What to do when Windows Defender is not removing Trojan threats
Trojans are one of the most common malware types, which, unlike viruses, relay on you to run them on your computer, as they don’t spread on their own. Sometimes they come in when you visit a hacked or malicious site.
This type of malware can use a file name similar to an existing real or legit app, so you may end up downloading one without knowing, and end up downloading something else, and usually they come together with other malware.
In a computer, Trojans don’t just install viruses and worms, among other malware, but also use your computer for fraud, record key logs and online activity, plus send back the information to malicious hackers which can be stuff like your password or login credentials, and the hacker can in turn control your computer.
While Windows Defender antivirus is preinstalled on your Windows 10 PC, it doesn’t really live up to user expectations when it comes to protecting its own OS. Trojans advance faster than Windows Defender’s updates, which usually leaves users stranded when it comes to removing them completely.
If Windows Defender is not removing Trojan threats from your PC, here are a few work arounds that can resolve the problem.
FIX: Windows Defender is not removing Trojan
- Preliminary fixes
- Run a virus scan with Microsoft Safety Scanner
- Perform a Clean Boot
- Change Windows Defender Service startup to Automatic
- Clear your Temp file/Cache
- Run full scan in Safe mode
1. Preliminary fixes
- Update Windows Defender library of definitions.
- Run a full system scan
- Update your alternative antivirus software if available
- Get the name of the Trojan and search for it on the web to find a solution to eliminate it
- Disable third party antivirus security software and check if it helps. Ensure you turn these programs back on immediately after you’re done to prevent hackers, viruses and worms from damaging your system
- Run Disk cleanup or use CCleaner to remove temporary files to reduce scanning times by security software
- Delete temporary files by clicking Start > type disk cleanup in search box > select Disk Cleanup. You can also use CCleaner to clean junk, browser safety, startup management, and much more. Remember to uncheck the option to clean Windows Defender files
2. Run a virus scan with Microsoft Safety Scanner
Microsoft Safety Scanner is a free downloadable security tool for on-demand scanning, which helps remove malware, and also works with your existing antivirus software. However, it expires 10 days after downloading it, so to rerun a scan with the latest antimalware definitions, download and install it again. If you run the virus scan without reinstalling Microsoft Safety Scanner, the program will be deleted, and any infected files and folders can get deleted too.
3. Perform a Clean Boot
This helps check if any third party app is causing the issue, by eliminating software conflicts. To do this:
- Log on as administrator, and type msconfig in the search box
- Select System Configuration
- Find Services tab
- Select Hide all Microsoft services box
- Click Disable all
- Go to Startup tab
- Click Open Task Manager
- Close Task manager then click Ok
- Reboot your computer
4. Change Windows Defender Service startup to Automatic
- Right click Start and select Run
- Type services.msc and press enter
- Right click Windows Defender service
- Click Properties
- Ensure that Service Status is running
- Ensure Startup type is Automatic
- Click Apply then click OK and restart your computer
5. Clear your Temp file/Cache
- Go to Internet Explorer
- Click Tools
- Click Internet Options
- Select General tab
- Click Browsing history
- Select Delete
- Uncheck Preserve favorites website data
- Delete temporary files, delete cookies, history, passwords, etc.
To verify that your cookies have been deleted, do the following:
- Click Start and type inetcpl.cpl in the search box and press enter
- In the Internet Properties dialog box, go to General tab
- Click Settings under Browsing History
- In Temporary Internet Files and History settings, click View Files to open the folder where cookies are stored
- In the open folder, press CTRL+A, CTRL+D, then press enter to delete the cookies
- Exit and restart your computer
- Scan your computer using Malwarebytes to remove any traces of malware
6. Run full scan in Safe mode
To get into safe mode, do the following:
- Click on Start and select Settings
- Click Update & Security
- Select Recovery from the left pane
- Go to Advanced startup
- Click Restart now
- Select Troubleshoot from the choose an option screen, then click Advanced options
- Go to Startup Settings and click Restart
- Once your computer restarts, a list of options will come up.
- Choose 4 or F4 to start your computer in Safe Mode
- Run a full scan using Windows Defender
Have any of these solutions helped fix Windows Defender is not removing Trojan threats? Let us know in the comments section below.
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