Windows Health Is Critical Scam

Also Known As: "Windows Health Is Critical" virus
Damage level: Severe

What is "Windows Health Is Critical"?

Similar to Notice From Microsoft Corporation and Your Computer is locked !, "Windows Health Is Critical" is a fake error message distributed via malicious applications, fake downloads, software cracks, etc. Once infiltrated, "Windows Health Is Critical" locks the computer screen, thereby preventing any further action by the user.

Windows Health Is Critical scam

This error locks the screen and states that the system is in a critical state. To prevent further damage, victims are instructed to immediately contact 'technical support' via a toll-free telephone number ("+46101388486") provided. They then supposedly receive help in solving the issue.

Bear in mind, however, that, as mentioned above, the "Windows Health Is Critical" error message is scam. Cyber criminals generate revenue by scaring and tricking victims into calling, and paying for technical support that is not required. The "Windows Health Is Critical" error is a scam. Never attempt to contact these criminals using the aforementioned telephone number.

"Windows Health Is Critical" shares many similarities with Your Windows Is Infected, Suspicious Ransomware Activity, Unknown Security Breach, and tens of other fake error messages.

Unlike this error, most do not lock the screen and are displayed by malicious websites, which users often visit inadvertently (they are redirected by potentially unwanted programs [PUPs] that infiltrate systems during installation of regular software).

All fake error messages claim that the system is damaged in certain ways and have an identical purpose - to trick users into paying for technical support that is not required.

How did "Windows Health Is Critical" install on my computer?

Cyber criminals proliferate "Windows Health Is Critical" via fake software cracks and, potentially, by free malicious software that is presented as 'legitimate and useful'. Many users download and install various programs without ensuring that the selected apps are legitimate. This behavior often leads to high-risk computer infections.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Malicious software is mostly distributed using the "bundling" method (installation of third party apps with regular software/apps). Therefore, closely analyze each download/installation step and decline offers to download/install additional applications. Furthermore, never download programs from unofficial sources (for example, torrents, or free file hosting websites).

"Windows Health Is Critical" error message:

Fake windows error message:
Windows A problem has been detected.
Windows health is critical.
Please call technical support at: +46101388486 (toll free) to avoid system failure.

A variant of this scam that comes as a pop-up (tech support scammers are using +1-888-991-2301 phone number):

windows health is critical pop-up scam

Text presented within this pop-up scam:


WARNING! Your Windows has been blocked due to suspicious activity! Please call Support Now! Call Toll-Free +1-888-991-2301 To find the right solution

BSOD: Error 333 Registry Failure of operating system - Host: BLUE SCREEN ERROR 0x00000CE
Please Contact Microsoft Technicians at Toll Free: 1-888-991-2301
To Immediately Rectify issue to prevent Data Loss

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Quick menu:

"Windows Health Is Critical" virus removal:

Step 1

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer starting process press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Go to the Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click on Advanced Startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window select Advanced Startup. Click on the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into "Advanced Startup options menu".

Click on the "Troubleshoot" button, then click on "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen click on "Startup settings". Click on the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press "5" to boot in Safe Mode with Networking Prompt.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button.

In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Step 2

Log in to the account infected with the "Windows Health Is Critical" virus. Start your Internet browser and download a legitimate anti-spyware program. Update the anti-spyware software and start a full system scan. Remove all entries detected.

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking, try performing a System Restore.

Video showing how to remove viruses using "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" and "System Restore":

1. During your computer starting process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, and then select Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list and press ENTER.

Boot your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt

2. When Command Prompt Mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt type cd restore

3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt rstrui.exe

4. In the opened window, click "Next".

restore system files and settings

5. Select one of the available Restore Points and click "Next" (this will restore your computer system to an earlier time and date, prior to the "Windows Health Is Critical" virus infiltrating your PC).

select a restore point

6. In the opened window, click "Yes".

run system restore

7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remnants of the "Windows Health Is Critical" virus.

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking (or with Command Prompt), boot your computer using a rescue disk.

Some viruses disable Safe Mode making it's removal complicated. For this step, you require access to another computer. After removing "Windows Health Is Critical" virus from your PC, restart your computer and scan it with legitimate anti-spyware software to remove any possible remnants of this security infection.

Other tools known to remove this scam:

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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Windows Health Is Critical virus QR code
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