contagious. Another useful advice is not to download anything from illegal or suspicious sources. Turning on your pop-up blocker might also help, but remember that such a tool only prevents the web-page hosted ads from popping up.

In case you need something to remove the hijacker infection

We suggest that you go with the instructions in our removal guide that is available below. We have striven to come up with useful and easy steps, so that you will not be alone in the fight against “Microsoft Critical Alert”.


Name “Microsoft Critical Alert”
Type Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms Simply modifies your browsers in terms of default homepages; redirection and ads generation. Sometimes all that leads to a system slowdown.
Distribution Method Various ones – torrents, shareware, program bundles.
Detection Tool

Keep in mind, SpyHunter’s malware detection tool is free. To remove the infection, you’ll need to purchase the full version.
More information about SpyHunter and steps to uninstall.

“Microsoft Critical Alert” Pop-up Scam Removal

If you are a Windows user, continue with the guide below.

If you are a Mac user, please use our How to remove Ads on Mac guide.

If you are an Android user, please use our Android Malware Removal guide.


Some of the steps will likely require you to exit the page. Bookmark it for later reference.

Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).



We get asked this a lot, so we are putting it here: Removing parasite manually may take hours and damage your system in the process. We recommend downloading SpyHunter to see if it can detect parasite files for you.

Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC at the same time and go to the Processes Tab (the “Details” Tab on Win 8 and 10). Try to determine which processes are dangerous. 


Right click on each of them and select Open File Location. Then scan the files with our free online virus scanner:

Drag and Drop Files Here to Scan
Maximum file size: 128MB.

This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users. You can find its full-page version at:

Scan Results

Virus Scanner Result

After you open their folder, end the processes that are infected, then delete their folders. 

Note: If you are sure something is part of the infection – delete it, even if the scanner doesn’t flag it. No anti-virus program can detect all infections. 


Hold together the Start Key and R. Type appwiz.cpl –> OK.


You are now in the Control Panel. Look for suspicious entries. Uninstall it/them.

Type msconfig in the search field and hit enter. A window will pop-up:


Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer or otherwise look suspicious.


To remove parasite on your own, you may have to meddle with system files and registries. If you were to do this, you need to be extremely careful, because you may damage your system.

If you want to avoid the risk, we recommend downloading SpyHunter
a professional malware removal tool.

More information on SpyHunter, steps to uninstallEULAThreat Assessment Criteria, and Privacy Policy.

Hold the Start Key and R –  copy + paste the following and click OK:

notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts

A new file will open. If you are hacked, there will be a bunch of other IPs connected to you at the bottom. Look at the image below:

hosts_opt (1)

If there are suspicious IPs below “Localhost” – write to us in the comments.

Open the start menu and search for Network Connections (On Windows 10 you just write it after clicking the Windows button), press enter.

  1. Right-click on the Network Adapter you are using —> Properties —> Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP), click  Properties.
  2. The DNS line should be set to Obtain DNS server automatically. If it is not, set it yourself.
  3. Click on Advanced —> the DNS tab. Remove everything here (if there is something) —> OK.



  • After you complete this step, the threat will be gone from your browsers. Finish the next step as well or it may reappear on a system reboot.

Right click on the browser’s shortcut —> Properties.

NOTE: We are showing Google Chrome, but you can do this for Firefox and IE (or Edge).


Properties —–> Shortcut. In Target, remove everything after .exe.

ie9-10_512x512  Remove “Microsoft Critical Alert” from Internet Explorer:

Open IE, click  IE GEAR —–> Manage Add-ons.

pic 3

Find the threat —> Disable. Go to IE GEAR —–> Internet Options —> change the URL to whatever you use (if hijacked) —> Apply.

firefox-512 Remove “Microsoft Critical Alert” from Firefox:

Open Firefoxclick  mozilla menu  ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.

pic 6

Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundRemove “Microsoft Critical Alert” from Chrome:

Close Chrome. Navigate to:

 C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. There is a Folder called “Default” inside:

Rename the Folder to Backup Default

Rename it to Backup Default. Restart Chrome.


Type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter.

Inside, press CTRL and F together and type the threat’s Name. Right click and delete any entries you find with a similar name. If they don’t show up this way, go manually to these directories and delete/uninstall them:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—–Random Directory. It could be any one of them – ask us if you can’t discern which ones are malicious.
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—-Windows—CurrentVersion—Run– Random
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random

If the guide doesn’t help, download the anti-virus program we recommended or try our free online virus scanner. Also, you can always ask us in the comments for help!

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