If you have encountered the Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc issue, it could mean one of a few things: your antivirus software could be in some way conflicting with Windows Defender, you could have corrupted data or corrupt registry entries, or (most likely) your system has been infected by a malicious program.
Error Code: 0x80073afc — Windows Defender pretty serious error
This error is pretty serious, so it’s important to deal with it as quickly as possible. Follow bellow our tips on doing just that.
Fix#1: Use Antivirus Software to remove viruses
As we’ve mentioned above, the error could be caused by malicious software infecting your computer. There are several programs to use for this step. Avast is one of them and has a free version. This is how to use it:
1. Download the software (from www.avast.com if you decided for this one).
2. Double-click on the installation file and follow the all the steps to complete the process.
3. After installing Avast (or a different antivirus), open the program and click on Scan Now to run a scan.
4.Wait for the scan to complete (it could take a while!). After this is done, you’ll have a list of all the threats the software has detected. Remove all of them.
Using an antivirus will help you in protecting your computer from internet threats as well.
Fix#2: Manually remove potential threats
1. Open Task Manager by pressing [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Del].
2. Press the Start button, then go to Control Panel, find Appearance and Personalization, and once there look under Folder Options for Show hidden files and folders. There, select Show hidden files and folders and un-select Hide protected operating system files (Recommended).
3. Open the Registry Editor by holding down [Windows Key] + R and typing “regedit” in the Run box followed by Enter.
4. You should now be in the Registry Editor. Look for the following files and, if found, Delete them:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\MpCmdRun.exe
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\MpUXSrv.exe
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\MSASCui.exe
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\msconfig.exe
5. Also run a Search on your computer for the following files and, if found, Delete them:
6. Clear your browser history, temp files, and cookies
For Internet Explorer:
- Open Internet Explorer, go to Tools, and then click Internet options.
- Click the Advanced tab, then hit Reset.
- In the Reset Internet Explorer settings section, check the Delete personal settings box, and once again click Reset.
For Google Chrome:
- Open Chrome, go to Customize and control Google Chrome, where you select Settings. Then find the Show advanced settings button.
- Look for the Reset settings option and hit Reset to reset your Google Chrome.
For Mozilla Firefox:
- Open Firefox, click the Firefox button, then go to Help and select Troubleshooting Information.
- Hit the Reset Firefox button you find on the Troubleshooting Information page.
- Finally, click Reset Firefox in the window which appears shortly.
7. Restart your PC to see all the changes take place.
Fix #3: Restore your system
Sort of a brute force solution, we admit, but if all else fails this could do the trick. Restoring your system will delete all files and registry data, so make sure to backup all your important data first!
Here are the steps you should follow to perform a system restore:
1. Restart your computer and hold down F8 before Windows starts up.
2. When in the Advanced Boot Options menu, select Safe Mode with Command Prompt and hit Enter.
3. After the command screen opens, quickly type “explorer” and hit Enter.
4. In Windows Explorer, go to the drive where the Windows directory is (usually C:), then go to System32, find and select the rstrui.exe file, and hit Enter.
5. Use System Restore to go back to a date before you encountered the error.
Hopefully one or more of the ideas we’ve provided in this post will help you resolve the problem. Like any issue involving the antivirus software, Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc can be pretty serious and should be dealt with as soon as possible.
You should look to make your PC malware-proof.
If this guide was helpful or you have other ideas on how to solve to problem, let us know in the comments below.