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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.

To remove Windows Product Key from Windows 10/8  machines, please follow these steps:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find entries related to Windows Product Key (or any other recently installed suspicious program).
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK.Uninstall from Windows 2

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

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)

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Windows Product Key and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example,
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Windows Product Key removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Erase Windows Product Key virus from Microsoft Edge

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the Windows Product Key-related extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom.Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear.Clear Edge browsing data

Reset MS Edge if that above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running.Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick DeleteAdvanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -VerboseAdvanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now.Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset.Reset Chromium Edge

Delete Windows Product Key from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select plugins that are related to Windows Product Key and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear.Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

In case Windows Product Key did not get removed after following the instructions above, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information.Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox – this should complete Windows Product Key removal.Reset Firefox 2

Uninstall Windows Product Key from Google Chrome

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to Windows Product Key by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chrome

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data.Clear cache and web data from Chrome

If the above-methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the Windows Product Key-components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings to complete Windows Product Key removal.Reset Chrome 2

Remove Windows Product Key from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension related to Windows Product Key and select Uninstall.Remove extensions from Safari

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History.Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches.Reset Safari

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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