Fake Windows Activation screen (Improved Instructions) - Aug 2016 update

Fake Windows Activation screen Removal Guide

What is Fake Windows Activation screen?

Fake Windows Activation virus

Fake Windows Activation virus is a Trojan horse that locks up the computer and insists that you are using a pirated version of Windows operating system which needs to be re-activated for anti-piracy reasons. The virus initiates a lockscreen on which it displays a system message, encouraging the user to activate Windows in the next 24 hours. Otherwise, you will be banned from using most of the Windows OS features. Do not panic or overturn your drawers looking for the Windows license key. This notification you have just received is fake and designed by the online scammers to generate illegal profit. Even if you find and submit a legitimate activation key, it will not be accepted, and you will receive another delusive message saying that:

Windows Helper is unable To Activate Windows
Contact Support To Activate.

You will also hear a spoken record of the same message every time you click on your computer screen. It is obvious – you are dealing with tech support scam here, and you need to remove Fake Windows Activation virus from your computer as soon as possible. But first, you have to solve the lockscreen problem. With your screen locked, you won’t be able to initiate the system scan which means that the virus will remain on your computer. Luckily, it has been found that entering “closecloseclosecloseclose” into the activation box can help eliminate the screen lock. The first thing you should do after regaining access to your browser is scan your computer for Fake Windows Activation malware using FortectIntego or other virus-fighting utilities.

Fake Windows Activation virus screenshot

Apart from the spoken message, this virus also displays a fraudulent phone number (1-888-479-3649) by which you can contact the supposed tech support and receive the instructions for Windows activation. You should know that this number will not connect you with the real Windows support. You are simply going to call the cyber-criminals, who will try to convince you that your old license key is expired and that you must purchase a new one for a considerable sum of $99.99 USD. In reality, there is no problem with your Windows and the key the scammers are trying to sell you is most likely non-existent. Be a security-minded person and if they ask you to reveal any personal details, banking information, or other sensitive information, don’t! To fix this problem, you must scan your computer with a reputable malware removal program and delete this virus from your system. We recommend using professional anti-malware software acknowledged by users worldwide.

How can you avoid becoming a victim of a tech-support scam?

Deceptive programs can be installed in various ways. Most of the time it happens due to negligence and failure to comply with the safe browsing rules. To avoid installing malicious programs, you should:

  • Never browse through high-risk websites. Do not try to access websites that your anti-virus program or the Google SafeSearch filter blocks;
  • Avoid clicking on suspicious banners or pop-up ads that intrusively show up on your screen;
  • Do not accept to install programs from websites that you accidentally end up on. If you notice that sometimes you are forced to visit websites that you did not intend to open, you should check your system with a reliable anti-spyware to see whether you do not have any suspicious apps installed on your system (e.g., browser redirect viruses).
  • Install ANY software ONLY using Advanced or Custom installation mode. You must perform this security check because the program that you wish to install MIGHT be corrupted and have suspicious optional apps attached to it. You can always refuse to install such additions by deselecting agreements to install “recommended downloads” or “suggested software.”
  • Never open e-mails from unknown senders, ever! Malware is mostly distributed via malicious emails, so that is the reason you should never open such letters AND files that might be attached to them!
    To find out how to remove this malware from your computer, continue reading the article.

How can you escape the Fake Windows Activation screen?

In order to eliminate this malware from your computer, you will have to shut your computer down and restart it in the Safe Mode with Networking and download an automatic tool to remove Fake Windows Activation virus from the system. If you have one already, you can skip straight to the virus elimination by running a system scan with it. It will detect and delete all malicious files on your PC. Just make sure it is updated to the newest version. Below you will find some recommendations how to eliminate the lockscreen before continuing to the Fake Windows Activation removal. If you encounter any problems while dealing with this Trojan, do not hesitate and contact us.

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Fortect, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of Fake Windows Activation screen. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

NOTE: To remove the lockscreen and access your desktop try entering “closecloseclosecloseclose” into the Windows verification code box. In case this method works, locate your antivirus utility immediately and run a full system scan of your device. Nevertheless, if the lockscreen still appears after the next reboot, follow the steps provided below.

Important! →
Manual removal guide might be too complicated for regular computer users. It requires advanced IT knowledge to be performed correctly (if vital system files are removed or damaged, it might result in full Windows compromise), and it also might take hours to complete. Therefore, we highly advise using the automatic method provided above instead.

Step 1. Access Safe Mode with Networking

Manual malware removal should be best performed in the Safe Mode environment. 

Windows 7 / Vista / XP
  1. Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
  2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 button (if that does not work, try F2, F12, Del, etc. – it all depends on your motherboard model) multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
  3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list. Windows 7/XP
Windows 10 / Windows 8
  1. Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
  2. Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
    Update and security
  3. On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
  4. Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
  5. Click Restart now.
  6. Select Troubleshoot. Choose an option
  7. Go to Advanced options. Advanced options
  8. Select Startup Settings. Startup settings
  9. Press Restart.
  10. Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking. Enable safe mode

Step 2. Shut down suspicious processes

Windows Task Manager is a useful tool that shows all the processes running in the background. If malware is running a process, you need to shut it down:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details.
    Open task manager
  3. Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
  4. Right-click and select Open file location.
    Open file location
  5. Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
    End task
  6. Delete the contents of the malicious folder.

Step 3. Check program Startup

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Go to Startup tab.
  3. Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.

Step 4. Delete virus files

Malware-related files can be found in various places within your computer. Here are instructions that could help you find them:

  1. Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
    Disk cleanup
  2. Select the drive you want to clean (C: is your main drive by default and is likely to be the one that has malicious files in).
  3. Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:

    Temporary Internet Files
    Recycle Bin
    Temporary files

  4. Pick Clean up system files.
    Delete temp files
  5. You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):


After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.

Remove Fake Windows Activation screen using System Restore

You may try eliminating the lockscreen by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL, locating the Productkeyupdate.exe process in the Task Manager and terminating it manually. After completing this task, scan your computer with FortectIntego without delay.

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt
    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Command Prompt from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt'
  • Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
    1. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter. Enter 'cd restore' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    2. Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again.. Enter 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    3. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of Fake Windows Activation screen. After doing that, click Next. When 'System Restore' window shows up, select 'Next' Select your restore point and click 'Next'
    4. Now click Yes to start system restore. Click 'Yes' and start system restore
    Once you restore your system to a previous date, download and scan your computer with FortectIntego and make sure that Fake Windows Activation screen removal is performed successfully.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Fake Windows Activation screen and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting malware

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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