Remove fake Windows Activation pop-up virus (Support Scam)

If your are randomly seeing a Windows Activation pop-up within Windows then your computer is infected with an adware program. This Windows Activation pop-up displays a fake alert stating that you need to activate Windows, in …

If your are randomly seeing a Windows Activation pop-up within Windows then your computer is infected with an adware program. This Windows Activation pop-up displays a fake alert stating that you need to activate Windows, in an attempt to scare people into calling a remote tech support phone number (1-888-479-3649).
Windows Activation pop-up virus

 

The Windows Activation pop-up ads are caused by an adware program, which is distributed through various monetization platforms during installation. This adware program is typically added when you install another free software (video recording, download-managers or PDF creators) that had bundled into their installation this adware program.

When this malicious program is installed, an ad from Windows Activation will randomly pop-up. The fake Windows Activation pop-up will have this message:

Windows Activation

Activate Windows Now

You must activate Windows within 1 day to continue using all Windows features

Activate Windows online Now / Ask me later

What is activation?

Activate by Phone – 1-888-479-3649 / Activate By Chat

These fake Windows Activation screen pretend to be alerts from Windows that state “You must activate Windows within 1 day to continue using all Windows features”.
If a user clicks on the Activate button it will pretend to try to activate Windows and then give an alert that states “Windows Helper is unable To Activate Windows Contact Support To Activate“. This is done purely to trick you into calling the 888-479-3649 number so that they can use scare tactics to sell you a support license. The support link in the screen will also open a browser window to www.supportforme.com, which is used by the remote support company to remotely control your computer via GoToAssist.
supportforme.com support scam
You should always pay attention when installing software because often, a software installer includes optional installs, such as this Windows Activation adware. Be very careful what you agree to install.
Always opt for the custom installation and deselect anything that is not familiar, especially optional software that you never wanted to download and install in the first place. It goes without saying that you should not install software that you don’t trust.

How to remove Windows Activation pop-up ads (Virus Removal Guide)

This page is a comprehensive guide, which will remove Windows Activation pop-up ads from your computer and any other adware program that may have been installed during the setup process.
Please perform all the steps in the correct order. If you have any questions or doubt at any point, STOP and ask for our assistance.

STEP 1: Remove Windows Activation adware with AdwCleaner
STEP 2: Remove Windows Activation browser hijacker with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
STEP 3: Double-check for Windows Activation pop-up ads with HitmanPro

If you are using an Apple Mac OS X operating system, please follow this Remove virus from Apple Mac OS X (Pop-up Ads and Adware) guide to remove Windows Activation pop-up ads

OPTIONAL: Remove the Windows Activation pop-up

This step needs to be performed only if the malicious pop-ups will not allow you to close your browser.

  1. Open Task Manager by right-clicking the taskbar, and then clicking Start Task Manager. Alternatively to start the Windows Task Manager, you can press Ctrl+Alt+Del and click on Task Manager or simply press on Ctrl+Shift+Esc.
    Start Task Manager
  2. Scroll through the list till you see your web browser’s process and left-click on it once so it becomes highlighted. Once you have selected the browser’s process, click on the End Task button as show in the picture below.
    Close your browser process
  3. Your browser window should now be closed. The next time you open your browser, do not allow the browser to open the last opened page.

Alternatively, if you are using Microsoft Edge or any other browser, you can disconnect your Internet, then open the web browser, navigate away from the malicious web page, then reconnect to the Internet.

STEP 1: Remove Windows Activation adware with AdwCleaner

The AdwCleaner utility will scan your computer and web browser for the adware and unwanted browser extensions, that may have been installed on your computer without your knowledge.

  1. You can download AdwCleaner from the below link.
    ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download “AdwCleaner”)
  2. Before starting AdwCleaner, close your web browser, then double-click on the AdwCleaner icon.
    Start AdwCleaner
    Picture of User Account Control If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run AdwCleaner, please allow it to run.
  3. When the AdwCleaner program will open, click on the “Scan” button as shown below.
    AdwCleaner Scan button
    AdwCleaner will now start to search for adware and other malicious files that may be installed on your computer.
  4. To remove the malicious files that were detected in the previous step, please click on the “Cleaning” button.
    Remove Windows Activation adware with AdwCleaner
  5. AdwCleaner will prompt you to save any open files or documents, as the program will need to reboot the computer to complete the cleaning process. Please do so, and then click on the “OK” button.
    AdwCleaner removing adware
    When your computer reboots and you are logged in, AdwCleaner will automatically open a log file that contains the files, registry keys, and programs that were removed from your computer.

STEP 2: Remove Windows Activation browser hijacker with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free uses industry-leading technology to detect and remove all traces of malware, including worms, Trojans, rootkits, rogues, dialers, spyware, and more.
It is important to note that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware works well and should run alongside antivirus software without conflicts.

  1. You can download download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware from the below link.
    MALWAREBYTES ANTI-MALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download “Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free”)
  2. Once downloaded, close all programs, then double-click on the icon on your desktop named “mbam-setup” to start the installation of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
    Start Malwarebytes Anti-Malware setup
    Picture of User Account Control You may be presented with a User Account Control dialog asking you if you want to run this file. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
  3. When the installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Setup Wizard which will guide you through the installation process.
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Installer
    To install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware on your machine, keep following the prompts by clicking the “Next” button.
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware final screen
  4. Once installed, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will automatically start and you will see a message stating that you should update the program, and that a scan has never been run on your system. To start a system scan you can click on the “Scan Now” button.
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Scan Now
  5. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer for malware. When Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is scanning it will look like the image below.
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Scanning for Malware
  6. When the scan has completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware has detected. To remove the malicious programs that Malwarebytes Anti-malware has found, click on the “Remove Selected” button.
    Remove the malware that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware has detected
    Please note that the infections found may be different than what is shown in the image.
  7. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now quarantine all the malicious files and registry keys that it has found. When removing the files, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware may require a reboot in order to remove some of them. If it displays a message stating that it needs to reboot your computer, please allow it to do so.
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware asking to restart PC
    After your computer will restart, you should open Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and perform another “Threat Scan” scan to verify that there are no remaining threats

STEP 3: Double-check for the Windows Activation pop-up ads with HitmanPro

HitmanPro is a second opinion scanner, designed to rescue your computer from malware (viruses, trojans, rootkits, etc.) that have infected your computer despite all the security measures you have taken (such as anti-virus software, firewalls, etc.). HitmanPro is designed to work alongside existing security programs without any conflicts. It scans the computer quickly (less than 5 minutes) and does not slow down the computer.

  1. You can download HitmanPro from the below link:
    HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download “HitmanPro”)
  2. Double-click on the file named “HitmanPro.exe” (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or “HitmanPro_x64.exe” (for 64-bit versions of Windows). When the program starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below.
    HitmanPro Installer
    Click on the “Next” button, to install HitmanPro on your computer.
    itmanPro while installing on PC
  3. HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for malicious files.
    HitmanPro scanning
  4. When it has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found as shown in the image below. Click on the “Next” button, to remove malware.
    HitmanPro detected malware
  5. Click on the “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial, and remove all the malicious files from your computer.
    Remove malware with HitmanPro

Your computer should now be free of the Windows Activation adware infection.
If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove Windows Activation pop-up ads from your machine, please do one of the following:

If we have managed to help you, please share this guide to help others.