System Defender is an application that reports security threats and shows alerts to make you believe that computer is infected with many malicious viruses, Trojans, keyloggers, worms, etc. These threats are just exaggerated and fake. System Defender sometimes flip your screen or starts to move your cursor purposeless. Here is the example of pop-up by System Defender:
“XXX process is found. The virus is going to send your passwords from Internet browser (Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Outlook & others) to the third-parties. Click here for further protection of your data with System Defender”
System Defender uses technique of desktop hijacking. This program is categorized as rogue. It`s main goal is not to fix your problems but to get your money. After showing fake security notifications it asks to buy full version. It offers to remove all the threats after that. But indeed, these threats are not even real.
System Defender rogue security program starts automatically every time user boot the computer and it uses the same distributing techniques as other potentially unwanted programs. It can be downloaded from webpages suggested by adware programs. Its website is Systemmdefender.com and it is recommended not to visit it as it is harmful.
System Defender is known as misleading scam program. Remember, it is created only for stealing your money. Users shouldn’t pay any money for this program. Those users who has paid for full version of System Defender report that they just wasted their money. Moreover, they reported important information (bank account or credit card numbers) to cyber criminals. This may lead to injurious consequences in the future.
The only right action for this program is its removing. We strongly recommend to use powerful and legitimate anti-malware program (for example, SpyHunter 4) for deletion of System Defender from your PC. Manual deletion is not recommended as System Defender is a complicated threat and not full deletion can bring more problems.
Common symptoms of System Defender activity
- Multiple fake security alerts, Windows error messages or virus warnings;
- Annoying pop-up messages that offer to purchase fake antivirus software license;
- Fake alert messages claiming that you have viruses, while your system is actually protected by antivirus software;
- You can’t get access to your legitimate antivirus or antispyware software;
- You aren’t able to launch your antivirus or antispyware software;
- Locked Task Manager, Control Panel, Windows Firewall or Registry Editor;
- Sluggish computer performance;
- Some of your system files might be deleted;
- You aren’t able to uninstall this unwanted rogue application.
Sources of System Defender installation on your PC
- Scam system alerts and warnings;
- Compromised/hacked websites;
- Malicious pop-up ads;
- Bundling to freeware applications;
- Fake online virus scan or system check services;
- Malicious Windows OS update or upgrade packages;
- Attachments and download links in suspicious emails;
- Fake Facebook applications;
- Operating system and browser vulnerabilities.
Remove System Defender from your PC
You can easily remove System Defender program from your system using one of the effective anti-malware tools listed below, or you can follow our detailed step-by-step manual removal guide.
Part 1. Remove System Defender Automatically
Restart your computer in Safe Mode with Networking. You can find step-by-step instruction here on our website – “How to start Windows in Safe Mode with Networking”.
If you have an antivirus software running on your computer, please check for its updates and scan your system. If the problem still persists, download and install one of the recommended anti-malware tools to automatically remove System Defender and other malware threats from your PC.
Quick Removal with Plumbytes Anti-Malware
1. You should download Plumbytes Anti-Malware installer to scan your computer for any malware or adware that might infected your computer. Plumbytes Anti-Malware is a trusted software that can detect and remove most of security threats, including adware, ransomware, PUPs, trojans, worms and rootkits.
2. Double-click the downloaded “antimalwaresetup.exe” installation file to launch it.
3. Click “Install” button to start the installation process. The setup wizard will automatically start to download necessary program files to your computer. Once download completed, Plumbytes Anti-Malware will be automatically installed on your computer. The entire installation process takes only 2-3 minutes.
4. Once installed, Plumbytes Anti-Malware will automatically update its antivirus signatures database and then start smart system scan to detect all malware, adware, spyware and other security threats.
5. You will see the detailed list of security threats and potentially unwanted applications detected on your PC. Click “Remove Selected” button to clear your PC from malicious files, adware and potentially unwanted applications.
Double-Check Your PC with SpyHunter 4 Anti-Malware
6. You can double-check your computer with SpyHunter 4 Anti-Malware in order to remove any leftover malware and adware traces. SpyHunter is considered as one of the best and most effective anti-malware tools today. Click the button below to download SpyHunter installation package.
7. Double-click the downloaded “SpyHunter-Installer.exe” file to start the installation process.
8. When the installation starts, the Setup Wizard will offer a few options and settings that you may want to configure. We recommend just clicking “Next” button to accept the default application settings. You can check out our detailed SpyHunter 4 Anti-Malware Setup & User Guide which can help you to go through the installation process and provide important information about malware scans and program settings.
9. Once the installation completed, SpyHunter 4 will automatically update antivirus database and latest virus definitions. Next, SpyHunter 4 Quick Scan will automatically check your computer for any malware, adware, spyware and other security threats.
10. You will see the detailed list of viruses and potentially unwanted applications detected on your PC. Click “Next” button to clear your PC from malicious files, adware and PUPs.
Alternate Recommended Anti-Malware Tools
The following awesome full-scale anti-malware products also have proved their effectiveness against all types of malware and adware. However, some of these anti-malware programs don’t provide a free trial version, and you’ll have to purchase a license key in order to clean your computer from the detected malware and PUPs.
Part 2. Remove System Defender Manually (Removal Guide)
Notice: Manual removal guide is recommended to experienced computer users. Incorrect modifications introduced into the Windows operating system, Windows Registry or browser settings may result in serious system fails or software errors.
We’ve created this step-by-step removal guide to help you manually remove System Defender and other similar security threats from your computer. Please carefully follow all the steps listed in the instruction below. We’ve attached detailed screenshots and video guides for your convenience. If you have any questions or issues, please contact us via email, create a public forum question or contact us using online contact form. Please add your comments and suggestions to this guide below.
Remove Unwanted Programs from Windows
STEP 1: Remove Unwanted Programs in Control Panel
You should try to uninstall the rogueware application using “Programs and Features” tool in the Windows Control Panel.
Press Windows + R keys and type appwiz.cpl into the Open: field. Click OK button.
Guide for Windows 10, 8, 8.1 and 7 versions
Click Uninstall a program link in the Programs section.
Sort the installed programs by “Installed On” date to find recently installed applications. Select the entry for the program you want to remove and click Uninstall button.
Confirm the removal and wait until the program is finished uninstalling.
Guide for Windows XP
Go to Add or Remove Programs tool in the Control Panel.
Sort the installed programs by Date Last Used to find recently installed applications. Select the entry for the program you want to uninstall and click Remove button.
Click Remove button to confirm the removal. Wait until the program is finished uninstalling.
STEP 2: Clean Windows Registry
It’s strongly recommended to clean your Windows Registry in order to remove all entries and registry keys associated with rogue program. Windows Registry contains all the settings and information for the software applications and user accounts in your Windows operating system. You need to launch Registry Editor utility to make changes to registry.
Apart from this manual instruction, you can try to use the CCleaner Professional program which described below in our guide. This effective program helps to clean and fix Windows Registry.
Guide for Windows 10, 8, 8.1, 7 and XP versions
Press Windows + R and type Run regedit or regedit.exe into the Open: search field. Click OK button or press Enter key.
Click Yes button in the User Account Control window to allow the Registry Editor to make changes.
When you open the Registry Editor for the first time, you’ll see a treeview on the left-hand side that contains all of the registry keys with values and data on the right-hand side.
Once Registry Editor is opened, you need to find and remove registry keys and values created by malware or adware.
Press Ctrl + F (or go to Menu –> Edit –> Find) to open the Find bar.
Look up the name of the malware or adware affecting your PC and type it into “Find what:” text box. Check all checkboxes and then click Find Next button.
Right-click on the located registry entry and click Delete from the context menu. Repeat this process for each of the registry entries associated with malware.
Click Yes button in the confirmation window.
Remove System Defender from Web Browsers
If your default homepage or search engine page has been changed without your permission, or you’re having problems with multiple redirects or annoying pop-up and context ads, it means that your browser is hijacked. We strongly recommend you to restore your browser to default settings and clean your browser shortcuts. This step-bystep guide will help you to get rid of any browser hijacker or adware (including malicious browser extensions, plug-ins or toolbars).
Removal Instructions for Google Chrome
STEP 3: Restore Google Chrome to Default Settings
You should restore your Google Chrome browser to default settings in order to get rid of browser redirects, pop up ads or other adware infection. All of your stored bookmarks and passwords will stay safe.
Open the Google Chrome browser and click Menu icon in the upper-right corner of the page. Go to the Settings menu.
Scroll to the bottom of the chrome://settings page
And click the Advanced.
Next, scroll to the bottom of the page once more and click Reset button.
Click Reset button in the confirmation window opened.
STEP 4: Fix Hijacked Google Chrome Browser Shortcuts
In some cases, a browser hijacker may infect shortcuts on your desktop, start menu and task bar in order to cause multiple browser redirects to third-party websites or to show you annoying pop up ads, or even to display fake security alerts. Browser hijackers can do this by adding some extra information to the existing browser shortcuts on your PC. That’s why you need to manually check browser shortcuts to protect yourself from browser hijackers and other adware.
In addition to this manual instruction, below you can find a free and lightweight Shortcut Cleaner utility that can automatically fix hijacked browser shortcuts.
We’ve provided the detailed guide for Google Chrome browser below. However, you can feel free to use this instruction for Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera and other browsers too.
Right-click the web browser shortcut and select Properties option.
If the infected shortcut is pinned at your taskbar, right-click the icon and choose Google Chrome. Next, right-click Google Chrome and select Properties option. Then left-click the selected Properties to proceed.
Go to Shortcut tab. Carefully check Target field (path to executable file). This path line must end with executable file (.exe) of your browser, nothing else. If Target field ends with .bin, .url or any other file extension, it means that your browser shortcut is hijacked by malware.
Below you can find the default paths to executable files of web browsers.
If you detected that browser hijacker had modified the path to executable file, simply remove all unnecessary entries at the end of Target path field. On Shortcut tab, carefully check the Target field and delete malicious [Unknown URL] entry at the end of the system path.
You should also check and modify all other browser shortcuts that can be found in Windows Start Menu, Desktop and Taskbar.
Removal Instructions for Mozilla Firefox
STEP 3: Restore Mozilla Firefox to Default Settings
You should restore your Mozilla Firefox browser to default settings in order to get rid of browser redirects, pop up ads or other adware infection. All of your stored bookmarks and passwords will stay safe.
Launch Mozilla Firefox browser. Click Menu icon in the upper-right corner of the page. Next, click Help Menu icon below.
From the Help Menu list, select Troubleshooting Information option. You may also type about:support in Mozilla Firefox address bar to bring up Troubleshooting Information page.
Click Refresh Firefox… button in the dialog window.
Click Refresh Firefox button in the confirmation window.
STEP 4: Fix Hijacked Mozilla Firefox Browser Shortcuts
Please follow the steps described in Step 4 of this guide for Google Chrome browser.
Removal Instructions for Internet Explorer
STEP 3: Restore Internet Explorer to Default Settings
You should restore your Internet Explorer browser to default settings in order to get rid of browser redirects, pop up ads or other adware infection. All of your stored bookmarks and passwords will stay safe.
Launch the Internet Explorer browser. Locate and click Tools Menu icon in the upper-right corner of the page. Go to Internet options menu.
Go to Advanced tab and click Reset… button below.
In the Reset Internet Explorer Settings window, check the Delete personal settings check box and click the Reset button.
Next, click Close button in the confirmation box.
Once the task is complete, Internet Explorer will ask to restart your computer. Do NOT hurry to restart your PC! Prior to the restart of computer, you need to clean your Windows Registry and clean web browser shortcuts.
STEP 4: Fix Hijacked Internet Explorer Browser Shortcuts
Please follow the steps described in Step 4 of this guide for Google Chrome browser.
Removal Instructions for Microsoft Edge Browser
STEP 3: Restore Microsoft Edge to Default Settings
You should restore your Microsoft Edge browser to default settings in order to get rid of browser redirects, pop up ads or other adware infection. All of your stored bookmarks and passwords will stay safe.
Launch your Microsoft Edge browser. Click Menu icon in the upper-right corner of the page. Go to the Settings option.
Next, click Choose what to clear button to clear all browsing data.
Check all checkboxes in this window and then click Clear button.
Press the Windows logo key + X (or right-click on the ) to open Start Menu. Select Task Manager option. Go to Processes tab and select Microsoft Edge line. Right-click on the found Microsoft Edge and select Go to details option in the properties window.
Scroll the next window and locate MicrosoftEdge processes. Right-click on one of the MicrosoftEdge processes and select End task option.
Click End process button in the confirmation window. Repeat this process and shut down other running MicrosoftEdge processes in the Task Manager.
Removal Instructions for Opera Browser
STEP 3: Remove Adware from Opera Browser
Unfortunately, there is no special option provided in Opera settings in order to restore this browser to default. However, it’s quite easy to clean your Opera browser from annoying redirects, pop up or any other adware using the following instruction.
Open your Opera web browser. Click Menu icon in the upper-left corner of the page. Go to About Opera option.
Copy the Profile and Cache path lines one after another. (Highlighted in yellow in the screenshot below).
Open Windows Explorer and search the copied paths of Opera Stable program folders. You can also manually locate these two program folders stored on your local hard drive.
Close your Opera browser and then delete all files and subfolders in two located Opera Stable program folders. Only this way Opera browser can be 100% cleared from all traces of adware and browser redirects.
We’ve provided two detailed screenshots below for your convenience.
STEP 4: Fix Hijacked Opera Browser Shortcuts
Please follow the steps described in Step 4 of this guide for Google Chrome browser.
Part 3. Useful Free Utilities for Our Manual Guide
The following small and free applications can help you to execute some of the important tasks which are described in our manual adware removal guide.
RKill – Stops Malicious Processes
If you can’t manually find and terminate malicious processes in the Task Manager, you can download a free Rkill utility by BleepingComputer that stops known malware and adware processes so that your anti-malware software can normally start and run, and remove all traces of malware infections. RKill doesn’t delete any system files, this application only stops a malicious running process. Once RKill finished its execution, you should immediately scan your computer with one of the anti-malware tools listed above.
CCleaner Professional – Cleans Windows Registry
CCleaner is an award-winning PC optimization tool that allows to fix Windows Registry errors, clean your computer from unused system and browser files, erase cookies and your browsing history and significantly improve your computer’s overall speed and performance. CCleaner Professional comes with a free 14-day trial version.
Shortcut Cleaner – Cleans Hijacked Browser Shortcuts
If you can’t manually fix your hijacked brower shortcuts, you can download a free Shortcut Cleaner program by BleepingComputer that checks your Windows shortcuts and cleans them so that your browser doesn’t redirect to unwanted websites or display pop-up ads. Shortcut Cleaner is also able to clean hijacked Windows registry entries associated with known browser hijackers.
Part 4. How to Avoid Rogueware and Scareware?
- Install a trusted antivirus and firewall software. Set up daily automatic updates of antivirus databases;
- Keep the automatic updates of your operating system on;
- Don’t install unknown suspicious anti-virus and anti-spyware programs or system optimization utilities;
- Don’t trust sudden system alerts, error messages or virus warnings. Don’t click on such fake pop-up warnings;
- Enable Windows Firewall;
- Keep your web browsers up to date;
- Keep Java, Adobe Flash and other important program up to date;
- Avoid suspicious and untrustworthy websites, including torrent-trackers, P2P networks and adult websites;
- Don’t click on suspicious pop-up ads and banner ads. Don’t click untrustworthy links;
- Don’t open attachments in suspicious-looking unexpected emails;
- Scan downloaded installation files for malware prior to installation;
- Scan all downloaded files for viruses and always scan files on USB flash-drive or external HDD;
- Install and run suspicious programs in a virtual sandbox environment;
- Make backups of your personal files and photos. Create a “system image” of your computer.