Activate Your Windows Now POP-UP Scam

Also Known As: "Activate your Windows now" virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

"Activate your Windows now" removal instructions

What is "Activate your Windows now"?

"Activate your Windows now" is just one of many fake messages displayed on various deceptive websites. In this case, it is a fake Windows Security alert message. Generally, people do not visit these deceptive and untrustworthy websites intentionally - they are redirected to them by potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). Typically, PUAs deliver intrusive ads and record data. Most users install these unwanted apps inadvertently.

Activate your Windows now scam

According to scammers who designed the "Activate your Windows now" fake security alert (the fake message in the Windows Security pop-up window), the computer is blocked due to a 'system warning' state. Users are urged not to restart their computers or press any keys. Scammers attempt to trick users into contacting "certified technicians" via the telephone number (+1-877-220-4850). They state that users must contact them to remove the "critical infection" - to resolve the problem that has supposedly affected the operating system. Scammers behind the "Activate your Windows now" scam claim to be technicians (supposedly representatives of Microsoft), making the message seem like a legitimate security warning from Windows (they display a system information window). They also attempt to trick people into believing that their Windows Operating Systems are not activated. Note that the pop-up window also contains "User name" and "Password" fields that must be completed. In this way, criminals attempt to acquire users' account credentials. Do not enter any details. Note that system warning information can be accessed only by the Windows Operating System, and not via any website. These fake alerts are used by scammers to trick people into contacting them and paying for services (provided by "certified technicians") or purchasing software. Generally, scammers design these deceptive websites only to generate revenue by making users believe that there is a problem with their computers (that are apparently infected with viruses, and so on). These fake messages should never be trusted. We recommend that you simply close the website that triggered the "Activate your Windows now" fake security warning. If it prevents you from closing it, use Task Manager and terminate the entire browser process or simply restart your computer. Do not return to this website or restore the previous session.

As mentioned in our introduction, potentially unwanted applications cause redirects to deceptive websites that display fake messages such as "Activate your Windows now". These unwanted apps also deliver intrusive ads and gather data. They trigger ads displayed using tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site. Therefore, they conceal underlying content of any visited website. Do not click them, since they often redirect users to untrustworthy websites. Some might execute scripts that download/install other unwanted apps. Thus, clicking intrusive ads can lead to various system infections. Furthermore, PUAs collect data relating to browsing activity such as IP addresses, search queries, geo-locations, URLs of visited websites, and personal/sensitive details. Developers share the data with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue. Thus, having these apps installed might lead to privacy/browsing safety issues or even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name"Activate your Windows now" 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.
Removal

To eliminate Activate your Windows now virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
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Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

There are many examples of fake messages that are similar to "Activate your Windows now", such as This Computer Is Blocked, MS MALWARE ALERT, Your Computer Was Locked, and so on. The main purpose of these deceptive websites is to trick people into contacting scammers who try to extort money from people by urging them to purchase software products or online technical services. All PUAs are similar - developers promote them as 'useful' and legitimate tools. In this way, they trick people into downloading them. In fact, these apps provide none of the functionality promised. They are designed only to generate revenue for the developers and simply cause problems rather than giving any real value.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Some potentially unwanted applications have official websites, however, most users install them inadvertently by clicking untrustworthy, deceptive ads or when software developers use "bundling", a deceptive marketing method used by software developers to trick users into downloading/installing potentially unwanted applications together with other software. Developers do not disclose information about the presence of unwanted apps in installation/download set-ups and hide them in "Custom"/"Advanced" options/settings. Furthermore, many users skip download/installation steps without checking settings, thus leading to PUA installations.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Avoid downloading software from untrustworthy and unofficial sources, using third party software downloaders, and so on. Use direct links, and official and trustworthy websites. Never skip download/installation steps without checking the "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings or options. Deselect additionally-included, unwanted software, and only then proceed to the next step or finish the process. Many untrustworthy intrusive ads redirect users to dubious and potentially malicious websites (gambling, pornography, adult dating, and so on). If you encounter these advertisements (or redirects caused by them), check installed applications (extensions, add-ons, and plug-ins) on your browser and remove any unknown/unwanted entries immediately. Also check the list of installed programs on your computer (operating system). If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Text presented in "Activate your Windows now" pop-up:

Windows Security
Microsoft Edge

The server ****** is asking for your user name and password. The server reports that it is from Your computer is blocked state SYSTEM WARNING: DO NOT RESTART YOUR COMPUTER OR PRESS ANY KEY UNTIL SAFE SIDE INSTRUCTIONS. For Safety instructions call immediately: +1-877-220-4850 (Toll Free), a windows certified technician will guide you safeguard your system.You must not avoid this warning, as this is critical infection immediately:
+1-877-220-4850 (Toll Free)

[User name]
[Password]

[OK] [Cancel]

The appearance of "Activate your Windows now" pop-up (GIF):

appearance of activate your windows now scam in a pop-up

Instant automatic removal of Activate your Windows now 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 Activate your Windows now 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 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.

PUAs 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 "activate your windows now" 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 "activate your windows now" 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 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 "activate your windows now" 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 "activate your windows now" virus from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

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