Solution for ‘Malware detected Windows Defender is taking action’ alerts

By: Andrew Wafer
3 minute read
malware detected Windows Defender is taking action

If you just received a system pop-up from Windows Defender saying that ‘malware detected Windows Defender is taking action to clean detected malware’ but nothing happens, you need to make sure that everything is still secured.

A virus or a malware might be causing all these problems, though, on the other hand, it might be only a compatibility issue between Windows Defender and another third-party antivirus program.

So, before taking any action you need to make sure that Windows Defender is properly running on your Windows 10 system.

The first thing you should do is to verify the Windows Defender history. The antivirus program might have found infected files but it might not be able to properly remove them (especially if the ‘malware detected Windows Defender is taking action’ message is displayed repeatedly).

If that occurred, then identify these files and manually remove them. You can also run the Microsoft Safety Scanner in order to extend the Windows Defender functionality.

If the history log isn’t showing any infected files it might be because Windows Defender detects the same virus but in different locations, and so does not make a history entry. In that case you should choose a different antivirus solution that can perform a more complex scan.

You can also initiate the system scan through Safe Mode – in safe mode third-party apps and processes are disabled by default so certain malware won’t be able to interfere with the scanning and removal process.

In that matter, I recommend you to install BitDefender as this is one of the best antivirus solutions that you can use – you can get BitDefender from the tool’s official website.

Don’t worry, installing this antivirus is intuitive, you only have to follow on-screen prompts.

bitdefender antivirus

During the BitDefender installation process, Windows Defender should be automatically disabled. If it’s not, you need to perform this operation manually:

  • Access Local Group Policy Editor on your computer: press Win+R and enter gpedit.msc.
  • From there navigate towards: Computer Configuration – > Administrative Templates – > Windows Components – > Windows Defender.
  • Click on the Windows Defender field and from the right panel of the main window click on Turn off Windows Defender.
  • Choose Enable – this will actually disable the default Windows Defender software.

In the end, run BitDefender and initiate a full scan. If malicious files will be found, the antivirus will automatically remove everything.

Remember that you should perform the system scan from Safe Mode for being about to delete even the most persistent malware. You can enter safe mode by following:

  • Press the Win+R hotkeys and enter msconfig.
  • The System Configuration window will be displayed.
  • Switch to boot tap and click on the Safe boot option.safe mode with networking
  • Also select the Network option.
  • Save your changes and restart your computer.
  • Done.

ALSO READ: Review: Bitdefender Total Security 2018, the best antivirus for your Windows PC

Now, if there isn’t any infected file left on your computer but you still receive the Windows Defender ‘malware detected Windows Defender is taking action to clean detected malware’ message you should verify any possible conflicts between Windows Defender and other similar security programs.

For example, if you also use Kaspersky and its license expired, Windows Defender will identify the antivirus as a potential deceptive program.

So, now you should know how to react when noticing the ‘malware detected Windows Defender is taking action to clean detected malware’ pop-up message displayed by Windows Defender.

As already outlined, you should choose a third party antivirus solution easily identify and remove even the most complex malwares and viruses.

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