Focused young businesswoman working on changes to default system fonts on Windows

If your default font on Windows has changed unexpectedly, it’s a sign that your computer may be infected with a virus or malware causing strange changes to your device.

While it may seem harmless, alterations to your PC’s settings are a common symptom of malicious software, whether it’s intentional or unintentional. Cybercriminals use all kinds of tricks to steal personal information, banking details and system data, and changes to your default font could be part of it.

However, other reasons cause changes to your default fonts. Software updates can automatically change font settings, recently installed fonts can cause issues or the font file could be corrupted.

Whatever the reason, this guide will help fix changes to default fonts on Windows and show you how the best antivirus can fix the problem and keep your PC safe.

Changes to default fonts on Windows: Quick fixes

If you’re not sure why your default system font on Windows has changed and want to change it back, follow the steps below in order. We recommend trying each step, even if you successfully change your font back to its original style, as malware could still be lurking around on your device.

  1. Restore default font settings on Windows

    How to fix changes to default fonts on Windows

    An easy way to get your system font back to normal is to restore default font settings. 

    You can click the Restore default font settings button to revert any changes to the original font style by heading into your computer settings. 

    To find Font settings on Windows, head to Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalisation > Fonts > Font settings > Restore default font settings

    It’s important to note that this won’t get rid of any virus or malware on your device. If your Windows PC is infected with malicious software, this will only be a temporary fix, and your system font may change again. 

  2. Remove recently installed or unfamiliar fonts

    How to fix changes to default fonts on windows Font settings

    Your computer has a list of installed fonts it uses for different programs, but you can also install new fonts from the web.

    If you’ve recently installed a new font, but it’s causing other font problems, like changing the default font for your whole system, it’s time to remove it. Changes can also happen if cybercriminals have installed a new font, so it’s worth checking and deleting any unfamiliar fonts.

    To remove any fonts, head to Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalisation > Fonts > right-click any recently installed or unfamiliar fonts and select Delete.

  3. Update your software

    Windows PC Update Settings

    Updating your Windows PC software and restarting your computer can often fix minor glitches, including changes to your default system font. However, they can also fend off malicious software.

    Cybercriminals take advantage of security vulnerabilities on your device. These zero-day vulnerabilities allow threat actors to exploit computer systems until developers mitigate them, which can cause a lot of damage. 

    Updating your system’s software can resolve the issue. A software update often contains security patches that help protect your device, as developers work to protect users from known zero-day attacks and other forms of malware trying to infect your device. 

    You can update your device through its settings. For example, you can update your Windows PC by navigating to Start > Settings > Windows Update > Check for updates. If there are any, download and install the update. 

  4. Change your passwords

    Norton 360 Password Manager

    If you’ve experienced changes to your default font on Windows and nothing will fix it, chances are your PC has been infected with a virus or malware, and your online accounts and devices are at risk of being compromised.

    To help mitigate potential malware threats or hackers taking control of your accounts, change your passwords and use a strong password to stop suspicious activity. 

    Using password managers such as LastPass or 1Password can help manage all your passwords in one place, create a complex, near-unbreakable master password and encrypt your information. 

    Changing passwords will stop hackers from trying to steal any sensitive information and your online accounts. 

  5. Use antivirus software to detect and stop malware

    Norton 360 Security and Settings

    If you can’t find any way to solve changes to your system font, using one of the best antivirus software like Norton 360 (from $19.99/year) will keep you safe from any malicious software, like ransomware, adware, spyware, phishing and more.

    That’s not all; antivirus software can provide extra features like VPNs, cloud storage, PC boosters, and more. Norton 360 has all these features and extra security tools that can backup your data, prevent online identity theft and stop malware. 

    What’s more, Norton 360 comes with monitoring features to identify all suspicious activity on your device. It will help detect and notify you about any unusual activity, including changes to your default font, and stop it using it’s protection tools. 

    Check out our Norton 360 review and Norton 360 Platinum review to see which antivirus package suits you best.

Why has my default font on Windows PC changed?

An unexpected change to your default font on your computer can be annoying, especially if you haven’t added new fonts or altered any of your font settings. There are a few ways changes can be made.

While not common, software updates to your device’s operating system or applications can change system font settings. Developers will change fonts to give their apps or systems a fresh look by updating fonts, making this change harmless.

Installing new fonts on your device can change font settings in several programs and apps, especially if installed in the system font folder in Windows. Sometimes, these fonts can be corrupted, which can cause plenty of issues with your default fonts.

Hardware failures, like hard drive or memory module issues, can cause system font changes. However, these are rare and often cause further problems to your PC that require more attention.

A dangerous issue that can cause changes to default fonts on Windows is a virus or malware infection. By installing malware on your computer, whether by mistakenly clicking a suspicious link in an email or going to a dodgy website, hackers can change system settings to steal your information, banking details and online accounts.

Sometimes, a side effect of a virus or malware can be changes to your system’s default font settings. If this is the case, it’s best to use an antivirus like Norton 360 to detect any malicious activity and stop the malware from causing more harm.

White surface with letters and words for changes in default font in Windows

How do I get my fonts back to normal?

There are plenty of ways to get your font back to normal on your computer. As mentioned, you can head into system settings and restore default font settings on Windows or uninstall any new fonts in Font settings.

If you’ve recently updated your software and fonts are still not back to normal, you can try rolling back the update to see if this fixes the problem. Otherwise, you can look for another update and install it to see if the issue is fixed.

There’s also the case of using a font in a specific program. Default fonts in programs or apps such as Microsoft Word or your web browser and be changed if their settings, so make sure the right font is selected.

However, if you haven’t made any changes to your font settings, then the best way to get things back to normal is to perform a system scan using antivirus software. This will protect and remove and malware that may be causing the change in default fonts.

Can any antivirus software stop viruses and malware?

The best antivirus software will stop malware in its tracks. Not all antivirus software is equal, as some don’t have high malware detection and protection rates or have accredited lab scores to back them up.

However, many high-standard AV protections offer near-perfect scores when detecting and protecting against malware, meaning even complex malicious software can’t go unnoticed. Even if it’s a malicious font file hiding in your system settings, an antivirus will be able to sniff it out and get rid of it.

Services, including Norton 360 (from $19.99/year) and Bitdefender (from $19.99/year), include device monitoring features to help uncover suspicious activity early and offer the tools to fight off cyberattacks.

These services have protection tools that block malicious activity on your device. To make sure your device is ready to identify and block malware damaging your system, set yourself up with an antivirus.

Best antivirus to prevent viruses and malware

1. Norton 360 🥇From $19.99/year
Best overall antivirus of 2023

Norton 360 on Laptop scaled

“Norton” and “antivirus” are synonymous these days, as the well-established cybersecurity brand has successfully fought against malware, viruses and nasty software threats since 1990. 

Norton 360 offers excellent antivirus protection and extra features that make for a valuable, all-in-one security product. Its Norton 360 Deluxe and Premium package may cost a pretty penny. Still, with security across multiple platforms, a full-blown VPN, Dark Web Monitoring, Parental Controls and more, it will have a household free of cyber threats. 

Norton’s certainty of its antivirus software’s capabilities is clearly defined by the brand’s 100% Virus Protection Promise. If a device protected by Norton 360 can’t get rid of a virus, the user receives their money back. It’s a big claim, but unquestionably, no one should expect to get that refund.

If you have the money for it, you can also check out the premium Norton 360 Platinum package for even more online protection, including from identity theft. Without a doubt one of the best antivirus to get.

Read our full Norton 360 review

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2. Bitdefender 🥈 From $19.99/year
Best security features and tools

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Bitdefender takes the spot as best antivirus, and for good reason. It’s not enough that it boasts near-perfect lab test scores across the board, as it goes the extra mile by giving users access to a plethora of advanced security features.

Bitdefender goes above and beyond in the features department, all while keeping known malware, ransomware, and viruses at bay. It will defend your device against new attacks, provide security for online transactions, keep you safe with a reliable VPN, and protect your accounts with a password manager.

It’s a no-brainer when it comes to defending your devices against virtually any form of cyberattack, and its top-notch protection extends to its most affordable package, too. Protecting your PC and smartphone, from Windows and macOS to iOS and Android, is becoming even more necessary, and Bitdefender is the tricked-out shield you need. 

Read our full Bitdefender review

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3. Malwarebytes 🥉 From $44.99/year
Best antivirus for Windows PC

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Hundreds of malware emerge every minute, and it’s Malwarebytes’ mission to detect and conquer them all. Does the antivirus do this successfully? Yes, but there’s wiggle room for improvements.

Malwarebytes’ no-nonsense approach to protecting your devices from the onslaught of malware and viruses is effective for those who need a reliable antivirus that will detect and remove malicious software, especially with its free version. However, while its premium service provides 24/7 real-time detection, conveniently blocks vicious ransomware and shields users from malicious websites, it doesn’t go beyond on the feature front.

That’s no bad thing, as sometimes a user only needs a powerful antivirus to keep them safe from cyber threats. But considering its competitors add a few more security tools, such as data breach monitoring and a firewall, there’s room for improvement. 

Read our full Malwarebytes review

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4. Avast One 🙌 From $39.99/year
Best antivirus for beginners + free plan available!

Avast One logo on laptop

With Avast One, you can protect your device from viruses, malware and ransomware for free. That’s right, and you don’t have to pay a dime for the extra security features the antivirus throws in, including its VPN, firewall and more.

Avast One will safeguard your device from malware, comes with ransomware protection, blocks harmful websites and downloads from the web, scans your emails for malicious attachments, stops hackers from infiltrating your device through Wi-Fi with a firewall – the list goes on. That’s a lot of tools for software that’s free, and the included VPN and the ability to speed up your PC are a welcome bonus.

It’s the ideal antivirus software for home use, as it takes the hassle out of staying wary of cyber threats lurking around, even if you’re not a tech whizz. What’s more, if you are looking for added precautions, its paid Individual and Family packages still boast great value. Hard to go wrong with this best antivirus.

Read our full Avast One review

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5. AVG👍 From 4.99/month
Best antivirus for + free plan available!

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You can never go wrong with free antivirus protection, but some deliver even better detection and protection rates, along with extra security features, without costing a dime. This is where AVG antivirus shines.

AVG provides reliable protection and only a small impact on performance for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. It safeguards your devices against malware, viruses and zero-day exploits, along with blocking malicious links and attachments in emails. Throw in phishing protection when surfing the internet and extra security features such as its SafePrice browser extension and Network Inspector, and you’ve got yourself a do-it-all antivirus.

Sure, you can find all of these perks with Avast, but if you like a slick, darker user interface that’s easy to navigate, then AVG is for you.

Read our full AVG Antivirus review

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Darragh Murphy
Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from the mischievous world of online security to washing machines designed for earbuds. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for laptops into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. When he's not checking out the latest devices and all things tech, he can be found swimming laps, watching terrible shark movies, and trying to find time to game.  Previous Editor at Laptop Mag and News Editor at Time Out Dubai, specialising in food culture, nightlife events, gaming, tech and entertainment.


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