Product Key Has Expired Scam Removal (Sept. 2017 Update)

Keep in mind, SpyHunter’s malware & virus scanner is free. To remove the infection, you'll need to purchase its full version. More information about SpyHunter and steps to uninstall.


This page aims to help you remove the Product Key Has Expired Scam. Our removal instructions work for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, as well as every version of Windows.

Product Key Has Expired Scam is a legally developed program that is presented as a powerful tool for a better browsing experience with built-in features. Still, some users have recently reported that this program has some more intrusive functions than positive ones. Once it becomes part of their system, it may replace the search engine or the homepage of their Chrome, Firefox, or IE browser and initiate sudden page redirects. In addition, this software may aggressively prompt them to click on various pop-ups, ads, banners, and links, which may constantly interrupt the normal web browsing. Such activity may really look suspicious and many people may mistake it for a virus infection. Fortunately, Product Key Has Expired is not a virus but a browser hijacker and in the removal guide below we will show you exactly how to uninstall it and remove all of its aggressive commercials.

Product Key Has Expired Scam may hijack your browser and start redirecting you to various commercial sites!

Programs like this are usually called Browser hijackers. These pieces of software are not malicious and do not share the harmful capabilities of a Trojan horse or Ransomware, for example. However, they can be quite irritating and intrusive because they may often try to redirect and manipulate your web searches in order to generate income from Pay-Per-Click ads. Since they are not considered malicious, many Browser hijackers are advertised through official webpages and can be downloaded for free directly from there. However, they are rarely installed in this way. Programs like Product Key Has Expired mostly get distributed by using a method called “bundling”, which allows third party applications to be delivered with the installation pack of various free software (such as download managers, PDF creation programs, media players, games, etc.), typically as “optional components”. This way, when the users run the given installation, these programs can get into the system by default, without asking for direct permission. To prevent this from happening, consider the following tips when installing free software:

  • Select the Advanced / User Setup (instead of Quick / Basic),
  • Carefully read all conditions in the EULA
  • Remove the automatic bookmarks that confirm you agree to install Product Key Has Expired or other dubious application.

Product Key Has Expired Scam Removal

If you are a Windows user, continue with the guide below.

If you are a Mac user, please use our How to remove Ads on Mac guide.

If you are an Android user, please use our Android Malware Removal guide.


Step1

Some of the steps will likely require you to exit the page. Bookmark it for later reference.

Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).

Step2

WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!

We get asked this a lot, so we are putting it here: Removing parasite manually may take hours and damage your system in the process. If you want a fast safe solution, we recommend SpyHunter. 

>> Click to Download Spyhunter. If you don't want this software, continue with the guide below.

Keep in mind, SpyHunter’s malware & virus scanner is free. To remove the infection, you'll need to purchase its full version. More information about SpyHunter and steps to uninstall.

Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC at the same time and go to the Processes Tab (the “Details” Tab on Win 8 and 10). Try to determine which processes are dangerous. 

malware-start-taskbar

Right click on each of them and select Open File Location. Then scan the files with our free online virus scanner:

Drag and Drop Files Here to Scan
Maximum file size: 128MB.

This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users. You can find its full-page version at: https://howtoremove.guide/online-virus-scanner/




Scan Results


Virus Scanner Result
ClamAV
AVG AV
Maldet

After you open their folder, end the processes that are infected, then delete their folders. 

Note: If you are sure something is part of the infection – delete it, even if the scanner doesn’t flag it. No anti-virus program can detect all infections. 

Step3

Hold together the Start Key and R. Type appwiz.cpl –> OK.

appwiz

You are now in the Control Panel. Look for suspicious entries. Uninstall it/them.

Type msconfig in the search field and hit enter. A window will pop-up:

msconfig_opt

Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer or otherwise look suspicious.

Step4

Hold the Start Key and R –  copy + paste the following and click OK:

notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts

A new file will open. If you are hacked, there will be a bunch of other IPs connected to you at the bottom. Look at the image below:

hosts_opt (1)

If there are suspicious IPs below “Localhost” – write to us in the comments.

Open the start menu and search for Network Connections (On Windows 10 you just write it after clicking the Windows button), press enter.

  1. Right-click on the Network Adapter you are using —> Properties —> Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP), click  Properties.
  2. The DNS line should be set to Obtain DNS server automatically. If it is not, set it yourself.
  3. Click on Advanced —> the DNS tab. Remove everything here (if there is something) —> OK.

DNS

Step5

  • After you complete this step, the threat will be gone from your browsers. Finish the next step as well or it may reappear on a system reboot.

Right click on the browser’s shortcut —> Properties.

NOTE: We are showing Google Chrome, but you can do this for Firefox and IE (or Edge).

browser-hijacker-taskbar-properties

Properties —–> Shortcut. In Target, remove everything after .exe.

ie9-10_512x512  Remove Product Key Has Expired from Internet Explorer:

Open IE, click  IE GEAR —–> Manage Add-ons.

pic 3

Find the threat —> Disable. Go to IE GEAR —–> Internet Options —> change the URL to whatever you use (if hijacked) —> Apply.

firefox-512 Remove Product Key Has Expired from Firefox:

Open Firefoxclick  mozilla menu  ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.

pic 6

Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundRemove Product Key Has Expired from Chrome:

Close Chrome. Navigate to:

 C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. There is a Folder called “Default” inside:

Rename the Folder to Backup Default

Rename it to Backup Default. Restart Chrome.

Step6

WARNING!
To remove parasite, you may have to meddle with system files and registries. Making a mistake and deleting the wrong thing may damage your system.
Avoid this by using SpyHunter - a professional Parasite removal tool.

Keep in mind, SpyHunter’s malware & virus scanner is free. To remove the infection, you'll need to purchase its full version. More information about SpyHunter and steps to uninstall.

Type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter.

Inside, press CTRL and F together and type the threat’s Name. Right click and delete any entries you find with a similar name. If they don’t show up this way, go manually to these directories and delete/uninstall them:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—–Random Directory. It could be any one of them – ask us if you can’t discern which ones are malicious.
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—-Windows—CurrentVersion—Run– Random
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random

If the guide doesn’t help, download the anti-virus program we recommended or try our free online virus scanner. Also, you can always ask us in the comments for help!

What issues may Product Key Has Expired cause?

Immediately after the successful integration with your system, a Hijacker may place a new homepage or search engine in your default browser and start a stream of redirects to certain sponsored domains, ads, banners, new tabs and different aggressive commercials. The aim of this activity is to make you click on the displayed content because this is how the browser hijacker generates income for its developers. And while the law does not see anything threatening in such an aggressive marketing approach, we need to warn you that some of the content you may come across may not be trusted.

When you browse the web, the most important thing to keep in mind is the reliability of the web pages you interact with. It has been found that browser hijackers may sometimes display both reliable and unreliable sites that may potentially engage in suspicious activities. If you click on ads or links to third-parties, Product Key Has Expired may unknowingly redirect you to webpages that are designed to spread viruses like Trojans and Ransomware or different types of spam. For this reason, we do not favor the presence of browser hijackers on users’ computers and would advise you to permanently remove the ads by uninstalling their source.

Browser hijackers may also be blamed for spying on users and gathering non-personal information about their browsing habits. Given that such programs are used as aggressive advertising tools and are closely related to third party advertisers, marketers and website owners, they may also share your browsing information with them. Such action may lead to more spam and ads generation as well as a significant usage of your system resources in the background. If you want to save yourself from such a privacy invasion, we advise you to use the instructions in the removal guide below and remove this program.

Removing Product Key Has Expired Scam from your computer

To return to your previous browser settings, you must first eliminate all the traces of Product Key Has Expired and its related toolbars and components. To do this, you can follow the manual removal instructions given below. If you decide to uninstall the browser hijacker manually, you should be very careful. Different programs, files, or extensions can be installed at different locations in the system. That’s why it is very important to find and remove all records to stop redirects, ads, and regain control of your browser. However, we would like to remind you that the automatic removal of this hijacker can protect you from mistakes. Install a trusted anti-malware program, update it and scan the system. We recommend you try the professional removal tool and in a few minutes, this potentially unwanted program will be removed from your computer.

SUMMARY:

Name Product Key Has Expired
Type Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms Page redirects, generation of intrusive ads, changes in the browser’s homepage or search engine.
Distribution Method Software bundles, free installers, free download links from the web, ads, web pages, torrents, spam messages, email attachments.
Detection Tool We generally recommend SpyHunter or a similar anti-malware program that is updated daily.

Keep in mind, SpyHunter’s malware detection tool is free. To remove the infection, you’ll need to purchase the full version. More information about SpyHunter and steps to uninstall.