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.


For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patended Technologies (requires upgrade).

Next up

Best Windows 10 antivirus software to use in 2018

By: Radu Tyrsina
7 minute read

Update – 2018 will soon come to an end and we already have a guide on what is the best antivirus you should get in […]

Continue Reading

These features are out for good with Windows 10 version 1809' By: Sovan Mandal
2 minute read

Microsoft is all set to launch its next big update, Windows 10 version 1809 in October. While that should be a nice piece of news […]

Continue Reading

Windows 10 18H2 builds no longer receive new features

By: Matthew Adams
3 minute read

The Windows 10 October 2018 Update (otherwise 18H2) rollout might now be two to three weeks away. For the last few months, new build previews […]

Continue Reading