Q: I have Windows 11 and my screen has been overtaken by a pop-up for Zelle. It reads, “Chip in with Zelle” and also includes links like “Visit the Security Center,” “Planning and Tools” and “Give Feedback.” I don’t know how to get rid of it — please help!
— Millie H., Vero Beach
A: Zelle is a money transfer service that many banks offer their customers these days. It lets you send payments of $1000 or less to individuals or companies in lieu of writing checks or using a service like PayPal.
The fact that you are seeing a reference to Zelle in a pop up may imply that you have a spyware infection, as bank branding or bank service specifics are often used as spoof fodder in fraudulent emails and pop-ups.
Given that, the first step here would be to scan your system for viruses with your antivirus program and then scan your system for malware with an anti-malware scanner. For the latter, please get the free version of Malwarebytes from the following URL: https://www.malwarebytes.com/mwb-download
Download it, install it and let the program scan run until complete (it can take a few hours depending on your computer’s speed). Follow the instructions on screen to remove or quarantine whatever turns up in the scan results.
At that point, restart the system and see if you still get the Zelle pop-ups or not when Windows returns.
If so, then this may not be a malicious item but rather a Windows 11 widget for your bank that needs to be calibrated.
Windows 11 makes big use of widgets, which are essentially the Windows equivalent of the apps you install on smartphones or tablets. As with those apps, some Windows 11 widgets are more fine-tuned in their capabilities and behaviors than others and this could be one of those instances where the app needs a little adjustment so it plays nice with the rest of your Windows environment.
Unfortunately you did not state which bank this pop-up came from, so it’s hard to provide specifics beyond these general steps, however the following URL on the Microsoft website offers an overview of how to work with widgets in Windows 11, including how to enable and disable them and how to access their settings if needed: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/widgets-in-windows-11/a7a128d4-49bc-46eb-80dd-8ebfba50a2c1?auth=1
Try the steps found there to adjust the widget’s settings — hopefully that will stop the pop-ups from appearing. If you are unsuccessful or can’t seem to find out how to do this (which is always a possibility when working with apps or widgets) then please contact your bank website’s support team for additional help.
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Contact Eyal Goldshmid at [email protected]