Critical Error removal instructions
What is Critical Error?
"Critical Error" is a fake pop-up error claiming that the system has been infected. This pop-up is displayed by a malicious website that is often visited by users inadvertently - they are redirected by potentially unwanted programs (PUPs). Research reveals that these apps infiltrate systems without consent (bundling method). As well as causing redirects, PUPs also gather data relating to Internet browsing activity and continually deliver intrusive online advertisements.
"Critical Error" states that a malicious activity has been detected and, therefore, the system has been blocked. It is also stated that personal information (passwords, banking details, etc.) have been stolen and, therefore, users must immediately remove the malware by contacting technical support via the telephone number ("1-866-314-4893") provided. Be aware, however, that "Critical Error" is a scam. This infection does not exist - the pop-up is merely an attempt to trick users into calling and paying for services that are not required. Therefore, never attempt to contact these people. The problem can be solved by closing the web browser. Note that web browsing activity is monitored, since PUPs gather various information (for example, IP addresses, geo-locations, mouse/keyboard activity, websites visited, queries entered into search engines, pages viewed, etc.) that might contain private details. This information is shared with third parties who misuse personal details to generate revenue. Thus, the presence of information-tracking apps on your system can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. Another downside is display of intrusive online advertisements. PUPs continually deliver pop-up, coupon, banner, and other similar ads. To achieve this, developers employ a 'virtual layer' (a tool that enables placement of third party graphical content on any site). The displayed ads often conceal underlying content, thereby diminishing the Internet browsing experience. In addition, some redirect to malicious websites and even accidental clicks can result in high-risk adware or malware infections. For these reasons, potentially unwanted programs must be uninstalled immediately.
|Name||Critical Error virus|
|Threat Type||Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus|
|Symptoms||Seeing advertisements not originating from the sites you are browsing. Intrusive pop-up ads. Decreased Internet browsing speed.|
|Distribution methods||Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers.|
|Damage||Decreased computer performance, browser tracking - privacy issues, possible additional malware infections.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)|
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
There are dozens of fake error messages similar to "Critical Error". A list of examples includes (but is not limited to) System Blocked For Security Reasons, Call Windows Help Desk Immediately, Microsoft Alert, and Your PC Ran Into A Problem. As with "Critical Error", other fake error messages also state that the system has been infected or damaged in similar ways, however, these errors are designed only to trick users into paying. The purpose of potentially unwanted programs is also identical. By offering various 'useful features', PUPs attempt to give the impression of legitimacy, however, since these applications are designed only to generate revenue for the developers, they provide no value for regular users. Potentially unwanted programs merely cause unwanted redirects, collect personal information, and deliver intrusive online advertisements.
How did adware install on my computer?
Cyber criminals proliferate PUPs by employing a deceptive marketing method called "bundling" - stealth installation of potentially unwanted programs with regular software. Bundled applications are hidden within the "Custom/Advanced" settings of the download or installation processes. Users often rush these procedures and skip steps, thereby exposing their systems to risk of various infections and compromising their privacy.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
As mentioned above, PUPs are distributed using the bundling method. Therefore, never rush the download or installation processes. Closely analyze each step using the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings. Furthermore, decline offers to download/install additional applications. The key to computer safety is caution.
Text presented within "Critical Error" pop-up:
Critical Error! Please Call 1-866-314-4893
** YOUR COMPUTER HAS BEEN BLOCKED **
Your computer has alerted us that it has been infected with a virus and spyware. The following information is being stolen…
> Facebook login
> Credit Card Details
> Email Account Login
> Photos stored on this computer
You must contact us immediately so that our engineers can walk you through the removal process over the phone. Please call us with the next 5 minutes to prevent your computer from being disabled.
Toll Free: 1-866-314-4893
Another variant of "Critical Error" tech support scam:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Critical Error?
- STEP 1. Uninstall deceptive applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove adware from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove rogue extensions from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove potentially unwanted plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue extension from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
Windows XP users:
Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.
Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:
Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.
Mac OSX users:
Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.
In the uninstall programs window, look for any suspicious/recently-installed applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove adware from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the critical error virus, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.
Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, select these entries and click the trash can icon.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the critical error virus, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.
Computer users who have problems with critical error virus removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....
In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the critical error virus, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
Commonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove critical error virus from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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