If you received a pop-up message with error #268E3, be aware that it is a scam. Real alerts from Microsoft never appear as pop-ups or any messages shown on website. Error #268E3 Pop-up scam is created to convince users to call number of technical support (+44 (8000) 885-688). They, in turns, will make everything to make you buy security application. Fake technical “specialist” will tell you that your computer is seriously infected and can crash at any time if you don’t install suggested software. Of course, all normal people understand that this is a rogue message, but there is still small percent of frighten and not experienced users (too young or too old, or just newbies) who will pay money to cyber crooks.
If you are requested to give any personal or financial information – just hang up your phone and think on how to get rid of rogue Error #268E3 scam. Your computer is most likely not infected with any viruses. But it`s for sure that something is wrong it you receive pop-up. Usually such scams get downloaded to targeted computer when user visiting compromised or malicious site. Also, if you didn’t scan your computer for long, another malware application can be the reason of getting this “Error”. The old but working method to deliver unwanted applications is e-mail attachment. If it is in “spam” folder, you better delete it immediately.
Error #268E3 is often seen by users who install freeware downloaded from unofficial sources. Please, be cautious when install free programs, pay attention to each step of the process and check if your desired application is the only one that is going to be installed. Decline all offers, they doesn’t worth to be installed. If you already got the infection, don’t waste your time and rush into installation of proved powerful anti-malware application. It can be Plumbytes. Some of them have free trial period so that you can check if you would be satisfied with its services. Don’t download security application with poor reputation and not sound name.
While Error #268E3 Pop-up scam operates on your computer, it is exposed to the risk of losing important data. Infection can alter your browser and firewall settings. But most of all you will be tired from various annoying advertisements. Delete Error #268E3 and enjoy your fast internet speed and fine computer performance.
Common symptoms of Error #268E3 scam
- You’re getting annoying unwanted pop-up alerts
- Multiple redirects to suspicious third-party websites
- You’re getting other harmful programs
- Error #268E3 may modify browser security settings
- You’re getting pop-up ads or banner ads
- You’re not able to manually undo changes made by Error #268E3
- Your browser is slowing down or even crushing
- Error #268E3 may disable browser updates
- You may discover suspicious browser toolbars, expansions or plug-ins
- Unwanted programs or free games can be installed on your computer without your permission
- Sluggish PC performance, system errors and crushes
- System shut-downs for no apparent reason
Potential sources of Error #268E3 threat
- “Bundling” to freeware or sharefree software, including video and audio converters, video players and video streaming programs, download helpers etc.
- Malicious browser expansions and toolbars
- Compromised websites which offer different digital downloads or infect victims’ computers with malware and adware
- Fake alerts claiming that you need to update a software, Flash Player, Java, FLV Player or your browser
- Malicious attachments and download links in unknown emails
- Downloads from P2P-networks, torrent-trackers and sharing resources
Remove Error #268E3 from your PC
You can easily remove Error #268E3 scam alerts and fake errors from your system using one of the effective anti-malware tools listed below, or you can follow our detailed step-by-step manual removal guide.
Part 1. Remove Error #268E3 Automatically
Restart your computer in Safe Mode with Networking. You can find step-by-step instruction here on our website – “How to start Windows in Safe Mode with Networking”.
If you have an antivirus software running on your computer, please check for its updates and scan your system. If the problem still persists, download and install one of the recommended anti-malware tools to automatically remove Error #268E3 alerts and other malware threats from your PC.
Quick Removal with Plumbytes Anti-Malware
1. You should download Plumbytes Anti-Malware installer to scan your computer for any malware or adware that might infected your computer. Plumbytes Anti-Malware is a trusted software that can detect and remove most of security threats, including adware, ransomware, PUPs, trojans, worms and rootkits.
2. Double-click the downloaded “antimalwaresetup.exe” installation file to launch it.
3. Click “Install” button to start the installation process. The setup wizard will automatically start to download necessary program files to your computer. Once download completed, Plumbytes Anti-Malware will be automatically installed on your computer. The entire installation process takes only 2-3 minutes.
4. Once installed, Plumbytes Anti-Malware will automatically update its antivirus signatures database and then start smart system scan to detect all malware, adware, spyware and other security threats.
5. You will see the detailed list of security threats and potentially unwanted applications detected on your PC. Click “Remove Selected” button to clear your PC from malicious files, adware and potentially unwanted applications.
Double-Check Your PC with SpyHunter 4 Anti-Malware
6. You can double-check your computer with SpyHunter 4 Anti-Malware in order to remove any leftover malware and adware traces. SpyHunter is considered as one of the best and most effective anti-malware tools today. Click the button below to download SpyHunter installation package.
7. Double-click the downloaded “SpyHunter-Installer.exe” file to start the installation process.
8. When the installation starts, the Setup Wizard will offer a few options and settings that you may want to configure. We recommend just clicking “Next” button to accept the default application settings. You can check out our detailed SpyHunter 4 Anti-Malware Setup & User Guide which can help you to go through the installation process and provide important information about malware scans and program settings.
9. Once the installation completed, SpyHunter 4 will automatically update antivirus database and latest virus definitions. Next, SpyHunter 4 Quick Scan will automatically check your computer for any malware, adware, spyware and other security threats.
10. You will see the detailed list of viruses and potentially unwanted applications detected on your PC. Click “Next” button to clear your PC from malicious files, adware and PUPs.
Alternate Recommended Anti-Malware Tools
The following awesome full-scale anti-malware products also have proved their effectiveness against all types of malware and adware. However, some of these anti-malware programs don’t provide a free trial version, and you’ll have to purchase a license key in order to clean your computer from the detected malware, fake error messages, scam pop-ups and alerts.
Part 2. Remove Error #268E3 Manually (Removal Guide)
Notice: Manual removal guide is recommended to experienced computer users. Incorrect modifications introduced into the Windows operating system, Windows Registry or browser settings may result in serious system fails or software errors.
We’ve created this step-by-step removal guide to help you manually remove Error #268E3 and other similar security threats from your computer. Please carefully follow all the steps listed in the instruction below. We’ve attached detailed screenshots and video guides for your convenience. If you have any questions or issues, please contact us via email, create a public forum question or contact us using online contact form. Please add your comments and suggestions to this guide below.
Remove Unwanted Programs from Windows
STEP 1: Remove Unwanted Programs in Control Panel
You should try to uninstall the adware application using “Programs and Features” tool in the Windows Control Panel.
Press Windows + R keys and type appwiz.cpl into the Open: field. Click OK button.
Guide for Windows 10, 8, 8.1 and 7 versions
Click Uninstall a program link in the Programs section.
Sort the installed programs by “Installed On” date to find recently installed applications. Select the entry for the program you want to remove and click Uninstall button.
Confirm the removal and wait until the program is finished uninstalling.
Guide for Windows XP
Go to Add or Remove Programs tool in the Control Panel.
Sort the installed programs by Date Last Used to find recently installed applications. Select the entry for the program you want to uninstall and click Remove button.
Click Remove button to confirm the removal. Wait until the program is finished uninstalling.
STEP 2: Clean Windows Registry
It’s strongly recommended to clean your Windows Registry in order to remove all entries and registry keys associated with malware or adware. Windows Registry contains all the settings and information for the software applications and user accounts in your Windows operating system. You need to launch Registry Editor utility to make changes to registry.
Apart from this manual instruction, you can try to use the CCleaner Professional program which described below in our guide. This effective program helps to clean and fix Windows Registry.
Guide for Windows 10, 8, 8.1, 7 and XP versions
Press Windows + R and type Run regedit or regedit.exe into the Open: search field. Click OK button or press Enter key.
Click Yes button in the User Account Control window to allow the Registry Editor to make changes.
When you open the Registry Editor for the first time, you’ll see a treeview on the left-hand side that contains all of the registry keys with values and data on the right-hand side.
Once Registry Editor is opened, you need to find and remove registry keys and values created by malware or adware.
Press Ctrl + F (or go to Menu –> Edit –> Find) to open the Find bar.
Look up the name of the malware or adware affecting your PC and type it into “Find what:” text box. Check all checkboxes and then click Find Next button.
Right-click on the located registry entry and click Delete from the context menu. Repeat this process for each of the registry entries associated with malware.
Click Yes button in the confirmation window.
Remove Error #268E3 from Web Browsers
If your default homepage or search engine page has been changed without your permission, or you’re having problems with multiple redirects or annoying pop-up and context ads, it means that your browser is hijacked. We strongly recommend you to restore your browser to default settings and clean your browser shortcuts. This step-bystep guide will help you to get rid of any browser hijacker or adware (including malicious browser extensions, plug-ins or toolbars).
Removal Instructions for Google Chrome
STEP 3: Restore Google Chrome to Default Settings
You should restore your Google Chrome browser to default settings in order to get rid of browser redirects, pop up ads or other adware infection. All of your stored bookmarks and passwords will stay safe.
Open the Google Chrome browser and click Menu icon in the upper-right corner of the page. Go to the Settings menu.
Scroll to the bottom of the chrome://settings page
And click the Advanced.
Next, scroll to the bottom of the page once more and click Reset button.
Click Reset button in the confirmation window opened.
STEP 4: Fix Hijacked Google Chrome Browser Shortcuts
In some cases, a browser hijacker may infect shortcuts on your desktop, start menu and task bar in order to cause multiple browser redirects to third-party websites or to show you annoying pop up ads, or even to display fake security alerts. Browser hijackers can do this by adding some extra information to the existing browser shortcuts on your PC. That’s why you need to manually check browser shortcuts to protect yourself from browser hijackers and other adware.
In addition to this manual instruction, below you can find a free and lightweight Shortcut Cleaner utility that can automatically fix hijacked browser shortcuts.
We’ve provided a detailed guide for Google Chrome browser below. However, you can feel free to use this instruction for Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera and other browsers too.
Right-click the web browser shortcut and select Properties option.
If the infected shortcut is pinned at your taskbar, right-click the icon and choose Google Chrome. Next, right-click Google Chrome and select Properties option. Then left-click the selected Properties to proceed.
Go to Shortcut tab. Carefully check Target field (path to executable file). This path line must end with executable file (.exe) of your browser, nothing else. If Target field ends with .bin, .url or any other file extension, it means that your browser shortcut is hijacked by malware.
Below you can find the default paths to executable files of Google Chrome browser.
If you detected that browser hijacker had modified the path to executable file, simply remove all unnecessary entries at the end of Target path field. On Shortcut tab, carefully check the Target field and delete malicious [Unknown URL] entry at the end of the system path.
You should also check and modify all other browser shortcuts that can be found in Windows Start Menu, Desktop and Taskbar.
Removal Instructions for Mozilla Firefox
STEP 3: Restore Mozilla Firefox to Default Settings
You should restore your Mozilla Firefox browser to default settings in order to get rid of browser redirects, pop up ads or other adware infection. All of your stored bookmarks and passwords will stay safe.
Launch Mozilla Firefox browser. Click Menu icon in the upper-right corner of the page. Next, click Help Menu icon below.
From the Help Menu list, select Troubleshooting Information option. You may also type about:support in Mozilla Firefox address bar to bring up Troubleshooting Information page.
Click Refresh Firefox… button in the dialog window.
Click Refresh Firefox button in the confirmation window.
STEP 4: Fix Hijacked Mozilla Firefox Browser Shortcuts
Please follow the steps described in Step 4 of this guide for Google Chrome browser.
Removal Instructions for Internet Explorer
STEP 3: Restore Internet Explorer to Default Settings
You should restore your Internet Explorer browser to default settings in order to get rid of browser redirects, pop up ads or other adware infection. All of your stored bookmarks and passwords will stay safe.
Launch the Internet Explorer browser. Locate and click Tools Menu icon in the upper-right corner of the page. Go to Internet options menu.
Go to Advanced tab and click Reset… button below.
In the Reset Internet Explorer Settings window, check the Delete personal settings check box and click the Reset button.
Next, click Close button in the confirmation box.
Once the task is complete, Internet Explorer will ask to restart your computer. Do NOT hurry to restart your PC! Prior to the restart of computer, you need to clean your Windows Registry and clean web browser shortcuts.
STEP 4: Fix Hijacked Internet Explorer Browser Shortcuts
Please follow the steps described in Step 4 of this guide for Google Chrome browser.
Removal Instructions for Microsoft Edge Browser
STEP 3: Restore Microsoft Edge to Default Settings
You should restore your Microsoft Edge browser to default settings in order to get rid of browser redirects, pop up ads or other adware infection. All of your stored bookmarks and passwords will stay safe.
Launch your Microsoft Edge browser. Click Menu icon in the upper-right corner of the page. Go to the Settings option.
Next, click Choose what to clear button to clear all browsing data.
Check all checkboxes in this window and then click Clear button.
Press the Windows logo key + X (or right-click on the ) to open Start Menu. Select Task Manager option. Go to Processes tab and select Microsoft Edge line. Right-click on the found Microsoft Edge and select Go to details option in the properties window.
Scroll the next window and locate MicrosoftEdge processes. Right-click on one of the MicrosoftEdge processes and select End task option.
Click End process button in the confirmation window. Repeat this process and shut down other running MicrosoftEdge processes in the Task Manager.
Removal Instructions for Opera Browser
STEP 3: Remove Adware from Opera Browser
Unfortunately, there is no special option provided in Opera settings in order to restore this browser to default. However, it’s quite easy to clean your Opera browser from annoying redirects, pop up or any other adware using the following instruction.
Open your Opera web browser. Click Menu icon in the upper-left corner of the page. Go to About Opera option.
Copy the Profile and Cache path lines one after another. (Highlighted in yellow in the screenshot below).
Open Windows Explorer and search the copied paths of Opera Stable program folders. You can also manually locate these two program folders stored on your local hard drive.
Close your Opera browser and then delete all files and subfolders in two located Opera Stable program folders. Only this way Opera browser can be 100% cleared from all traces of adware and browser redirects.
We’ve provided two detailed screenshots below for your convenience.
STEP 4: Fix Hijacked Opera Browser Shortcuts
Please follow the steps described in Step 4 of this guide for Google Chrome browser.
Part 3. Useful Free Utilities for Our Manual Guide
The following small and free applications can help you to execute some of the important tasks which are described in our manual adware removal guide.
RKill – Stops Malicious Processes
If you can’t manually find and terminate malicious processes in the Task Manager, you can download a free Rkill utility by BleepingComputer that stops known malware and adware processes so that your anti-malware software can normally start and run, and remove all traces of malware infections. RKill doesn’t delete any system files, this application only stops a malicious running process. Once RKill finished its execution, you should immediately scan your computer with one of the anti-malware tools listed above.
CCleaner Professional – Cleans Windows Registry
CCleaner is an award-winning PC optimization tool that allows to fix Windows Registry errors, clean your computer from unused system and browser files, erase cookies and your browsing history and significantly improve your computer’s overall speed and performance. CCleaner Professional comes with a free 14-day trial version.
Shortcut Cleaner – Cleans Hijacked Browser Shortcuts
If you can’t manually fix your hijacked brower shortcuts, you can download a free Shortcut Cleaner program by BleepingComputer that checks your Windows shortcuts and cleans them so that your browser doesn’t redirect to unwanted websites or display pop-up ads. Shortcut Cleaner is also able to clean hijacked Windows registry entries associated with known browser hijackers.
Part 4. How to Prevent Adware Attacks?
If you want to prevent further irritating adware or pop-up ads from infecting your computer, please read and follow the common PC security tips below. These general tips will help to protect your computer against most adware, spyware and malware threats.
Follow These Simple Security Tips
- Most of adware viruses typically come bundled with legitimate software. Carefully read all the fine print about what you might be installing with the downloaded software. Opt out of installing the unwanted bundled freeware;
- Always select Custom/Advanced option for the type of installation, carefully check every installation step and pay attention to checkboxes;
- Don’t click on suspicious pop-up ads and banner ads;
- Keep your web browser up to date;
- Protect your web browser with a strong password;
- Keep browser extensions and plug-ins up to date;
- Install trusted antivirus and firewall software. Set up daily automatic updates of antivirus databases;
- Keep the automatic updates of your operating system on;
- Avoid suspicious and untrustworthy websites;
- Avoid unexpected and spam emails. Don’t open attachments from strange-looking unknown emails and don’t click any links in such messages;
- Always scan all downloaded files for malware. Check files on your USB flash-drives or external HDDs.
(Optional) Use Adblock Plus Extension
If you’re tired of intrusive adware infections, we recommend to install a free Adblock Plus extension for your browser. This small and effective tool can help you forget about annoying ads and browser hijackers.
Adblock Plus is a popular FREE open-source ad-blocking browser extension. About 20 million PC users use Adblock Plus on a daily basis. Adblock Plus does a great job filtering out online ads, including pop-ups, banners, browser redirects, adware and more. Adblock Plus also blocks most tracking tools which usually track your surfing activity and browsing history during each browsing session.
Just visit https://adblockplus.org/ website and click “Install” button. Once you install Adblock Plus for your favorite browser, you can customize this extension to fit your personal browsing needs.