Windows Defender Security Center Scam

Windows Defender Security Center

 Windows Defender Security Center is a free browser hijacking program that a lot of people download and install on their computers in the belief that it would improve their experience when they surf the internet. In reality, however, Windows Defender Security Center might attach themselves to the main browser (Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or another one) and begin an aggressive advertising and page redirection campaign without the users’ approval.

Windows Defender Security Center
The Windows Defender Security Center scam may display different advertisements, banners and pop-up windows

If you install a browser hijacker on your computer, there is a significant possibility that the settings of your browser will be completely changed. It is possible that a new homepage and a default search engine may be introduced, both of which may be associated with some websites that are unknown to you and that are sponsored by third parties.

The most noticeable impact of taking over your browser, the browser hijacker may display different advertisements, banners, pop-up windows, and other forms of promotional content that have nothing to do with the page that you are now viewing. As a consequence of this, you may start to experience constant disturbance during your online browsing sessions.

Some people may become so irritated and disturbed by this activity, that they may believe that their computer has been taken over by a virus. However, these software components do not pose an immediate risk to the system, despite this fact, they are often considered to be potentially unwanted.

The Windows Defender Security Center Scam

If you are reading this, there is a good possibility that a browser hijacker with the name Windows Defender Security Center Scam has already been installed on your computer. This hijacker has most likely changed your homepage to go to the Windows Defender Security Center Scam.

The hijacker does not represent a threat to your computer system in the same way that ransomware or Trojan horses do. However, Windows Defender Security Center or McAfee virus popup may modify your browser’s settings in order to display some paid advertisements for products, services, and websites. These advertisements are typically displayed with the idea to generate pay-per-click revenue for the people that have created the browser hijacker, and are not intended to cause harm. Despite this, there are a number of reasons why you should uninstall the browser hijacker as quickly as possible and remove any changes that it may have made to your system. You can find these reasons in the following paragraphs.

A program like Windows Defender Security Center typically has the ability to reroute you to different sponsored websites and random pages. With this action, however, there always comes the risk of accidentally landing on a site that may not be safe and may collect sensitive personal data.

In addition, it’s possible that you may be tricked into clicking on adverts, which might redirect you to websites that are possibly fraudulent and offer products, services, and software of dubious quality. What is more, it is possible that some of the advertisements that are presented at random might be hacked or infected with computer malware (including Trojans, Ransomware, and Spyware). Unfortunately, tools like Windows Defender Security Center do not have the practice to check the advertisements and sponsored links they display for safety. In the end, the objective of browser hijackers is to get as many clicks on the advertisements that are displayed. This shifts the responsibility for any security risks that may arise onto the users themselves. For this reason, removing the software that generates random adverts and sends you to random websites will reduce the likelihood of you coming into contact with content that could possibly be dangerous.

In order to deal with Windows Defender Security Center , you may want specialized software or a comprehensive removal guide like the one that is provided below. The good news is that if you utilize them, you will be able to effortlessly remove any undesirable alterations to your browser, and you will be able to reset your preferred browser’s settings.


NameWindows Defender Security Center
Type Adware/Browser Hijacker
Detection Tool

Remove Windows Defender Security Center Scam

To try and remove Windows Defender Security Center quickly you can try this:

  1. Go to your browser’s settings and select More Tools (or Add-ons, depending on your browser).
  2. Then click on the Extensions tab.
  3. Look for the Windows Defender Security Center extension (as well as any other unfamiliar ones).
  4. Remove Windows Defender Security Center by clicking on the Trash Bin icon next to its name.
  5. Confirm and get rid of Windows Defender Security Center and any other suspicious items.

If this does not work as described please follow our more detailed Windows Defender Security Center removal guide below.

If you have a Windows virus, continue with the guide below.

If you have a Mac virus, please use our How to remove Ads on Mac guide.

If you have an Android virus, please use our Android Malware Removal guide.

If you have an iPhone virus, please use our iPhone Virus 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).



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:

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    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.


    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.

    Browser Hijacker Removal Instructions

    ie9-10_512x512  Remove Windows Defender Security Center  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 Windows Defender Security Center  from Firefox:

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

    pic 6

    chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundRemove Windows Defender Security Center  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!


    About the author


    Lidia Howler

    Lidia is a web content creator with years of experience in the cyber-security sector. She helps readers with articles on malware removal and online security. Her strive for simplicity and well-researched information provides users with easy-to-follow It-related tips and step-by-step tutorials.

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