THREAT REMOVAL

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 malware
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

uninstall-fig4

Select the “Add-ons” icon from the menu

uninstall-fig5

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

uninstall-fig6

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

uninstall-fig7

  • Move the cursor over “Tools” and then from the extended menu choose “Extensions
  • uninstall-fig8

  • 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.
    Milena Dimitrova

    Milena Dimitrova

    An inspired writer and content manager who has been with SensorsTechForum since the beginning. 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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    Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

    How to Remove Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc from Windows.


    Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc

    OFFER

    Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
    We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

    Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

    1. Hold Windows key() + R


    2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


    3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
    Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


    4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


    5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


    Step 2: Uninstall Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc and related software from Windows

    Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it. To do that:


    1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


    2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


    3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
    Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


    Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc on your computer.

    The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

    You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

    1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


    2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


    3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
    Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

    IMPORTANT!
    Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
    This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

    Step 4: Scan for Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

    1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


    It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


    2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

    SpyHunter5-update-2018


    3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

    SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


    4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

    SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

    If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.


    Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

    Get rid of Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc from Mac OS X.


    Step 1: Uninstall Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc and remove related files and objects

    OFFER
    Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
    We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
    Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


    1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


    2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


    3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc:

    Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


    4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


    5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


    6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


    7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

    • Go to Finder.
    • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
    • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
    • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

    In case you cannot remove Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc via Step 1 above:

    In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

    Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

    1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

    2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

    3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

    You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

    → ~/Library/LaunchAgents
    /Library/LaunchDaemons

    Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


    Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac

    When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.



    Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


    Remove Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc from Google Chrome.


    Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu


    Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"


    Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.


    Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.


    Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


    Erase Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc from Mozilla Firefox.

    Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window


    Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.


    Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"


    Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.



    Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


    Uninstall Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc from Microsoft Edge.


    Step 1: Start Edge browser.


    Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.


    Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".


    Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.


    Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.



    Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


    Remove Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc from Safari.


    Step 1: Start the Safari app.


    Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.


    Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".

    stf-safari preferences


    Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

    stf-safari-extensions


    Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


    Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

    stf-safari uninstall

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


    How to 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.


    Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


    Eliminate Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc from Internet Explorer.


    Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.


    Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'


    Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.


    Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.


    Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.


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