We Couldn't Activate Windows removal instructions
What is We Couldn't Activate Windows?
Typically, users receive the "We Couldn't Activate Windows" fake error message when they visit an untrustworthy (deceptive) website. In most cases, users do not visit these websites willingly - potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) or clicked intrusive ads force redirects to them. Potentially unwanted applications of this type are usually installed without users' consent, cause redirects, gather data, and deliver ads. Some examples of other similar scams are Your System Data Has Been Compromized, Your Computer Is Permanently Blocked, and Windows Support Alert.
The pop-up "We Couldn't Activate Windows" message states that the operating system has failed and could not be activated, and that users should contact Microsoft support via the telephone number [+1-844-458-6668] provided using error code "0xc004f014" as a reference. It also states that the system has detected 'unusual activity' that might harm data stored on the computer and track financial activities. These statements are false and have nothing to do with Microsoft or its support services. These threats are attempts to trick users into paying for services or products that will supposedly fix the problems. Cyber criminals are behind the "We Couldn't Activate Windows" fake support message and we strongly recommend that you ignore all requests made by them. To remove this message, simply close the website, and it should be gone. If you cannot close it, a script might be preventing the closing of opened tabs and windows. In this case, use the Task Manager to force quit the entire browser, or simply restart the computer. The next time you open the browser, do not restore the previous session, since this will reopen identical, malicious web pages that produce the "We Couldn't Activate Windows" message.
Potentially unwanted applications that lead users to websites that trigger fake messages (such as "We Couldn't Activate Windows") also collect user-system information (geo-locations, keystrokes, IP addresses, URLs of visited websites, search queries, etc.). Developers use these details to generate revenue by sharing them with third parties (potentially cyber criminals). There is a high probability that the gathered data will include personal or sensitive information. Therefore, users can encounter privacy issues or even identity theft. Another downside of PUAs is the ads they deliver. They are often coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, and so on, and displayed using tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site and conceal underlying content. Once clicked, these ads redirect to untrustworthy/potentially malicious websites or run scripts designed to download/install potentially unwanted applications. You are advised to uninstall all unwanted apps immediately.
|Name||"We Couldn't Activate Windows" virus|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Serving IP Address (girlsimages[.]online)||126.96.36.199|
|Symptoms||Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of one's computer.|
|Distribution methods||Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.|
|Damage||Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
Many fake messages (support alert, virus, errors, and so on) are very similar to "We Couldn't Activate Windows". In most cases, they state that the system is infected by a virus infection, the computer is blocked, the user's data is in danger, etc. These messages are simply used to trick users into paying for software they do not need. Potentially unwanted applications are all very similar. They generate revenue for their developers by collecting and sharing data, delivering intrusive ads, and causing unwanted redirects. PUAs are generally promoted as 'useful apps', but few provide the functionality promised.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
PUAs are often installed by users inadvertently without their knowledge - through intrusive advertisements that they click or when software developers use a deceptive marketing method called bundling. Bundling is stealth installation of PUAs with regular third party software. Software developers avoid disclosing information about bundled applications properly and hide them in "Advanced", "Custom" and other options/settings of the installation processes. Careless behaviour such as skipping installation steps and clicking intrusive (untrustworthy) advertisements usually results in unintentional software installations.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Do not download software from untrustworthy/unofficial sources. Avoid using torrents and third party software downloaders. We strongly recommend that you use direct links, official and trustworthy websites. Do not skip installation steps without checking the "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings or options. Deselect all offers to install additional software, and only then proceed to the next step or complete the installation. Bear in mind that not all advertisements are legitimate, especially intrusive ones. Cyber criminals invest many resources in ads design and it can be difficult to determine which are legitimate. Rogue ads usually redirect to untrustworthy websites such as gambling, pornography, adult dating, and so on. If you encounter them, check the list of installed applications on your browser and remove any unwanted/unknown extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons immediately. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate them .
Text presented in "We Couldn't Activate Windows" pop-up:
We couldn't activate Windows
Try activating Windows again or contact Microsoft support and reference the error code. You can go to Settings for more information.
Toll Free: +1-844-458-6668
Error Code: 0xc004f014
The appearance of "We Couldn't Activate Windows" pop-up (GIF):
Second pop-up of "We Couldn't Activate Windows" scam:
Text presented within this pop-up:
Windows Support Alert
Your system detected some unusual activity.
It might harm your computer data and track your financial activities.
Please report this activity to +1-844-458-6668
Another variant of "We Couldn't Activate Windows" pop-up scam:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is We Couldn't Activate Windows?
- STEP 1. Uninstall deceptive applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove adware from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove rogue extensions from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove potentially unwanted plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue extensions from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Removal of potentially unwanted applications:
Windows 7 users:
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:
Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.
Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:
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:
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.
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 application, 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:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" 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".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the "we couldn't activate windows" 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.
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.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the 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 and remove them.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the "we couldn't activate windows" virus, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the 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.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.
Computer users who have problems with "we couldn't activate windows" virus removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....
In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the "we couldn't activate windows" virus, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
Commonly, 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.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove "we couldn't activate windows" virus from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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