Your Computer Was Locked POP-UP Scam

Also Known As: "Your computer was locked" virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

"Your computer was locked" removal instructions

What is "Your computer was locked"?

Like many other fake messages, "Your computer was locked" fake error is displayed on deceptive web pages. Typically, users visit these untrustworthy websites unwillingly, they are redirected by potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) that they usually install unintentionally. As a rule, PUAs also deliver intrusive ads and collect various browsing-related data. "Your computer was locked" fake error message is presented in both text and audio formats.

Your computer was locked scam

As stated in this fake "Your computer was locked" error message, this is a security warning which implies that an error "# DT00X02" has occurred on a computer and it is now locked. It also implies that the system has found some spyware and other viruses that might put Facebook login, credit card information, email credentials, browsing history and some data at risk. Moreover, it is stated that if a website displaying this warning/error is closed without resolving the mentioned problems, computer will be disabled in order to prevent any further damage. People are urged to contact Windows technical support by calling the provided "+1-855-428-1222" number immediately in order to solve all the mentioned problems. Note that Microsoft (and/or its support team) has nothing do to with this fake error message. It is a typical scam that scammers use to trick people into purchasing some software, paying money for "technical guidance" and so on. All these scammers and their fake messages should be ignored. The best way to do it is to simply close the website and ignore the described "consequences". If the website prevents you from closing it, then use the Task Manager to end the whole browser process. Another way to close it is to restart a computer. However, the previously closed/terminated session should not be restored. Restoring it will open the same website that displayed this "Your computer was locked" fake error message, or a website that led to it.

As we mentioned above, it's potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) that make users to visit websites containing fake error, virus alert and other similar messages. PUAs are designed to deliver intrusive ads and gather various data as well. Typically, potentially unwanted applications deliver various coupons, banners, pop-ups and other similar advertisements. Quite often these ads are annoying and diminish browsing quality. It's because these intrusive ads are displayed via tools that enable placement of third party graphical content that conceals the underlying content of any visited website. Clicking these ads might result in visiting untrustworthy websites or executing scripts that are designed to download/install other PUAs. Another downside of having a potentially unwanted application is that it is often designed to gather various data. Typically, PUAs record keystrokes, URLs of visited websites, search queries, IP (Internet Protocol) addresses and some other browsing-related data. However, it is very likely that some of the recorded data will contain personal and sensitive information. Later, PUAs' developers share all this data with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue. Such actions might cause users not only browsing safety or privacy problems, but result in identity theft as well.

Threat Summary:
Name"Your computer was locked" virus
Threat TypePhishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
SymptomsUnauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of one's computer.
Distribution methodsDeceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.
DamageLoss 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.
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There are many fake messages out there (such as Error # 0xx90025ee9, System Firewall Has Blocked Some Features, The System Is Badly Damaged and many more) that are designed to serve one purpose - to trick users into paying scammers money for some products or services. None of these fake virus, error and other messages should be trusted. Most potentially unwanted applications are also very similar. Their developers present PUAs as legitimate, useful and handy apps. Nevertheless, such promotions are only attempts to trick people into downloading and installing PUAs. Once installed, they usually do not provide the promised functionalities. On the contrary, PUAs cause unwanted redirects, deliver intrusive ads and collect data.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Sometimes PUAs have their official websites, however, most of the times users install them unwillingly. One way to install PUAs is through clicked intrusive ads that are capable of executing particular scripts. In other cases users install PUAs when software developers use a "bundling" method. Bundling is a way to trick people into installing PUAs together with other software (regular apps). Software developers hide bundled apps (PUAs) in "Advanced", "Custom" and other similar sections of the download/installation processes. The information about PUAs being present in installation setups is often not disclosed properly. To sum up, users who carelessly install software (skip the installation steps) often install PUAs as well.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Download software only from trustworthy and official websites/sources. It is not recommended to use third party software downloaders/installers, torrents or other similar channels for that. Always check what are the available "Advanced"/Custom" and other sections/settings of the download/installation processes before finishing the installation. Keep in mind that malicious (or other untrustworthy) ads usually look appropriate, however, once clicked, they redirect users to some untrustworthy website like gambling, pornography, adult dating and so on. If you encounter such ads or redirects caused, check if there are no new plug-ins, add-ons and extensions installed on your browser, or unwanted programs installed on your computer and uninstall unwanted software/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 "Your computer was locked" website and pop-up:

** YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED **

Error # DT00X02.

Call Windows Technical Suppport: +1-855-428-1222:

Do Not Ignore This Important Warning
If you close this page without resolving issue, access to your computer will be disabled to prevent further damage to our network.

Your computer has alerted us that it was infected with virus and spyware. The following data is at risk:

1. Facebook Login
2. Credit Card Information
3. Email Credentials
4. Browsing History and Data

You must contact us immediately so our engineers can guide you through the recovery process by phone. Please call us within the next 5 minutes to prevent complete loss of your computer.
Contact Windows Engineer: +1-855-428-1222 (Toll-Free)

The appearance of "Your computer was locked" pop-up (GIF):

Your computer was locked scam gif

Screenshot of a website displaying the "Your computer was locked" pop-up:

waslocked website displaying popup

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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Malwarebytes By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

Quick menu:

Removal of potentially unwanted applications:

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.

Your computer was locked 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 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:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing rogue extensions 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 rogue extensions from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the "your computer was locked" 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 rogue extensions 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 and remove them.

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the "your computer was locked" 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 plugins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing rogue extensions 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 on "Extensions", in the opened window remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.

Removing rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with "your computer was locked" 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 (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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.

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the "your computer was locked" virus, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

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.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the 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 "your computer was locked" virus from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on "your computer was locked" 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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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
Your computer was locked 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 "Your computer was locked" virus on your mobile device.
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