FIX: Windows Defender is not removing Trojan threats

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • If Windows Defender won't delete trojans, it's clear that it doesn't offer the best protection.
  • Along helping to decide upon another antivirus, we also offer advice on how to quickly remove the existing threat.
  • Troubleshooting system errors isn't just for experts. We're guiding you step by step in our Windows 10 Guides.
  • Make an informed decision when choosing your antivirus. Get recommendations in the Antivirus Hub.
Windows Defender is not removing Trojan

Trojans are one of the most common malware types, which, unlike viruses, rely on you to run them on your computer, as they don’t spread on their own. They often sneak into your device 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 usually they come together with other malware.

Trojans don’t just bring along viruses and worms, among other malware, but they also use your computer for fraud, record key logs and online activity, plus send back the information such as passwords or login credentials to hackers.

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 Defender’s updates, which usually leaves users stranded when it comes to removing them completely.

 

Preliminary fixes

  • Update Windows Defender’s 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.
  • 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.

If Windows Defender is still not removing Trojan threats from your PC, here are a few workarounds that can resolve the problem.

What can I do if Windows Defender is not removing Trojans?

  1. Change your antivirus
  2. Run a virus scan with Microsoft Safety Scanner
  3. Perform a Clean Boot
  4. Change Windows Defender Service startup to Automatic
  5. Clear your Temp file/cache
  6. Run a full scan in Safe mode

1. Change your antivirus

defender won't detect trojan

The first thing that you should do when you know that you’ve got a Trojan that Defender doesn’t detect, is to install another antivirus.

Our recommendation at this point is Vipre, due to the easy set-up and rapid detection rate.

Vipre uses the latest technologies to detect not just the newest malware known in the industry, but also emerging and advanced threats that can compromise your system.

Besides, it enables real-time protection to scan all your apps and programs upon launch, to ensure they are safe.

The Ransomware Protection feature blocks any type of exploit before it gets a chance to run on your device.

All in all, Vipre offers full protection against the most advanced threats, and it will definitely detect trojans in your system and eliminate them at once.

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2. Run a virus scan with Microsoft Safety Scanner

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

  1. Log on as administrator, and type msconfig in the search box.
  2. Select System Configuration.
  3. Find Services tab.Windows Defender is not removing Trojan
  4. Select Hide all Microsoft services box.Windows Defender is not removing Trojan
  5. Click Disable all.
  6. Go to Startup tab.Windows Defender is not removing Trojan
  7. Click Open Task Manager.Windows Defender is not removing Trojan
  8. Close Task manager then click OK.
  9. Reboot your computer.

4. Change Windows Defender Service startup to Automatic

  1. Right-click Start and select Run.
  2. Type services.msc and press enter.
  3. Right-click Windows Defender service.Windows Defender is not removing Trojan
  4. Click Properties.
  5. Ensure that Service Status is running.Windows Defender is not removing Trojan
  6. Ensure Startup type is Automatic.Windows Defender is not removing Trojan
  7. Click Apply then click OK and restart your computer.

5. Clear your Temp file/Cache

  1. Go to Internet Explorer.
  2. Click Tools.Windows Defender is not removing Trojan
  3. Click Internet Options.Windows Defender is not removing Trojan
  4. Select the General tab.Windows Defender is not removing Trojan
  5. Click Browsing history.Windows Defender is not removing Trojan
  6. Select Delete.Windows Defender is not removing Trojan
  7. Uncheck Preserve favorites website data.Windows Defender is not removing Trojan
  8. Delete temporary files, delete cookies, history, passwords, etc.

To verify that your cookies have been deleted, do the following:

  1. Click Start and type inetcpl.cpl in the search box and press Enter.
  2. In the Internet Properties dialog box, go to General tab.
  3. Click Settings under Browsing History.Windows Defender is not removing Trojan
  4. In Temporary Internet Files and History settings, click View Files to open the folder where cookies are stored.
  5. In the open folder, press CTRL+A, CTRL+D, then press enter to delete the cookies.
  6. Exit and restart your computer.
  7. Scan your computer using Vipre, as recommended in the first solution (or another antivirus tool, is available).

6. Run a full scan in Safe mode

  1. Click on Start and select Settings.
  2. Click Update & Security.Windows Defender is not removing Trojan
  3. Select Recovery from the left pane.Windows Defender is not removing Trojan
  4. Go to Advanced startup.
  5. Click on Restart now.
  6. Select Troubleshoot from the choose an option screen, then click Advanced options.Windows Defender is not removing Trojan
  7. Go to Startup Settings and click Restart.
  8. Once your computer restarts, a list of options will come up.
  9. Choose 4 or F4 to start your computer in Safe Mode.
  10. Run a full scan using another antivirus software.

Have any of these solutions helped fix Windows Defender is not removing Trojan threats? Let us know in the comments section below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2018 and was completely revamped and updated in October 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.