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Remove Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc and Fake BSOD

Tech support scams promoting suspicious toll free numbers are nothing new but yet they continue to affect and fool many users. One of the reasons for their success is that such scams always apply the name of Microsoft or another well-known company (like Dell) to achieve authenticity.

However authentic such scams may appear at first glance, calling the provided numbers is a very bad idea. One of the latest such scams involves the 888-793-9250 phone numbers, a fake BSOD screen and a Windows Defender Error code 0x80073afc. Continue reading to learn more about the scam and how to prevent it from appearing in the future.

NameWindows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc
TypeFake Tech Support, Fake BSOD
Short DescriptionA pop-up is displayed prompting the user to call a fake tech support number.
SymptomsAn intrusive pop-up, a fake BSOD, unusual browser behavior.
Distribution MethodVia PUPs, installed by bundling, by visiting suspicious third-party sites.
Detection ToolDownload Malware Removal Tool, to See If Your System Has Been Affected by Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc
User Experience Join our forum to discuss Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc.

888-793-9250 Windows Defender Error Code 0x80073afc Pop-Up Description

Once affected by this particular fake tech support scam, the user will witness the following message and a fake blue screen of death shortly after:

WD-Error-code-0x80073afc-fake-BSOD-stforum
This is what the message reads:

Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc
0x000000CE DRIVER_UNLOADED_WITHOUT_CANCELLING_PENDING_OPERATIONS
Error Code 0x800705b4 when Starting Windows Defender
Windows Defender Time Out Error code 0x8007005b4
Error code 0x800705b4 when trying to open Windows Defender
Windows health is CRITICAL!
Please Contact Help Desk: +1-866-261-2971 (Toll-Free)

Needless to say, any of the displayed information concerning Windows Defender is untrue. The displayed phone number is definitely not toll-free and will likely overcharge the user multiple times.

888-793-9250 Windows Defender Error code 0x80073afc Pop-Up Distribution

In terms of distribution, tech support scams are not much different from ad-supported applications. As a matter of fact, such pop-ups prompting the user to call 88-793-9250 or a similar number are most likely generated by an ad-supported extension for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer.

Typically, such pop-ups don’t provide the option to be closed the normal way (via the X in the upper right corner). In addition, the pop-ups may be quite intrusive and may continue re-appearing. Even though such unusual behavior from your browser is definitely unpleasant, users shouldn’t panic. This behavior is a result of aggressive scareware tactics used by crooks to rush users into calling their fake tech support numbers.

Calling the 888-793-9250 will not solve any issues – you won’t be speaking to a Microsoft certified technician on the other side of the line but to a crook. The crook may try and trick you into giving away personal details, credit card data, etc.

Fraudster attempts generally include:

  • Asking users for personal information.
  • Obtaining financial credentials.
  • Requesingt users to download actual malware on their computers.
  • Charging users by the minute for the phone call under the pretext the call is “Toll-Free”.
  • Subscribing the phone number of the user to an expensive and automatic SMS service.

888-793-9250 Windows Defender Error Code 0x80073afc Pop-Up Removal Options

To rid your system of this pop-up, you need to take unorthodox measures. First, you should stop the browser process by entering Task Manager and ending the browser as a task. Then, you may proceed with removing the actual program that is causing this pop-up via following our instructions.

1. Restore the settings in your browser

1. Remove Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc from your browser and restart it.

First, close your browser from the Windows Task Manager by pressing and X together and choosing Task manager. After that locate your browser, right click it from the list and click on End Task. After that open your browser in private/incognito mode and follow this manual to remove Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc:

Remove a toolbar from Mozilla Firefox and reset itRemove a toolbar from Google Chrome and reset it. Remove an add-on from Internet Explorer and reset it. Remove an extension from Safari and reset it.

Step 1:Remove Firefox Add-ons

Start Mozilla Firefox Open the menu window

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Select the “Add-ons” icon from the menu

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Select Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc and click “Remove

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After Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red “X” in the top right corner and start it again.

Step 2: Reset Firefox

IMPORTANT: Before resetting Firefox make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Right-click on Firefox on its icon in the taskbar and click New Private Window to enter private browsing.

Type about:support in your address bar.

Click on the ‘Refresh Firefox’ and accept any prompts from Firefox to save your old data before resetting.

Start Google Chrome and Open the drop menu

Step 1: Remoove Google Chrome Extensions

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  • Move the cursor over “Tools” and then from the extended menu choose “Extensions
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  • From the opened “Extensions” menu locate Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc and click on the garbage bin icon on the right of it.
  • uninstall-fig9

  • After Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red “X” in the top right corner and start it again.
  • Step 2: Reset Google Chrome

    IMPORTANT: Before resetting Google Chrome make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

    Right-click on the Chrome taskbar icon and then choose ‘New Incognito Window’. This will start Chrome without any home pages.

    Type chrome://settings/resetProfileSettings and then click on the ‘Reset’ button.

    Step 1: Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

    Start Internet Explorer:

  • Click “‘Tools’ to open the drop menu and select ‘Manage Add-ons’
  • uninstall-fig10

  • In the ‘Manage Add-ons’ window, make sure that in the first window ‘Add-on Types’, the drop menu ‘Show’ is on ‘All add-ons’
  • uninstall-fig11

    Select Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc to remove, and then click ‘Disable’. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected toolbar, and some additional toolbars might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click ‘Disable’.

    uninstall-fig12

    After Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red ‘X’ in the top right corner and start it again.

    Step 2: Reset Internet Explorer

    IMPORTANT: Before resetting Internet Explorer make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

    Right-click on Internet Explorer’s icon and choose Start In-Private Browsing.

    Click the gear leaver icon in the top right side of IE and choose Internet Options from the drop-down menu.

    Click on the Advanced Tab after which click the ‘Reset’ button. Wait a little for the ticks to complete and you should be fine.

    Step 1: Remove Safari extensions

    Start Safari

    Open the drop menu by clicking on the sprocket icon in the top right corner.
    uninstall-fig13

    From the drop menu select ‘Preferences’
    In the new window select ‘Extensions’
    Click once on Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc
    Click ‘Uninstall’

    uninstall-fig14

    A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc. Select ‘Uninstall’ again, and the Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc will be removed.

    Step 2: Reset Safari

    IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

    Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

    Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.

    2. Remove Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

    2. Remove Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

    1. Install SpyHunter to scan for and remove Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc.3. Scan with SpyHunter to Detect and Remove Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc.
    Step 1: Click here to go to SpyHunter’s download instruction page.
    Step 2: Guide yourself by the download instructions provided for each browser.
    Step 3: After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to automatically update.

    pets-by-myway-ads-virus

    Step1: After the update process has finished, click on the ‘Scan Computer Now’ button.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step2: After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc files, click on the ‘Fix Threats’ button to remove them automatically and permanently.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step3: Once the intrusions on your PC have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart it.

    Optional: Using Alternative Anti-Malware Tools

    Remove Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc Using Other Alternative Tools

    Malwarebytes Anti-MalwareSTOPZilla Anti Malware
    1. Install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to scan for and remove Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc.
    Step 1: Download Malwarebytes by clicking here.
    Step 2: A pop-up window will appear. Click on the ‘Save File’ button. If it does not, click on the Download button and save it afterwards.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step 3: After you have downloaded the setup, simply open it.
    Step 4: The installer should appear. Click on the ‘Next’ button.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step 5: Check the ‘I accept the agreement’ check circle if not checked if you accept it and click the ‘Next’ button once again.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step 6: Review and click on ‘Next’ on the following 4 steps that will appear afterwards and after that click on the ‘Install’ button.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step 7: After the installation process has completed click on the ‘Finish’ button and check the ‘Launch MalwareBytes AntiMalware’ check box.

    2. Scan your PC with MalwareBytes to remove all Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc associated files automatically.

    Step 1: Launch MalwareBytes if you havent launched it after install.
    Step 2: Wait for the software to update and then click on the blue ‘Scan Now’ button. If it doesnt start updating automatically, click on the blue ‘Update Now’ highlighted text.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step 3: At this point, after clicking the ‘Scan Now’ button, the system should start scanning your PC. It may take a while but be patient – it is worth it.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step 4: After the scan has been complete and all of the threats have been identified, click on the ‘Remove Selected’ button to delete them permanently.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step 5: Once the scan has completed, MalwareBytes will prompt you to restart your computer. It is recommended to save all your data you are working on before restarting.

    1. Download and Install STOPZilla Anti-malware to Scan for And Remove Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc.
    Step 1: Download STOPZilla by clicking here.
    Step 2: A pop-up window will appear. Click on the ‘Save File’ button. If it does not, click on the Download button and save it afterwards.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step 3: After you have downloaded the setup, simply open it.
    Step 4: The installer should appear. Click on the ‘Next’ button.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step 5: Check the ‘I accept the agreement’ check circle if not checked if you accept it and click the ‘Next’ button once again.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step 6: Review and click on the ‘Install’ button.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step 7: After the installation process has completed click on the ‘Finish’ button.

    2. Scan your PC with STOPZilla Anti Malware to remove all Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc associated files completely.
    Step 1: Launch STOPZilla if you haven’t launched it after install.
    Step 2: Wait for the software to automatically scan and then click on the ‘Repair Now’ button. If it does not scan automatically, click on the ‘Scan Now’ button.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step 3: After the removal of all threats and associated objects, you should Restart your PC.

    NOTE! Substantial notification about the Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc threat: Manual removal of Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc requires interference with system files and registries. Thus, it can cause damage to your PC. Even if your computer skills are not at a professional level, don’t worry. You can do the removal yourself just in 5 minutes, using a malware removal tool.
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    Milena Dimitrova

    An inspired writer and content manager who has been with SensorsTechForum for 4 years. Enjoys ‘Mr. Robot’ and fears ‘1984’. Focused on user privacy and malware development, she strongly believes in a world where cybersecurity plays a central role. If common sense makes no sense, she will be there to take notes. Those notes may later turn into articles! Follow Milena @Milenyim

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