you may be a victim of software counterfeiting
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How to Fix ‘You may be a victim of software counterfeiting’ error in Windows

Do you know how many people currently use the Microsoft Windows Operating System? If you don’t, let’s just say that it is beyond a billion. This is because the Windows OS is clean, easy to use and very user-friendly. Since so many people across the world are using this OS, it is difficult for Microsoft to keep track of the authenticity of the OS being used by the user.

More than a fair share of the Windows currently being used are pirated versions and not the real thing. Such a vast level of piracy caused Microsoft to install bugs in the false versions for tracking them down. These bugs let the user know that their Windows OS is not a genuine Microsoft product. Have you ever had your screen just turn blank without any warning?

Then a prompt can be seen on the screen afterwards with the message ‘You may be a victim of software counterfeiting error’ or another message like ‘This copy of windows did not pass genuine windows validation’ or this message like ‘ask for genuine Microsoft software’.

You may be a victim of software counterfeiting error

If any of this messages has scared you off, do not worry, we have a fix for this problem. So don’t freak out and let’s see more about this error.

Why and when does someone see this error on their screen?

You will see this message when you are trying to update the pirated version of your Microsoft Windows OS. The whole deal of showing the message on the screen while the screen is black is called Windows Genuine Advantage or WGA in short. WGA is an anti-piracy feature created by Microsoft.


It ensures the authenticity of the product by enforcing validation of license while you are trying to update your non-genuine Windows software or while trying to download other Microsoft products into your system.

Usually, Windows XP users are faced with this error even though now Windows 7 and Windows 8 version users are also known to get a similar error on their system like ‘This copy of windows is not genuine’.

This problem may seem serious and difficult to handle, but it is not. The solution is quite simple. You just need to remove the WGA from your system and this error message will go away.

The solutions listed here will allow you to use the pirated versions of Windows without any issues. To remove the error and to stop the WGA, follow these 3 simple steps.

Fixing ‘You may be a victim of software counterfeiting’ error in windows

Step 1

  1. Go to ‘start’ menu and select the ‘run’ option. Alternatively, you can press Windows+R. This will open the Run dialogue and you can see it on the screen.
  2. In the run dialogue box, type in the following.
    Now click OK. You will see that the Registry Editor window is displayed on your screen.
  3. In the registry window, select the ‘+’ symbol on the left of the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE to open its subfolders.
  4. Click on the ‘+’ symbol next to the ‘Software’ option to open its subfolders.
  5. Click on the ‘+’ symbol next to the ‘Microsoft’ option.
  6. Keep opening the subfolders similarly in the following sequence till you reach the ‘Notify’ folder.
    Software -> Microsoft -> Windows NT -> Current Version -> Winlogon -> Notify
  7. You should be able to see WGALogon folder if you have completed all of the steps above. Now, right-click on this folder and select the ‘delete’ option.
  8. You are almost there. Now, restart your PC and that is it. You will not see the error message ever again.

Step 2

The error has to be removed permanently so that it won’t happen again. To make sure of it, you have to follow a few more directions. In this step, you will remove the other WGA files. This can offer your system a better protection and security.

Deleting the WGA files can be a bit complicated like deleting the hidden by default files in Windows. Follow the below steps and it should be very easy to do it.

  1. Click on the ‘Drive C’ folder in ‘My Computer’ or ‘Desktop’ and go to the ‘Windows’ folder.
  2. Here, you can see a folder named ‘System32’. Open it.
  3. Click on ‘Tools’ option which can be seen on the Menu Bar.
  4. In it, open the ‘Folder’ option.
  5. Now, go to the ‘View’ tab.
  6. Check the ‘show hidden files and folders’ option in the ‘View’ tab.
  7. Click ‘Apply’ button and after that click on the ‘OK’ button.
  8. After completing these steps, you will be able to see the hidden files in your system. Now you are in C:/Windows/System32 folder. You can manually look through the folder for the WGA files or you can search for them by clicking on the ‘Search for files and folders’ option which can be seen on the left side of the screen. In the space, type in ‘Wga’ and search for the results.
  9. You may see files like Wgatray.exe, Wgalogon.dll, Wgasetup.exe etc. Delete all the files that pop up that have the word ‘Wga’ in their names
  10. After this, follow the same steps again to delete WGA files from ‘C/Windows/System/dllcache’.

Now, follow the one simple step below and you will be error free forever

Step 3

After all of the above steps, you are now error free as all the WGA components are removed. But to make sure that this error won’t happen in the future, you have to disable automatic updates. This is because, if you install updates, there is a chance that Microsoft will install WGA again and this error will repeat. To disable automatic updates, follow these steps.

  1. Go to Control Panel in the start menu.
  2. Go to the ‘Automatic Updates’ option.
  3. Check the ‘Turn off automatic updates’ option. This will make sure that you will not get any updates.
  4. Click ‘Apply‘ and click on ‘OK’ after that.
  5. And we are done.

Conclusion – How to Fix ‘You may be a victim of software counterfeiting’ in windows

The steps above will give you a permanent solution for this error message of You may be a victim of software counterfeiting. It will make sure that this error won’t pop up in the future and you can use your OS forever but without any updates.

But it is always safer to use new versions of OS as hackers target old versions and they can also be easily attacked by malware. Also, piracy is not supported by us in any way. We always recommend that you use the original software from the Microsoft Store. Hope this article was helpful and easy to understand.


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