How to Solve Error Code 0x80072af9 on Windows PC

The error code 0x80072af9 is a common bug on Windows 11/10 and it mostly occurs when you install a faulty app or buggy updates on your computer. This error may also appear when you launch Windows Defender to perform a full scan on your device. 

When it occurs, it prevents initiating a VPN connection or installing the available updates on your PC. In this post, we will discuss the reasons behind it and six working ways that should resolve this error code. Without any further ado, let’s see what triggers such an error code on Windows 11/10/. 

Solve Error Code 0x80072af9

What causes an error 0x80072af9 on Windows PC?

This error code may appear when your device meets one or a combination of the following issues –

  • You have just installed a problematic application.
  • After you upgrade your operating system. 
  • Network Glitches, or issues within Windows Defender.

Ways to Fix Windows 11/10 Error Code 0x80072af9

If you are getting an error code 0x80072af9 while working on your Windows 11 or 10 PC, we suggest applying these workarounds. Make sure to follow the same order as they are put in. 

1] Uninstall Faulty or Buggy Applications

The error 0x80072af9 mostly appears after you install a buggy or faulty application on your Windows PC. If you have installed a new software on your computer, get rid of that and this problem will resolve automatically.

Go to Windows Settings > Apps > Apps & features, and locate the recently installed program. Click the three dots available on its right end and select the Uninstall option. When a confirmation window pops up, hit Uninstall again.

Similarly, if this error first appeared after you upgrade your Windows OS Build, make sure to uninstall the problematic update from your device. 

2] Clear Temp and other junk files

Uninstalling an application on Windows leaves behind some residual or junk files as well. One may remove such files using the Disk Cleanup Tool. Here’s how to run this utility program on your Windows PC –

  • Press Win + R, and type “Cleanmgr” on it.
  • Click the OK button to launch Disk Cleanup.
  • Find and click on the button – “Clean up system files“.
  • Wait while this tool is calculating the spaces that it can free up.
  • Check all the boxes under “Files to delete”, and hit OK.

Clear Temp and other junk files on Windows 11-10

Wait again while this utility is removing the system as well as the chosen files from your computer. Once it completes deleting the ticked checkboxes, restart your PC. I hope the error code 0x80072af9 resolves from the next login. 

3] Run SFC and DISM Scans

When you install and run a buggy application on your computer, this may interact with the system files and make them corrupt. In such cases, even after uninstalling that particular application or releasing its junk files will cause any good.

As long as the system files remain corrupted, the error code 0x80072af9 continues to appear here and there. To resolve this issue, you must repair damaged as well as missing system files/folders on your computer. SFC is an in-built tool on Windows 11/10 that can automatically find and repair such files. Here’s how to initiate running System File Checker on your PC –

  • Launch CMD as administrator first. If you are on Windows 11, press Win + X, and choose Windows Terminal (Admin). Since the terminal default lands into PowerShell, use Ctrl + Shift + 2 to launch Windows Console on your PC.
  • On the elevated prompt, copy/paste the following, and press Enter

sfc /scannow

  • Wait for 10-15 minutes, while this tool is analyzing and repairing file corruption on your computer.
  • After it completes the scanning and repairing process, make sure to run the DISM code as well. Doing so will address any corruption associated with your System Image. 
  • Copy/paste this code and wait again for 10-15 minutes. 

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

SFC and DISM Tools on Windows 11 Terminal

  • After you run both SFC and DISM scans successfully on your computer, do restart your PC. 

Sign back into your device again and check if the problem resolves on your computer. 

4] Free up more disk spaces on your computer

Some users reported that they were able to solve this error code 0x80072af9 by manually updating Windows Defender on their devices. Go and try this method as well. However, before you perform this task, make sure to clear the WinSXS folder. 

The WinSXS folder basically keeps a copy of old components whenever you upgrade your OS Build. This is to ensure going back to the earlier Build version in case something goes wrong after the new update installation(s). If you had run Disk Cleanup Tool and ensured ticking all the checkboxes, you need not worry about this folder. 

  • Use the DISM tool to remove any old components lying on your computer. To do so, run this single-line command. 

Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup

  • One may clear more disk space on his/her computer by running the below command on the Run dialog. 

%SystemRoot%\System32\Cmd.exe /c Cleanmgr /sageset:35 & Cleanmgr /sagerun:35

Free up more disk spaces on your computer

  • Running the above line inside Run will display more options on the Disk Cleanup Tool. 

To clean up more disk space, you may run the following command in the Run prompt for more options in the Disk cleanup tool. Go and click on “Clean up system files”, tick all the checkboxes, and hit OK. 

Now that you have freed up more disk spaces on your computer, open Windows Defender next. Go to Virus & threat protection tab on Windows Security and hit Protection updates on the right pane. Under Security Intelligence, click Check for updates

If there indeed lies any pending Defender updates, the same will be downloaded and installed automatically on your computer. Restart your PC and check if the problem faded away this way. 

5] Reset Network

The error code 0x80072af9 might also appear when you are connected to a Slow Network or if there are some glitches within the network. Reach out to Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi, and disable your router. Next, use the network reset option and see if that works for you.

Resetting the network will reinstall Network adapters and change the Networking Components to their default values. Reboot your PC and check if the problem resolves now.

6] Revert your PC back to an earlier state

If you had previously generated a system restore point on your computer, you may use that and revert your PC back to an earlier stable state. Assuming the previously created backup was error-free, your device might get rid of this error code 0x80072af9.

Opting to revert back your system back to an earlier state will certainly cause data loss. Create a backup of all your important files and folders on an external drive. Take a snapshot of all running apps on your computer as they will uninstall too from your computer. 

When your device boots up into an earlier state, the first thing you need to do is update Windows OS Build. For this, go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update, and hit Check for updates. Windows 11 users may directly get the pending updates via Windows Update. 

How do I manually download and install Windows Updates? 

Microsoft uploads the standalone packages of all recent updates at its Update Catalog site. Visit there and search for the KB number that is missing on your computer. Pick the update that suits your system architecture, and hit the Download button. Click on the top link to start downloading the .msu file-format setup file. Double-click on this file and the pending update will start installing on your computer. 

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Tip: If you are facing update, activation, or driver issues on your Windows PC, try RESTORO PC Repair Tool. This software will scan your device for potential issues and resolve them automatically.

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