Windows Product Key Expired POP-UP virus

Also Known As: "Windows Product Key Expired" virus
Type: Adware
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

Windows Product Key Expired POP-UP removal instructions

What is Windows Product Key Expired?

"Windows Product Key Expired" is another fake error similar to Google Security Warning, Cydoor Spyware, Internet Security Alert, and many others. This error is displayed by a malicious website that users often visit inadvertently - they are redirected by various PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) that infiltrate systems without permission. Be aware that most PUPs deliver intrusive ads (coupons, banners, pop-ups, so forth), gather sensitive data, and reduce overall system performance.

Windows Product Key Expired adware

As can be seen, "Windows Product Key Expired" error states that the Windows copy has expired and needs to be reactivated. Users are encouraged to contact a local administrator or call online support via a telephone number ("0-800-046-5264") provided. Support technicians then supposedly resolve this issue. Note that this website appears similar to a window that provides basic system information ("Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\System"). Therefore, "Windows Product Key Expired" error may seem genuine. In fact, it is a scam. All claims regarding the expired key are false - cyber criminals attempt to scare and trick victims into calling and paying for technical support that is not required. In addition, they often request access to victims' computers. Once connected, they stealthily modify system settings and/or install malware. The criminals then claim to "detect" more issues and offer further help for an additional fee. For these reasons, you should ignore "Windows Product Key Expired" error and never call the aforementioned telephone number. This error can be removed simply by closing the web browser (preferably via "Task Manager") or rebooting the system. Note that, after re-running the web browser, you should never click "Restore Closed Tabs". In doing so, you will re-open the malicious website that displays "Windows Product Key Expired" error.

Most PUPs deliver intrusive ads by employing tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site. Displayed ads overlay visited website content and lead to malicious websites and/or even run scripts that download/install malware (or other PUPs). Therefore, even a single click might result in high-risk computer infections. Another downside is information tracking. PUPs typically record various user-system information (mostly relating to web browsing habits). Collected data is likely to include personal details that developers share with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) and, thus, data tracking can result in serious privacy issues or even identity theft. Furthermore, a small percentage of PUPs misuse system resources to mine cryptocurrencies or run other unwanted tasks in the background. In doing so, they significantly diminish overall system performance.

Threat Summary:
Name"Windows Product Key Expired" virus
Threat TypeAdware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus
SymptomsSeeing advertisements not originating from the sites you are browsing. Intrusive pop-up ads. Decreased Internet browsing speed.
Distribution methodsDeceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers.
DamageDecreased computer performance, browser tracking - privacy issues, possible additional malware infections.
Removal

To eliminate Windows Product Key Expired virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
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As mentioned above, "Windows Product Key Expired" shares many similarities with dozens of other fake errors. Note that all claim that the system is damaged (for instance, missing files, infected, etc.), however, such claims are simply attempts to extort money from unsuspecting users. Research shows that PUPs are all virtually identical. By offering various "useful features", they attempt to give the impression of legitimacy, however, these programs are designed only to generate revenue for the developers. Most deliver no real value for regular users. PUPs pose a direct threat to your privacy and Internet browsing safety.

How did potentially unwanted programs install on my computer?

Some PUPs are known to have official download websites, however, due to lack of knowledge and careless behavior by many users, PUPs often infiltrate systems without permission. Developers proliferate PUPs by employing intrusive ads, and a deceptive marketing method called "bundling" - stealth installation of third party applications together with regular software/apps. Developers know that users often skip most download/installation procedure steps. Therefore, they conceal "bundled" apps within various sections (most likely "Custom/Advanced" settings) of these procedures. By skipping steps and clicking ads, users expose their systems to risk of various infections and compromise their privacy.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

To prevent this situation, be very cautious when downloading/installing software and browsing the Internet in general. Carefully analyze each step of the download/installation processes and opt-out of all additionally-included programs. Furthermore, bear in mind that intrusive ads typically appear legitimate, however, they redirect to survey, adult dating, gambling, and other similar sites. If you encounter such ads, immediately eliminate all suspicious apps and browser plug-ins. The key to computer safety is caution.

Text presented in "Windows Product Key Expired" pop-up error:

Windows product key expired call immediately: 0-800-046-5264
Since Windows was first activated on this computer, the hardware on the computer has changed significantly.

Due to these changes. Windows must reactivate call administrator to call support at 0-800-046-5264

Another variant of this scam (tech support scammers are using +1-888-592-1999 using phone number):

windows product key has expired pop-up scam variant 2

Instant automatic removal of Windows Product Key Expired virus: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Windows Product Key Expired virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

Quick menu:

Removal of potentially unwanted programs:

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.

Windows XP users:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.

Mac OSX users:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

Windows Product Key Expired adware uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for any suspicious/recently-installed applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Remove rogue extensions from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing Windows Product Key Expired ads from Internet Explorer step 1

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Removing Windows Product Key Expired ads from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the "windows product key expired" virus, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.

Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing Windows Product Key Expired  ads from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, select these entries and click the trash can icon.

Removing Windows Product Key Expired ads from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the "windows product key expired" virus, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing Windows Product Key Expired ads from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.

Removing Windows Product Key Expired ads from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with "windows product key expired" virus removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

removing adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge logoRemove malicious add-ons from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions, right click your mouse on these entries and click "Uninstall".

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), and select Settings.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 1

In the opened tab, click the "Choose what to clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 2

Click Show more and select everything, and then click the "Clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 3

  • If this didn't help, please follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove "windows product key expired" virus from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on "windows product key expired" virus or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

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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Software uninstall instructions
Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

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

QR Code
Windows Product Key Expired virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of "Windows Product Key Expired" virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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