THREAT REMOVAL

“Microsoft license key has expired” Scam – Remove It

This article has been created in order to help explain what is the Microsoft License has expired tech support scam and how you can remove it from your computer effectively.

A new computer voice type of phone call and error page has been detected by researchers. The scam aims to trick victims into calling the phone number 1-888-756-2254, where Indian accented people explain that they are from Microsoft and victims must pay a lot of money for a new license or give them access to their computers remotely. If you have seen messages related to this scam, we recommend that you read this article. It will help you to understand what is causing it and how you can remove it effectively from your computer.

Threat Summary

Name “Microsoft license key has expired”
Type Fake Tech Support
Short Description Aims to convince users that their Windows License Key is expired.
Symptoms Your web browser begins to display various types of online advertisements, which results in slowing down of your PC.
Distribution Method Bundled downloads. Web pages which may advertise it.
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User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss “Microsoft license key has expired”.

Your “Windows license key has expired” Distribution Methods

The main method used for these scams to be spread could be conducted as a result of files ad other types of objects that may have let you compromise your computer with adware or even worse – malware. One way via which victims can become compromised is by downloading a setup of free software and the adware may be embedded in one of the files installed alongside this setup. In addition to this, the adware may also be added as a result of bundling with such installers. This may mean that when you try to install a free third-party software, you may see “Add this program as a free extra” or similar installation prompts or steps. And it is very easy to miss such prompts since they are generally located in the “Custom” or “Advanced” installation modes in the setup you are trying to install.

Other methods may include you visiting a suspicious site that causes a redirect to such a page or if your computer becomes a virus victim as a result of you clicking on a malicious web link.

“Microsoft license key has expired” – More Information

Usually, as soon as your computer becomes compromised by the “Microsoft license key has expired” Trojan, you may begin to see suspicious activity on your computer. Since this may also turn out to be a lockscreen, you may be logged out of your Windows and begin to see the following screen:

In addition to this, another variant of the “Microsoft license key has expired” scam may also arrive on your computer via a web browser and display a tech support scam page that may lock your browser. Such images look like the one below and they also ask you to call the tech support number that is provided (1-888-756-2254).

If you see a lockscreen directly on your computer, however, the issue might be more serious and malicious files, belonging to this Trojan Horse may exist in the following Windows directories:

  • %AppData%
  • %Local%
  • %LocalLow%
  • %Roaming%
  • %Temp%

As soon as the virus installs it’s payload files on your computer, it may heavily modify your Windows Registry Editor in order to replace your Windows Log-On screen’s components. This happens by obtaining administrative privileges and using them in order to interfere with the Windows Registry Editor, more importantly the following Windows sub-keys:

→ HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Personalization
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\Creative\

In addition to this, the “Microsoft license key has expired” virus may perform other forms of activities on the computers of victims, such as:

  • Create mutexes on your PC.
  • Take screenshots to spy on you.
  • Obtain any saved passwords from your computer.
  • Read and Write permissions over your files.
  • Log your typed keystrokes.

In addition to this, the number that is provided on the “Microsoft license key has expired” scam message is reported to be similar to another tech support number 1-574-444-7543, which was reported to directly call random numbers:

Microsoft license key has expired. WHAT???????????
10-13-17

I just received a computer voice phone call saying my Microsoft license key has expired and soon my computer will stop working. To prevent that, I must call back and reference a number that was spoken by the computer voice. Here’s the phone number I was called on. 574-444-7543. I called that number back and got a real person (Indian accent). I told him I have never heard of such a thing and how do I know I’m actually talking to a Microsoft authorized person? He gave me some bull about, “how would they know my license had expired if they weren’t from Microsoft? I told him I would call back later and hung up. WHERE DO WE REPORT THESE CRIMINALS? WHO IS GOING AFTER THESE PEOPLE? HOW DO I FILE A CRIMINAL COMPLAINT? WHAT IS MICROSOFT DOING ABOUT THESE THINGS? I HAVEN’T EVEN SEEN AN EMAIL FROM MICROSOFT EITHER DESCRIBING SUCH A LICENSE ISSUE, NOR TELLING US THAT THIS IS A FRAUD AND DO NOT FALL FOR IT.

“Microsoft license key has expired” – How to Remove It

If you want to remove this scam from your computer we would strongly suggest that you read the instructions on this article thoroughly. They have been created with the main idea in order to best help you to delete most of the virus files on your computer either manually or automatically. If the manual remova methods do not seem to work, we strongly suggest that you remove the Microsoft license key has expired scam automatically as most security experts would also recommend. This can happen by scanning your computer with an advanced anti-malware software, that is created in order to automatically scan your computer, detect and remove any malicious files from it or any adware that may be causing the ”Microsoft license key has expired” scam messages to appear.

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Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and security.

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Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

How to Remove “Microsoft license key has expired” from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove “Microsoft license key has expired”

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall “Microsoft license key has expired” and related software from Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by “Microsoft license key has expired” on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by “Microsoft license key has expired” there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for “Microsoft license key has expired” with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Get rid of “Microsoft license key has expired” from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall “Microsoft license key has expired” and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to “Microsoft license key has expired”:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to “Microsoft license key has expired”. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to “Microsoft license key has expired”. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • Go to Finder.
  • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
  • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
  • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

In case you cannot remove “Microsoft license key has expired” via Step 1 above:

In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as “Microsoft license key has expired”. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Scan for and remove “Microsoft license key has expired” files from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as “Microsoft license key has expired”, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for “Microsoft license key has expired”:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove “Microsoft license key has expired” from Google Chrome.


Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu


Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"


Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Erase “Microsoft license key has expired” from Mozilla Firefox.

Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window


Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.


Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Uninstall “Microsoft license key has expired” from Microsoft Edge.


Step 1: Start Edge browser.


Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.


Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".


Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.


Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove “Microsoft license key has expired” from Safari.


Step 1: Start the Safari app.


Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.


Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the “Microsoft license key has expired” will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Eliminate “Microsoft license key has expired” from Internet Explorer.


Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.


Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'


Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.


Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.


Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.


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