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How to Remove the “Virus Alert from Microsoft” Scam in 2023

Sam Boyd Sam Boyd

Short on time? Here’s how to remove the “Virus Alert from Microsoft” scam:

  • 1. Close Your Web Browser “Virus Alert from Microsoft” always shows in your web browser. So first, try to close your web browser normally. If that doesn’t work, press “Ctrl+Shift+Delete” to open your Task Manager. Find your web browser among the running processes, and click “End Task” to force it to close.
  • 2. Scan Your Computer — The next step is to run a full disk scan using a premium antivirus (Norton is my favorite).
  • 3. Remove Malware and Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) — After the scan is complete, let the antivirus remove every malware and PUP it finds.
  • 4. Stay Protected — To stay safe from further infections, you should invest in a premium internet security suite like Norton, which offers perfect malware detection rates, real-time and anti-phishing protection, and much more. Norton has a variety of affordable plans, and they all come with a generous 60-day money-back guarantee.

“Virus Alert from Microsoft” is a fake user alert and scam developed by hackers to break into your computer. So, if you see a pop-up window in your web browser that says “Virus Alert from Microsoft”, it means you’re on a website that hosts dangerous pop-ups, or you have malware infecting your computer.

If this is the case, you should follow the below steps and run a full system scan with a trustworthy internet security program. A good internet security program like Norton can remove malware from your system, block unsafe sites, and ensure that your incoming and outgoing web traffic hasn’t been compromised by hackers.

Note: The “Virus Alert from Microsoft” pop-up will usually contain a phone number that will connect you with scammers. Whatever you do, don’t call the number on the virus alert.

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Preliminary Step: Close the “Virus Alert from Microsoft” Notification

Preliminary Step: Close the “Virus Alert from Microsoft” Notification

The “Virus Alert from Microsoft” notification will always appear in your web browser. Even if you’re not surfing the web, malware on your PC can open your web browser and redirect you to the fake “Virus Alert from Microsoft” web page.

This web page isn’t a genuine notification from Microsoft. In fact, a real notification from Microsoft will look like this:

Preliminary Step: Close the “Virus Alert from Microsoft” Notification

To better disguise itself, however, sometimes the fake web page will force your web browser into full screen mode to try and hide the fact it’s actually your web browser and not Microsoft showing the notification. If this is the case, press “F11” on your keyboard to bring your web browser back to windowed mode. You should then try to close your web browser normally by pressing the “X” symbol in the top right corner of the browser or by hitting “Alt+F4” on your keyboard.

Once this is done, you should install an ad blocker. TotalAV has a free ad blocker that can stop annoying notifications such as the “Virus Alert from Microsoft” from appearing.

It’s also a good idea to scan your system using an antivirus program like Norton.

Important Note: Sometimes the “Virus Alert from Microsoft” pop-up will keep reappearing even when you try to close the tab on your web browser. That’s because malware on your device is constantly issuing the pop-up every time you hit the “X” button, making the “Virus Alert from Microsoft” tab impossible to close. In this case, you should fully close your web browser through your computer’s Task Manager. To do this, hit “Ctrl+Shift+Esc on your keyboard. When the Task Manager has opened, navigate through the running processes until you see the web browser showing the “Virus Alert from Microsoft” notification. Click on it, and then click “End Task.”

Preliminary Step: Close the “Virus Alert from Microsoft” Notification

Once this is done, the notification will be gone, but you should still scan your system. Here’s how.

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Step 1. Run a Full System Scan With Your Antivirus

Note: Never connect a tablet, cell phone, or USB device to your computer if you suspect that it has a malware infection. If you do, there’s a chance that a malware infection will copy itself onto the connected device.

Once you’ve downloaded and installed a comprehensive antivirus program like Norton, run a full virus scan of your device. A full virus scan will check everywhere on your computer for malware. The virus scanner will quarantine any malware it finds and then allow you to remove it from your system. This includes rootkits, worms, spyware, and other threats that often run undetected.

Remember: Run the entirety of the virus scan. Since malware replicates, it’s impossible to know how many copies of malware you have on your system. If you cancel the virus scan before it hits 100%, the malware will continue to replicate and still infect your system. Unfortunately, this means you’ll likely start getting the “Virus Alert from Microsoft” pop-up again.

The full scan can take anywhere between 1–4 hours. Your PC may run slowly while running the scan since virus scans can be CPU-demanding. A good idea is to schedule the scan at night. Then, you can leave your PC until the following morning, when the scan will be completed.

When your antivirus finishes scanning, a notification will appear showing the results. All malware on your system will be identified and quarantined. You can now proceed to Step 2.

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Step 2. Delete Any Infected Files

If your antivirus hasn’t detected any compromised files, then chances are you’ve just accidentally visited a dangerous website. If this is the case, you can skip ahead to keeping your device protected.

If your antivirus found malware on your system, you should go through the infected file list and hit the delete button on every compromised file. If you’re an advanced user, you can scroll through the list of infected files and whitelist any false positives you see. These are trustworthy files your antivirus has flagged because they exhibit similar traits to malware, but they aren’t actually malicious. Either way, once you’ve removed or whitelisted everything on your quarantine list, restart your computer to stop any infected processes loaded into your system memory from running.

Once you’ve restarted your PC, run a second scan using your antivirus scanner. This preventative step ensures all traces of malware are removed. Your antivirus shouldn’t take as long this time around. Many antiviruses (such as Norton) remember which files they previously scanned. This means they can analyze your disk much faster on a second full disk scan.

However, like on your first scan, let your antivirus completely finish its second scan. Once the scan is finished, the infected file list should be empty. However, if any compromised files do appear, review them as before and delete them as necessary. Once this is done, your computer is malware-free.

That said, despite removing the “Virus Alert from Microsoft” threat, your computer is still at risk of the millions of malware files on the web that you can accidentally download.

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Step 3. Keep Your Device Protected Against Dangerous Websites

Cybercriminals develop new malware daily, meaning it’s very easy to accidentally download infected files. There’s also a considerable risk of having your online data harvested, losing your personal information to identify theft, or having your accounts compromised by public Wi-Fi hackers.

With all this in mind, you might be wondering how to keep your devices and personal information safe. Luckily, there are several steps you can take:

  • Don’t Download Suspicious Files. Ensure you recognize where files you download are coming from. Don’t download pirated content or freeware from untrustworthy websites. With email, even if a file is on an attachment from an email address you trust, ensure the email has been sent intentionally. Some phishing scams can hijack emails and spread malware through trusted email accounts.
  • Keep Your Software, OS, and Drivers Up-To-Date. Hackers have frequently taken advantage of software vulnerabilities to gain access to computers. Most of the time, developers release software updates with security patches that fix these vulnerabilities. Download a comprehensive antivirus suite such as Avira that includes a vulnerability scanner that can automatically scan your programs, drivers, and OS to ensure they’re up to date.
  • Secure Your Wireless Network and IoT Devices. You should ensure your Wi-Fi network and Internet of Things (IoT) devices are secured with a strong password. A strong password is usually 15 characters in length, and it should contain a random mix of numbers, letters, and special characters (if allowed). To be even more secure, you should consider using a password manager such as 1Password. 1Password can generate strong passwords and store them, so you never have to worry about remembering passwords.
  • Install a Secure Antivirus Program. There are many antiviruses on the market, but you have to pick the right one. To make an informed decision, check out 2023’s best antivirus packages here. That said, Norton 360 is my favorite internet security suite. Norton’s antivirus scanner has advanced heuristics, uses artificial intelligence, and includes an extensive malware database that’s updated daily.

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Best Antivirus Programs to Remove Microsoft Virus Alert

Quick summary of the best antiviruses for Windows in 2023

🥇1. Norton 360 — Best Overall Antivirus in 2023

🥇1. Norton 360 — Best Overall Antivirus in 2023

Norton 360 offers the best malware protection in 2023. It uses machine-based learning and heuristic analysis to find and remove known and emerging malware threats. It consistently had a 100% malware detection rate in my tests.

Norton 360 has some excellent features, including:

  • Anti-phishing protection.
  • Secure firewall.
  • Password manager.
  • VPN (virtual private network).
  • Parental controls.
  • Dark web monitoring.
  • Identity theft protection (US only).
  • And more…

Norton’s anti-phishing protection works really well. I visited hundreds of phishing websites listed on Phish Tank (including websites that issued the fake virus alert from Microsoft), and Norton was able to block every one. This included dangerous websites I could access when I was just running the built-in protections on Chrome and Firefox. I also really like how Norton alerts you to whether or not a website is safe before you click on it, which prevents you from accidentally accessing shady websites that issue the virus alert from Microsoft.

The smart firewall built into Norton is also great. If you’re a beginner user, you can leave the firewall to run out of the box, and it’ll protect you from the latest web-based exploits. However, advanced users are given plenty of customization options. For example, you can create connection rules for every application on your PC and disable particular network protocols that are at risk of being exploited by malware.

Norton has quite a few pricing plans, but the best value plan is Norton 360 Deluxe. It costs $24.99 / year, has every Norton feature — including the excellent anti-phishing protection and firewall — and can protect up to 5 devices. All Norton plans are backed by a risk-free 60-day money-back guarantee.

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🥈2. Bitdefender Total Security — Best for Cloud-Based Scanning

🥈2. Bitdefender Total Security — Best for Cloud-Based Scanning

Bitdefender is a lightweight antivirus program with a good range of additional features. Like Norton, Bitdefender had a 100% malware detection rate in my tests and removed known and emerging malware threats from my Windows computer.

Bitdefender also includes:

  • Ransomware protection.
  • Web protection.
  • Secure browser.
  • VPN (200 MB/daily limit).
  • System optimizer.
  • Password manager.
  • Parental controls.
  • And more…

Bitdefender’s web protection works well. It blocked every phishing website I tried to visit, including those that Chrome and Firefox’s built-in protections missed. However, Bitdefender doesn’t indicate whether a website is safe before you click on it (like Norton does), which is a shame.

I also really like Bitdefender’s VPN. While it’s not quite as good as a standalone VPN, it provides access to servers in about 50 countries, and I didn’t notice any slowdown while using it. That said, the VPN falls slightly short of Norton’s VPN because Bitdefender imposes 200 MB daily data limits on all but their highest-tiered plan. Meanwhile, Norton provides an unlimited-data VPN on their mid and highest-tiered plan.

Bitdefender’s plans start from $23.99 / year. Bitdefender Total Security is the best value, costing $35.99 / year, but if you also want the VPN with no limitations, you should take a look at Premium Security, which is priced at $59.99 / year. All plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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🥉 3. McAfee Total Protection — Best for Anti-Phishing Protection

🥉 3. McAfee Total Protection — Best for Anti-Phishing Protection

McAfee has some of the best web protection in 2023. In my tests, it successfully blocked every phishing website I tried to visit. Like with Norton, this included websites that caused the virus alert from Microsoft to appear. I also really like how McAfee color codes search results. You can hover your mouse over a suspicious link, and McAfee will tell you if it’s safe or not.

It also includes useful additional features, such as:

  • Secure firewall.
  • Performance optimizer.
  • Parental controls.
  • Virtual private network (VPN).
  • Identity theft protection.
  • And more…

My only complaint with McAfee is I noticed slowdown while running a full system scan. With Norton and Bitdefender, I could scan my computer without any slowdown, but McAfee’s full system scan had a noticeable impact. It also took an hour to complete, whereas Norton only took 40 minutes to complete a full system scan.

That said, McAfee is quite well-priced. There are several plans, which start from $39.99 / year. The best value plan is Total Protection Premium. It includes most features, costs $54.99 / year, and can keep you protected from the virus alert from Microsoft scam. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I remove Microsoft Virus Alert from my PC?

The best way to remove the Microsoft Virus alert from your PC is to follow our above steps. However, in short, you need to download a comprehensive antivirus program like Norton and run a full system scan. Norton will look for all traces of malware causing your computer to issue the fake virus alert from Microsoft. Once you’ve removed all malware, you should keep running Norton for its additional security features, or choose another antivirus program with good web protection. Bitdefender and McAfee both have really good web protection.

Will Microsoft alert you if you have a virus?

Yes, Microsoft will alert you if you have a virus. However, Microsoft won’t alert you through your web browser or ask you to dial a number. If you receive a fake notification from Microsoft asking you to dial a number, you should follow our steps to close the fake virus alert and remove it.

If you do have malware on your computer and Microsoft detects it, Windows Defender will alert you through your computer’s notification menu. You’ll then be prompted to run a virus scan via Windows Defender, but it’s a good idea to instead choose an alternative antivirus suite like Norton, as it comes with better malware detection rates.

What does “Virus Alert from Microsoft” mean?

“Virus Alert from Microsoft” isn’t a real warning, and it means scammers are attempting to gain control of your PC. Windows does have a built-in antivirus, but its notifications never say “Virus Alert from Microsoft.”

If you see “Virus Alert from Microsoft” on your computer, you’re either on a sketchy website that is trying to hack your device, or you have a malware file on your computer that is issuing false pop-ups.

You need to download a comprehensive antivirus like Norton to determine if you have malware on your system and protect your device when you’re online. A high-quality antivirus like Norton will scan your PC for threats and safely remove them. Follow our simple steps to learn how to do this.

Is “Virus Alert from Microsoft” real?

No, Microsoft will never show a virus alert in a web browser pop-up window or ask you to call a phone number to resolve virus threats.

That being said, Microsoft does genuinely protect your PC from virus infections. Windows Defender operates silently in the background on Windows. If it detects a threat, a push notification will appear in the corner of your screen, alerting you to the threat and giving you the option to take further action in Windows Defender Security Center (Windows Defender is pretty good, but I think there are better antiviruses in 2023).

If you see this notification appear or receive the “Virus Alert from Microsoft” pop-up, you should download a comprehensive antivirus like Norton and follow our steps to run a full system scan.

How to remove “Virus Alert from Microsoft”?

To remove the “Virus Alert from Microsoft” pop-up, you must first close your web browser. Once you’ve done this, you need to install an antivirus program like Norton. Norton can run a full system scan and find any potentially unwanted programs you may have installed that are causing the “Virus Alert from Microsoft” pop-up to appear.

Follow our above steps to learn how to scan your PC using an antivirus like Norton. This process will guide you through removing all traces of malware you have on your system, including the malware causing the “Virus Alert from Microsoft” pop-up.

Best Antiviruses for Removing the “Virus Alert from Microsoft” Scam:

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About the Author
Sam Boyd
Sam Boyd
QA Editor

About the Author

Sam Boyd is a QA Editor at SafetyDetectives. He has years of experience writing, reviewing, editing, and optimizing blog articles, and he has researched and tested hundreds of cybersecurity products since joining the SafetyDetectives team. When he isn’t exploring the latest cybersecurity products, he enjoys chilling out with video games, watching sports, and exploring new parts of the world with his family.