The “Windows is not activated” pop-ups are a social engineering attack that puts your browser on full screen and display pop-up messages that won’t go away, essentially locking your browser. These fake error messages aim to trick you into calling an indicated technical support hotline. If you call these scammers, they can offer fake solutions for your “problems” and ask for payment in the form of a one-time fee or subscription to a purported support service.
Microsoft does not send unsolicited email messages or make unsolicited phone calls to request personal or financial information or fix your computer. Treat all unsolicited phone calls or pop-ups with skepticism. Do not provide any personal information.
Your browser may be redirected to the sites that display the “Windows is not activated” fake error messages either by malicious advertisements on the sites you visit or adware. This guide was written to help Windows users remove malware from their devices, if your just looking for a way to block the “Windows is not activated” redirect on a specific site, then you can use a free browser extension like Adblock.
When it comes to adware, these malicious programs are bundled with other free software that you download off of the Internet. Unfortunately, some free downloads do not adequately disclose that other software will also be installed and you may find that you have installed adware without your knowledge.
The “Windows is not activated” fake error messages is shown in such a way as to trick the user into thinking their computer has crashed or that a virus has been detected on the computer. It does this to try and scare the infected user into calling one of the listed numbers in order to receive support. In reality, though, they will only be greeted with people who are trying to sell them unneeded support contracts and services.
The “Windows is not activated” fake error messages will have this message:
Windows activation error
We couldn’t activate windows. Windows is not activated
Try activating windows again or call Microsoft support with the error code or screen. You can go to settings for more information.
Tollfree : 1844 447 2801
Error code 0xc004f014
Activate your Windows now/blockquote>
The scammer will typically attempt to get the victim to allow remote access to their computer. After remote access is gained, the scammer relies on confidence tricks typically involving utilities built into Windows and other software in order to gain the victim’s trust to pay for the supposed “support” services, when the scammer actually steals the victim’s credit card account information.You should not purchase anything from numbers listed in these “Windows is not activated” alerts. Whatever you do, please do not call the phone number for support because it is not Microsoft’s but rather a group of scammers waiting to rob you of hundreds of dollars under false pretenses. Call your credit card provider to reverse the charges, if you have already paid.The below instructions are for Windows users, however we also have an Android Guide and a Mac Guide which should help clean up your device.
How To Remove “Windows is not activated” Pop-up Scam (Virus Removal Guide)This malware removal guide may appear overwhelming due to the amount of the steps and numerous programs that are being used. We have only written it this way to provide clear, detailed, and easy to understand instructions that anyone can use to remove malware for free.
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.To remove the “Windows is not activated” pop-ups, follow these steps:
- STEP 1: Uninstall the malicious programs from Windows
- STEP 2: Use Malwarebytes to remove the “Windows is not activated” malware
- STEP 3: Use HitmanPro to scan for malware and unwanted programs
- STEP 4: Double-check for malicious programs with AdwCleaner
- STEP 5: Reset the browser settings to remove “Windows is not activated” pop-ups
This step is needed if the malicious “Windows is not activated” pop-ups will not allow you to close your browser.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
STEP 1 : Uninstall the malicious programs from Windows
In this first step, we will try to identify and remove any malicious program that might be installed on your computer.
Go to “Programs and Features”.
- On the Start menu, type Control Panel in the search box and select “Control Panel” from the results.
- When the “Control Panel” window opens click on the “Uninstall a program” option under “Programs” category.
Windows 8Right-click on the Start button in the lower-left corner and select “Programs and Features”. This will take you directly to your list of installed programs.
- If you can’t find the Programs and Features in the Start menu, type “programs and features” into the search bar at the bottom of the Start window, then click the “Programs and Features” result.
- If you don’t have a Start button, you are likely running Windows 8 instead of Windows 8.1. Press the Windows key + X to open the menu instead and select “Programs and Features”.
- Click on Start, then select “Control Panel”.Start by clicking on the Start button, then click on “Control Panel”.
If you don’t see “Control Panel” here, type control panel into the search bar at the bottom of the Start window, then click the “Control Panel” result.
- When the “Control Panel” appears, click on “Uninstall a Program” from the Programs category.
Find the malicious program and uninstall it.
The “Programs and Features” screen will be displayed with a list of all the programs installed on your PC. Scroll through the list until you find the malicious program, then click to highlight it, then click the “Uninstall” button that appears on the top toolbar.
Known malicious programs: YeaDesktop, Wajam, 184.108.40.206, DNS Unlocker, Cinema Plus, Price Minus, SalesPlus, New Player, MediaVideosPlayers, Browsers_Apps_Pro, PriceLEess, Pic Enhance, Sm23mS, Salus, Network System Driver, SS8, Save Daily Deals, Word Proser, Desktop Temperature Monitor, CloudScout Parental Control, Savefier, Savepass, HostSecurePlugin, CheckMeUp or HD-V2.2.The malicious program may have a different name on your computer. If you cannot find any malicious programs on your PC, you can skip to the next step
Follow the on-screen prompts to uninstall the program.
In the next message box, confirm the uninstall process by clicking on Yes, then follow the prompts to uninstall the program.
Make sure to read all of the prompts carefully, because some malicious programs try to sneak things in hoping that you won’t read closely.If you are having issues while trying to uninstall a program, you can use Revo Uninstaller Free to completely remove an unwanted program from your PC.
STEP 2: Use Malwarebytes to remove the “Windows is not activated” malware
Malwarebytes is one of the most popular and most used anti-malware software for Windows, and for good reasons. It is able to destroy many types of malware that other software tends to miss, without costing you absolutely nothing. When it comes to cleaning up an infected device, Malwarebytes has always been free and we recommend it as an essential tool in the fight against malware.
The first time you install Malwarebytes, you’re given a free 14-day trial of the premium edition, which includes preventative tools like real-time scanning and specific protection from ransomware. After two weeks, it automatically reverts to the basic free version that will detect and clean up malware infections only when you run a scan. It is important to note that Malwarebytes will run alongside antivirus software without conflicts.
You can download Malwarebytes by clicking the link below.MALWAREBYTES DOWNLOAD LINK
(The above link will open a new page from where you can download Malwarebytes)
Double-click on the Malwarebytes setup file.
When Malwarebytes has finished downloading, double-click on the mb3-setup-consumer-x.x.x.xxxx.exe file to install Malwarebytes on your PC. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
You may be presented with an User Account Control pop-up asking if you want to allow Malwarebytes to make changes to your device. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
Follow the on-screen prompts to install Malwarebytes.
When the Malwarebytes installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes Setup Wizard which will guide you through the installation process. To install Malwarebytes on your PC, click on the “Agree and Install” button.
Click on “Scan Now”.
Once installed, Malwarebytes will automatically start and update the antivirus database. To perform a system scan, click on the “Scan Now” button.
Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.
Malwarebytes will now start scanning your computer for adware and other malicious programs. This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
Click on “Quarantine Selected”.
When the scan has completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes has detected. To remove the malicious programs that Malwarebytes has found, click on the “Quarantine Selected” button.
Reboot your computer.
Malwarebytes will now remove all the malicious files and registry keys that it has found. To complete the malware removal process, Malwarebytes may ask you to restart your computer.
When the malware removal process is complete, you can close Malwarebytes and continue with the rest of the instructions.
STEP 3: Use HitmanPro to scan for malware and unwanted programs
HitmanPro is a second opinion scanner that takes a unique cloud-based approach to malware scanning. HitmanPro scans the behavior of active files and also files in locations where malware normally resides for suspicious activity. If it finds a suspicious file that’s not already known, HitmanPro sends it to their clouds to be scanned by two of the best antivirus engines today, which are Bitdefender and Kaspersky.
Although HitmanPro is shareware and costs $24.95 for 1 year on 1 PC, there is actually no limit in scanning. The limitation only kicks in when there is a need to remove or quarantine detected malware by HitmanPro on your system and by then, you can activate the one time 30 day trial to enable the clean up.
You can download HitmanPro by clicking the link below.HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK
(The above link will open a new web page from where you can download HitmanPro)
When HitmanPro has finished downloading, double-click on “hitmanpro.exe” (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or “hitmanpro_x64.exe” (for 64-bit versions of Windows) to install this program on your PC. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
You may be presented with an User Account Control pop-up asking if you want to allow HitmanPro to make changes to your device. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
Follow the on-screen prompts.
When HitmanPro starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below. Click on the “Next” button to perform a system scan.
Wait for the HitmanPro scan to complete.
HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for malicious programs. This process will take a few minutes.
Click on “Next”.
When HitmanPro has finished the scan, it will display a list of all the malware that the program has found. Click on the “Next” button to remove the malicious programs.
Click on “Activate free license”.
Click on the “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial and remove all the malicious files from your PC.
When the process is complete, you can close HitmanPro and continue with the rest of the instructions.
STEP 4: Double-check for malicious programs with AdwCleaner
AdwCleaner is a free popular on-demand scanner which can detect and remove malware that even the most well-known anti-virus and anti-malware applications fail to find.
While the Malwarebytes and HitmanPro scans are more than enough, we’re recommending AdwCleaner to users who still have malware related issues or just want make sure their PC is 100% clean.
You can download AdwCleaner by clicking the link below.ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK
(The above link will open a new web page from where you can download AdwCleaner)
Double-click on the setup file.
Double-click on the file named “adwcleaner_7.x.x.exe” to start AdwCleaner. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
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.
Click on “Scan Now”.
When AdwCleaner will start, click on the “Scan Now” button to perform a system scan.
Wait for the AdwCleaner scan to complete.
AdwCleaner will now scan your PC for malicious files. This process can take a few minutes.
Click on “Clean & Repair”.
When AdwCleaner has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found. Click on the “Clean & Repair” button to remove the malicious files from your device.
Click on “Clean & Restart Now”
When the malware removal process is complete, AdwCleaner may need to restart your device. Click on the “Clean & Restart Now” button to finish the removal process.
(OPTIONAL) STEP 5: Reset the browser settings to remove “Windows is not activated” pop-ups
If your PC is being redirected to the Windows is not activated site, we will need to reset the web browser settings to their original defaults. This step should be performed only if your issues have not been solved by the previous steps.
Google ChromeTo remove “Windows is not activated” fake error messages from Google Chrome, we will need to reset your browser to its default settings. Resetting your browser settings will reset the unwanted changes caused by installing other programs. However, your saved bookmarks and passwords will not be cleared or changed.
Click on the three dots at the top right and click “Settings”.
Click on Chrome’s main menu button, represented by three dots at the top right corner. Now click on the menu option labeled Settings as shown by the arrow in the picture below, which will open the basic settings screen.
At the bottom, click “Advanced”.
Chrome’s “Settings” should now be displayed in a new tab or window, depending on your configuration. Next, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the “Advanced” link (as seen in the below example).
Under the section “Reset,” click “Reset”.
Chrome’s advanced settings should now be displayed. Scroll down until the “Reset and clean up” section is visible, as shown in the example below. Next, click on the “Reset settings to their original defaults” button.
Confirm by clicking “Reset”.
A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue on with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, click on the “Reset Settings” button.
Mozilla FirefoxTo remove “Windows is not activated” fake error messages from Firefox, we will need to reset your browser to its default settings. The reset feature fixes many issues by restoring Firefox to its factory default state while saving your essential information like bookmarks, passwords, web form auto-fill information, browsing history and open tabs.
Go to the “Help” menu.
Click on Firefox’s main menu button, represented by three horizontal lines. When the drop-down menu appears, select the option labeled “Help“.
Click “Troubleshooting Information”.
From the Help menu, click on “Troubleshooting Information“.If you’re unable to access the “Help” menu, type about:support in your address bar to bring up the Troubleshooting information page.
Click on “Refresh Firefox”
Click the “Refresh Firefox” button in the upper-right corner of the “Troubleshooting Information” page.
To continue, click on the “Refresh Firefox” button in the new confirmation window that opens.
Click on “Finish”.
Firefox will close itself and will revert to its default settings. When it’s done, a window will list the information that was imported. Click on the “Finish“.Your old Firefox profile will be placed on your desktop in a folder named “Old Firefox Data“. If the reset didn’t fix your problem you can restore some of the information not saved by copying files to the new profile that was created. If you don’t need this folder any longer, you should delete it as it contains sensitive information.
Internet ExplorerTo remove “Windows is not activated” fake error messages from Internet Explorer, we will need to reset your browser to its default settings. You can reset Internet Explorer settings to return them to the state they were in when Internet Explorer was first installed on your PC.
Go to “Internet Options”.
Open Internet Explorer, click on the gear icon in the upper right part of your browser, then select “Internet Options“.
Select the “Advanced” tab, then click “Reset”
In the “Internet Options” dialog box, select the “Advanced” tab, then click on the “Reset” button.
Click on “Reset”.
In the “Reset Internet Explorer settings” section, select the “Delete personal settings” check box, then click on “Reset” button.
Click on “Close”.
When Internet Explorer has completed its task, click on the “Close” button in the confirmation dialogue box.
You will now need to close your browser, and then you can open Internet Explorer again.
Microsoft EdgeTo remove “Windows is not activated” fake error messages from Microsoft Edge, we will need to reset your browser to its default settings. Starting with Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (version 1709), users can repair or reset the Microsoft Edge settings.
Go to “Apps and Features”.
Right-click on the Start button in the lower-left corner and select “Apps and Features“. This will take you directly to your list of installed programs.
Find Microsoft Edge, then select “Advanced Options”.
The “App and Features” screen will be displayed with a list of all the programs installed on your PC. Scroll through the list until you find “Microsoft Edge”, click it, and then click on the “Advanced options” link.
Click on “Reset”.
The “Advanced Options” screen will now be displayed. Scroll down until the “Reset” section is visible, as shown in the example below. Next, click on the “Reset” button.
Your computer should now be free of the “Windows is not activated” fake error messages. If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove “Windows is not activated” fake error messages from your PC, please do one of the following:
- Run a computer scan with ESET Online Scanner
- Ask for help in our Malware Removal Assistance for Windows forum.