The System Activation KEY has expired is a misleading page that created in order to trick you into calling the fake Microsoft Tech Support. If this page opens automatically in the Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox or Microsoft Edge browser, then your system has become the victim of malware from the group of adware (also known as ‘ad-supported’ software). If you get the adware on your PC, it can change the browser’s settings such as new tab, start page and search provider by default and install harmful extension which will show a large amount of annoying pop-up ads including malicious and misleading ads like the System Activation KEY has expired pop up scam.
It’s important, don’t click on the “System Activation KEY has expired” advertisements, as they can lead you to more malicious or misleading web-pages. The best option is to use the step-by-step instructions posted below to free your personal computer of ad supported software and thereby remove “System Activation KEY has expired” popup scam.
- What is “System Activation KEY has expired”
- Remove “System Activation KEY has expired”
- Remove “System Activation KEY has expired” pop up from Chrome
- Remove “System Activation KEY has expired” popup from Firefox
- “System Activation KEY has expired” pop up removal tools
- Use AdBlocker to stop “System Activation KEY has expired”
It is not a good idea to have an unwanted program like this adware that opens misleading “System Activation KEY has expired” ads. The reason for this is simple, it doing things you don’t know about. The ‘ad supported’ software can also be used to gather personal data that can be later sold to third parties. You don’t know if your home address, account names and passwords are safe. And of course you completely don’t know what will happen when you click on any “System Activation KEY has expired” ads.
In addition to that, as was mentioned earlier, some adware to also modify all internet browsers shortcuts which located on your Desktop or Start menu. So, every affected shortcut will try to reroute your browser to annoying ad web-pages such as “System Activation KEY has expired”, certain of which might be harmful. It can make the whole PC system more vulnerable to hacker attacks.
We suggest you to remove adware and clean your PC system from “System Activation KEY has expired” popup ads as soon as possible, until the presence of the adware has not led to even worse consequences. You need to follow the steps below that will help you to completely get rid of the redirect to “System Activation KEY has expired” misleading page, using only the built-in Windows features and a few of specialized free malware removal tools.
Remove “System Activation KEY has expired” popup
There are several steps to uninstalling the ‘ad supported’ software that causes web-browsers to display misleading “System Activation KEY has expired” ads, because it installs itself so deeply into Microsoft Windows. You need to delete all suspicious and unknown software, then delete malicious extensions from the Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and MS Edge and other web-browsers you have installed. Finally, you need to reset your browser settings to get rid of any changes the adware has made, and then check your computer with Zemana Anti Malware (ZAM), MalwareBytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) or AdwCleaner to ensure the adware is fully removed. It will take a while.
Manual “System Activation KEY has expired” pop up scam removal
The few simple steps will help you remove “System Activation KEY has expired” popup scam. These removal steps work for the Firefox, Google Chrome, IE and MS Edge, as well as every version of Windows operating system.
Remove adware through the MS Windows Control Panel
Check out the MS Windows Control Panel (Programs and Features section) to see all installed programs. We suggest to click on the “Date Installed” in order to sort the list of applications by the date you installed them. If you see any unknown and suspicious applications, they are the ones you need to remove.
Windows 8, 8.1, 10
Windows XP, Vista, 7
Next, click “Uninstall a program”
It will show a list of all applications installed on your PC. Scroll through the all list, and remove any suspicious and unknown programs. To quickly find the latest installed software, we recommend sort software by date in the Control panel.
Remove “System Activation KEY has expired” pop-up scam from IE
In order to restore all web-browser startpage, new tab page and search engine by default you need to reset the Microsoft Internet Explorer to the state, which was when the MS Windows was installed on your PC system.
First, open the IE. Next, click the button in the form of gear (). It will open the Tools drop-down menu, click the “Internet Options” as displayed on the image below.
In the “Internet Options” window click on the Advanced tab, then press the Reset button. The Internet Explorer will show the “Reset Internet Explorer settings” window as shown on the image below. Select the “Delete personal settings” check box, then click “Reset” button.
You will now need to restart your machine for the changes to take effect.
Remove “System Activation KEY has expired” pop up from Chrome
Reset Google Chrome settings is a simple way to remove the hijackers, malicious and ‘ad-supported’ extensions, as well as to recover the internet browser’s homepage, newtab page and default search engine that have been modified by ad-supported software that displays misleading “System Activation KEY has expired” pop-up scam on your PC.
- First, start the Chrome and press the Menu icon (icon in the form of three horizontal stripes).
- It will show the Chrome main menu, click the “Settings” menu.
- Next, click “Show advanced settings” link, that located at the bottom of the Settings page.
- On the bottom of the “Advanced settings” page, click the “Reset settings” button.
- The Chrome will open the reset settings dialog box as shown on the image above.
- Confirm the web-browser’s reset by clicking on the “Reset” button.
- To learn more, read the article How to reset Google Chrome settings to default.
Remove “System Activation KEY has expired” popup from Firefox
If the Firefox browser application is hijacked, then resetting its settings can help. The Reset feature is available on all modern version of Mozilla Firefox. A reset can fix many issues by restoring Firefox settings like start page, new tab and default search engine to its default state. It will save your personal information like saved passwords, bookmarks, and open tabs.
First, run the Mozilla Firefox and press button. It will display the drop-down menu on the right-part of the browser. Further, click the Help button () as displayed in the following example
In the Help menu, select the “Troubleshooting Information” option. Another way to open the “Troubleshooting Information” screen – type “about:support” in the browser adress bar and press Enter. It will show the “Troubleshooting Information” page as displayed below. In the upper-right corner of this screen, click the “Refresh Firefox” button.
It will show the confirmation prompt. Further, click the “Refresh Firefox” button. The FF will begin a task to fix your problems that caused by the adware that causes misleading “System Activation KEY has expired” pop-up on your web-browser. After, it is finished, click the “Finish” button.
Clean up the browsers shortcuts which have been hijacked by ‘ad supported’ software
Unfortunately, the ad supported software can also hijack Windows shortcuts (mostly, your web-browsers shortcuts), so that the “System Activation KEY has expired” misleading web-site will be shown when you open the Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox and Microsoft Edge or another web browser.
Open the properties of the web-browser shortcut. Right click on the shortcut of infected internet browser and select the “Properties” option and it will display the properties of the shortcut. Next, select the “Shortcut” tab and have a look at the Target field as shown on the screen below.
Normally, if the last word in the Target field is chrome.exe, iexplore.exe, firefox.exe. Be sure to pay attention to the extension, should be “exe”! All shortcuts that have been modified by ad-supported software usually point to .bat, .cmd or .url files instead of .exe as displayed on the screen below.
Another variant, an address has been added at the end of the line. In this case the Target field looks such as …Application\chrome.exe” http://site.address as shown in the figure below.
In order to fix a shortcut, you need to insert right path to the Target field or remove an address (if it has been added at the end). You can use the following information to fix your shortcuts which have been changed by adware.
|Google Chrome||C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe|
|Firefox||C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe|
|IE||C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe|
|C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe|
|Opera||C:\Program Files (x86)\Opera\launcher.exe|
Once is complete, click OK to save changes. Repeat the step for all browsers that are redirected to the “System Activation KEY has expired” misleading web-page.
Remove unwanted Scheduled Tasks
Once installed, the ‘ad supported’ software can add a task in to the Windows Task Scheduler Library. Due to this, every time when you start your machine, it will display “System Activation KEY has expired” misleading web site. So, you need to check the Task Scheduler Library and get rid of all malicious tasks which have been created by malicious applications.
Press Windows and R keys on your keyboard together. It will open a prompt which called Run. In the text field, type “taskschd.msc” (without the quotes) and press OK. Task Scheduler window opens. In the left-hand side, click “Task Scheduler Library”, as displayed in the figure below.
In the middle part you will see a list of installed tasks. Select the first task, its properties will be show just below automatically. Next, click the Actions tab. Necessary to look at the text which is written under Details. Found something like “explorer.exe http://site.address” or “chrome.exe http://site.address” or “firefox.exe http://site.address”, then you need get rid of this task. If you are not sure that executes the task, then google it. If it’s a component of the ‘ad-supported’ application, then this task also should be removed.
Further press on it with the right mouse button and select Delete as displayed below.
Repeat this step, if you have found a few tasks that have been created by unwanted applications. Once is finished, close the Task Scheduler window.
How to remove “System Activation KEY has expired” pop up scam with free software
If your computer is still infected with ad-supported software that cause misleading “System Activation KEY has expired” pop-up scam to appear, then the best method of detection and removal is to run an antimalware scan on the computer. Download free malware removal tools below and start a full system scan. It will help you get rid of all components of the adware from hardisk and Windows registry.
How to automatically delete “System Activation KEY has expired” pop up with Zemana Anti-malware
We recommend you to use the Zemana Anti-malware which are completely clean your PC of ‘ad supported’ software which developed to display misleading “System Activation KEY has expired” pop up within your web browser. Moreover, the tool will allow you to get rid of potentially unwanted software, malware, toolbars and hijackers that your PC system can be infected too.
Download Zemana Free on your PC from the link below.
Author: Zemana Ltd
Category: Security tools
Update: March 3, 2018
Once the downloading process is done, start it and follow the prompts. Once installed, the Zemana Free will try to update itself and when this process is finished, click the “Scan” button .Zemana AntiMalware (ZAM) program will scan through the whole PC for the adware that causes browsers to display misleading “System Activation KEY has expired” ads.
A system scan may take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on your system. While the Zemana Anti-Malware tool is scanning, you can see how many objects it has identified as being infected by malicious software. You may move threats to Quarantine (all selected by default) by simply click “Next” button.
The Zemana AntiMalware (ZAM) will start to get rid of adware that causes multiple misleading “System Activation KEY has expired” alerts and popups.
Remove “System Activation KEY has expired” pop-up scam with Malwarebytes
We recommend using the Malwarebytes Free. You can download and install Malwarebytes to detect ‘ad supported’ software and thereby remove “System Activation KEY has expired” pop-up from your web-browsers. When installed and updated, the free malware remover will automatically check and detect all threats exist on the PC.
Download MalwareBytes Anti Malware on your MS Windows Desktop from the link below.
Category: Security tools
Update: March 20, 2018
When downloading is finished, run it and follow the prompts. Once installed, the MalwareBytes Free will try to update itself and when this process is finished, press the “Scan Now” button to begin scanning your PC system for the adware which causes misleading “System Activation KEY has expired” pop up scam on your browser. This task can take quite a while, so please be patient. During the scan MalwareBytes will detect all threats exist on your system. In order to remove all threats, simply click “Quarantine Selected” button.
The MalwareBytes Free is a free program that you can use to get rid of all detected folders, files, services, registry entries and so on. To learn more about this malware removal utility, we recommend you to read and follow the instructions or the video guide below.
Run AdwCleaner to remove “System Activation KEY has expired” pop-up scam
The AdwCleaner tool is free and easy to use. It can check and remove malicious software, PUPs and ‘ad supported’ software in Chrome, IE, Firefox and Microsoft Edge web-browsers and thereby get rid of all unwanted “System Activation KEY has expired” pop-up ads. AdwCleaner is powerful enough to find and get rid of harmful registry entries and files that are hidden on the computer.
- Download AdwCleaner by clicking on the link below and save it to your Desktop.
Author: Xplode, MalwareBytes
Category: Security tools
Update: September 24, 2018
- When the downloading process is finished, double click the AdwCleaner icon. Once this tool is launched, click “Scan” button to perform a system scan with this tool for the ad-supported software which created to display misleading “System Activation KEY has expired” pop-up scam within your internet browser. A scan can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the count of files on your PC system and the speed of your PC. When a threat is found, the count of the security threats will change accordingly. Wait until the the scanning is complete.
- Once the scan get finished, you’ll be shown the list of all found items on your personal computer. Review the results once the utility has complete the system scan. If you think an entry should not be quarantined, then uncheck it. Otherwise, simply press “Clean” button. It will display a prompt, click “OK”.
These few simple steps are shown in detail in the following video guide.
Use AdBlocker to stop “System Activation KEY has expired” and stay safe online
We suggest to install an ad blocker program which may block “System Activation KEY has expired” and other misleading web-sites. The ad blocking tool like AdGuard is a program that basically removes advertising from the Internet and stops access to malicious web-sites. Moreover, security experts says that using ad blocking software is necessary to stay safe when surfing the Internet.
Installing the AdGuard adblocker application is simple. First you’ll need to download AdGuard from the link below and save it to your Desktop.
Author: © Adguard
Category: Security tools
Update: July 17, 2017
When the downloading process is finished, double-click the downloaded file to start it. The “Setup Wizard” window will show up on the computer screen as shown in the following example.
Follow the prompts. AdGuard will then be installed and an icon will be placed on your desktop. A window will show up asking you to confirm that you want to see a quick guidance like below.
Click “Skip” button to close the window and use the default settings, or click “Get Started” to see an quick instructions which will allow you get to know AdGuard better.
Each time, when you start your system, AdGuard will launch automatically and stop popup ads, web-pages such “System Activation KEY has expired”, as well as other malicious or misleading web-sites. For an overview of all the features of the application, or to change its settings you can simply double-click on the AdGuard icon, that is located on your desktop.
How to avoid setup of “System Activation KEY has expired” pop up
To sum up
Now your PC should be free of the adware that causes web browsers to show misleading “System Activation KEY has expired” pop up. Delete AdwCleaner. We suggest that you keep AdGuard (to help you block unwanted advertisements and undesired harmful web pages) and Zemana (to periodically scan your system for new malware, browser hijackers and adware). Make sure that you have all the Critical Updates recommended for Windows OS. Without regular updates you WILL NOT be protected when new adwares, harmful software and ‘ad supported’ software are released.
If you are still having problems while trying to remove “System Activation KEY has expired” popup from your browser, then ask for help in our Spyware/Malware removal forum.