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Remove Windows Product Key virus (Removal Guide) - Nov 2017 update

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Malware

Do not get tricked by fake “Windows Product Key” alert

Screenshot of Windows Product Key notification

“Windows Product Key” is a fake notification that might pop up on the computer’s screen after the infiltration of malicious program. This cyber threat belongs to the group of technical support scams[1] and is designed to trick users into calling a fake tech support line.

The “Windows Product Key” virus claims that your system is infected with malware and offering fake tech-support. Fake tech-support viruses are especially dangerous because they use social engineering to trick people into purchasing completely useless products or services. In other words, people get scammed.

Questions about Windows Product Key virus

The malicious program shows a fake Windows Product Key window instead of regular computer’s desktop. The full message of the alert:

Product Key Customer Support: 1-844-459-8882

Your computer is suspected of malicious software, for the purpose of verification enter your windows product key. You will find your product key on the box that Windows Dvd came in or in the welcome email or on the certificate of authenticity stick. It looks similar to this: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX

The Windows Product Key is capable of replacing Windows Shell configuration in order to deliver the fake alert. Additionally, the virus will imitate a convincing lock screen (BSOD),[2] seemingly indicating that the system has seriously crashed. Additionally, the fake alert also includes a phone number 1-844-459-8882. However, it does not belong to Microsoft corporation.

It also includes quick access to TeamViewer, Supremo and Logmein sites, and Cmd button. Keep in mind that you should not interact with any of the links that might be displayed on the fake lock screen as well. Windows Product Key removal should be carried out as soon as you start noticing similar notifications on your computer.

Therefore, if your computer is locked and the notification about some major system error pops-up on your screen, do not rush following the indicated orders. Instead, run a quick scan of your system with some reputable antivirus tool, such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego, just to make sure it is not infected with malware. If the antivirus detects the threat, remove Windows Product Key at once, because simply having it installed on your computer may be dangerous.

“Windows Product Key Failure” virus – a similar cyber threat that targets Windows 10 users

Researchers spotted a similar version of the Windows Product Key tech support scam spreading on malicious websites. Some adware[3] programs are spreading in software bundles and once inside the system, they start redirects to a corrupted site that displays fake “Windows Product Key Failure” notification.

The alert warns about detected malicious software on the computer and asks to enter Windows product key. Victims are also asked to call Microsoft Technical Support +1-888-335-0661 in order to unlock their devices:

Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Support +1-888-335-0661
Windows Product Key Failure !!!!
Please Enter Your Product Key
Windows Defender Prevented an unrecognised and malicious software on your Computer. Please Enter your Windows Product Key. The Product Key should be on a label or the card inside the box that Windows Disk Came in or in the confirmation email you received after buying it. If you have upgraded to Windows 10 you have a digital license instead of a key.
A Product Key is a 25 character code used to activate Windows. It looks like this:
Invalid Product Key Detected. Your Windows is blocked for security reasons To Unlock Call Microsoft Technical Support +1-888-335-0661

However, this pop-up message is fake and has nothing in common with the virus attack. You should not enter your license key or call the provided number. Actually, making the call might cause a lot, or you might be tricked into revealing sensitive information to scammers.

Additionally, you might be convinced to purchase bogus security software or give criminals access to your computer. Therefore, if you continuously see this fake alert, you should use anti-malware software and remove “Windows Product Key Failure” virus from the PC.

The image of Windows Product Key virus
"Windows Product Key" is an example of technical support scam that asks to call fake technicians to solve computer-related problems.

Distribution methods of technical support scam

“Windows Product Key Failure” and “Windows Product Key” malware usually travel in software packages along with legitimate programs, but can easily be downloaded by clicking on corrupted links, using Peer-2-Peer (P2P) file sharing sites, etc. Therefore, you should refrain from visiting unreliable software download sites, avoid clicking on the suspicious links and ads you come across while browsing the Internet. Security experts from Les Virus[4] also remind to always use “Advanced” mode when installing newly downloaded software.

Windows Product Key removal guidelines

Unfortunately, unlike with other potentially unwanted programs, you cannot remove Windows Product Key manually. Besides, it would be too risky. You may easily leave some of the malicious virus components on your computer. Instead, we recommend using trustworthy antivirus tools.

Using a reliable antivirus software and performing automatic Windows Product Key removal, you will not have to worry having the virus bounce back to your computer. Plus, you will be sure that your computer is protected from the future threats as well. The only thing you need to remember, though, is to update your antivirus software regularly,[5] for it to be able to display the best results.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage 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 Reimage, 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.

To remove Windows Product Key virus, follow these steps:

Remove Windows Product Key from Windows systems

If you are often redirected to the scam website or receive an annoying pop up informing about a necessity to enter your Windows Product Key, follow the instructions below to find and remove all malware-related components. The virus may have installed suspicious components on the computer and installed malicious entries to web browsers. However, we highly recommend opting for the automatic elimination and resetting web browsers. It's easiest and most effective method to get rid of the malware.

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs). Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Uninstall Windows Product Key and related programs
    Here, look for Windows Product Key or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'

Eliminate Windows Product Key from Mac OS X system

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for Windows Product Key or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash. Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'

Get rid of Windows Product Key from Internet Explorer (IE)

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Windows Product Key and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Windows Product Key removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Erase Windows Product Key virus from Microsoft Edge

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, Windows Product Key should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Delete Windows Product Key from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select Windows Product Key and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  4. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Windows Product Key removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Uninstall Windows Product Key from Google Chrome

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select Windows Product Key and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  4. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  5. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  6. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  7. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Windows Product Key removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Remove Windows Product Key from Safari

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for Windows Product Key or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  4. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete Windows Product Key removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer various losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Software issues created by malware or direct data loss due to encryption can lead to problems with your device or permanent damage. When you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work.

It is crucial to create updates to your backups after any changes on the device, so you can get back to the point you were working on when malware changes anything or issues with the device causes data or performance corruption. Rely on such behavior and make file backup your daily or weekly habit.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware occurs out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the system restoring purpose.

About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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  1. Earl Anders says:
    May 25th, 2016 at 2:31 am

    You can close these lock screens, it will not harm your PC! Just open a task manager and discontinue this process! Of course, scan your pc afterwards

  2. Lynn says:
    May 25th, 2016 at 2:31 am

    Windows Product Key is FAKE

  3. Press says:
    August 5th, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    I cant open the task manager or any other program when this shows up. I do the CTRL+ALT+DELETE shortcut and click on task manager but nothing shows up. What do I do then?

  4. Raj_bond says:
    August 11th, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    if cant open task manager, then press CLT+ALT+Del, then dont enter into task manager as it will take back that screen again. rather then that, Press left Shift key and press restart button from power icon. then it will give some option to restart in safe mode by advance troubleshooting option. enter into safe mode, then start your task manager now…. and from now you get back the control on the computer.

    tan ta na 🙂

  5. Harold says:
    August 23rd, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    Where is the restart button from the power icon

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