Windows Defender shield with red circle and white X is a complete mystery

By: Madeleine Dean
2 minute read

Many Windows 10 Anniversary Update users have reported that after doing a full scan, the Windows Defender shield switches from all white to a red circle containing a white X overlaying the lower right quadrant of the shield. The next question is: what does this new icon mean?

For the time being, no one can answer this question, the red circle with the white X overlay is as mysterious as the Bermuda triangle. The good news is that Windows Defender appears to be up and running, and all the status indicators are normal: the antivirus indicates the PC is being monitored and protected, real-time protection is on, and the virus and spyware definitions are up to date.

New Windows Defender shield overlay puzzles users

After the Windows 10 Anniversary update and after doing a full scan, the Windows Defender shield switches from all white to the following image (a red circle containing a white X overlaying the lower right quadrant of the shield.)  What does it mean?

windows defender shield red circle white X

All the Insiders who joined the conversation on this forum thread have confirmed they have never seen this overlay before. Some even said the new overlay “is certainly an interesting anomaly.” However, we wouldn’t haste to say that, taking into account that Windows Defender appears to be running normally.

Perhaps, this is a new Windows Defender overlay that Microsoft forgot to introduce. For the time being, Microsoft’s Support engineers and forum moderators haven’t issued any comments on the thread, therefore we’re still waiting for an official reply.

If this strange Windows Defender shield overlay really annoys you, simply turn off the antivirus and then turn it back on. According to users’ reports, this simple action makes the mysterious overlay disappear.

I also had this issue. Here was my solution. Click on the Windows Defender icon in the system tray. Click on the gear (settings) icon. Click on Window Defender. It may appear here to be “On”. Turn it “Off” and turn in “On” again. Worked for me. Good luck all!

If you know what the new Windows Defender icon overlay means, you can tell us more about it in the comment section below.

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