AutoKMS.exe: Here’s how it works and how to remove it

Aleksandar Ognjanovic
by Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • AutoKMS is a hack tool downloaded intentionally by most users who try to activate unregistered Microsoft products.
  • In order to get rid of it, you can try to uninstall AutoKMS from Control Panel, like any other app.
  • If this fails, get rid of it by using the best anti-malware software tools that are currently available.
  • You can also bookmark this Removal Hub and use it anytime when you need help in that regard.
how to remove AutoKMS.exe

The virus threat has always been there but nowadays, it’s rising to be a major problem for both individual users and big companies.

There are many malware signatures circulating freely, but one that’s commonly known is AutoKMS.

Today, we brought to you details about this specific malicious software with ways how to remove it from your system for good. So, if you bump into AutoKMS, make sure to check the explanation below.

What is AutoKMS.exe and how can I remove it?

1. Discover what AutoKMS.exe is

what is AutoKMS.exe

AutoKMS virus is not a virus per se, it’s more of a hack tool. Most of the time users download it intentionally.

They want to crack or activate unregistered Microsoft products, and therefore bypass the security measures, and avoid payment.

AutoKMS is graded as a low or medium threat. Most of the time, the unregistered software that comes with it is the real threat, like the Trojan virus.

On the other hand, it’s still an illegal third-party tool, so you can never be sure what you’re looking at. Since it connects to the remote host, there are a dozen unwanted scenarios.

It can grant access to hackers or download malicious software and much more. Some Microsoft technicians claim that AutoKMS is a variation of the Troyan virus, but not all go that far.

Simply because you can uninstall it anytime, and that’s just not the case with Trojan viruses.

Now, you might ask how it works. Basically, once you’ve downloaded a pirated version of, let’s say, Microsoft Office 2016, you’ll need AutoKMS to activate it.

You’ll be advised to disable the antivirus, and that’s not a smart thing to do. The tool can run in the background with the portable version or it can be installed just like any other application.

It connects to remote servers to mimic Microsoft’s KMS Activation process. Then, it activates your license for up to 180 days.

After expiration, you need to run it again and, voila, you’ll get a new license for 180 days.

It sounds great but it’s not. For various reasons. First, pirated versions of Windows or MS Office are not safe to use. Most of them might serve as a testing ground but not much more.

Second, large installation packages are heaven for hackers, where they can tamper with files and add whatever they want.

Additionally, if you use AutoKMS with original Microsoft products, there’s a great chance that things will go south for you.

Due to security measures, the whole structure can crash or substantially drop in performance. Therefore, we advise you to remove it as soon as possible.


2. Uninstall AutoKMS like any other app

try to uninstall AutoKMS

  1. In the Search bar, type Control and open Control Panel.
  2. In the Category view, click on Uninstall a program.
  3. Find AutoKMS and uninstall it.
  4. Remove the downloaded installation files.

As we already stated above, you can simply uninstall it. Navigate to Control Panel and remove it just like any other application. If you’re not sure how to do it, follow the instructions above.


You can’t open Control Panel? Take a look at this step-by-step guide to find a solution.


3. Get rid of AutoKMS by using Malwarebytes

download Malwarebytes

With over 8M threats detected or blocked every single day, the Malwarebytes name makes a statement on its own.

However, don’t you imagine that we’re talking about a tool for advanced users. This anti-malware software and malware removal is easy to use and can help you forget all about AutoKMS.exe.

Since it is a modern all-in-one solution, it is lightweight and based on artificial intelligence and machine learning to keep your data safe even from the latest online threats.

Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes is a simple and efficient utility that will help you remove AutoKMS.exe. Ready to try it out?

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4. Perform a deep scan with Windows Defender

  1. Open Windows Defender from the notification area.
  2. Choose Virus & threat protection.
  3. Click on the Scan Offline button.
  4. Save everything before you proceed because the PC will restart.
  5. Click Scan.

Follow the instructions above to perform a deep scan with Windows Defender. Your PC will restart and perform a thorough search for any malicious software and remove it.


Need more info on how to perform a full system scan directly from Windows Defender? Check out this guide.


After that, you should be in the clear. In addition, it’s your decision whether you’ll uninstall and delete the pirated program or not. But, always have in mind that free software tools aren’t always safe.

AutoKMS is only one suspicious piece of pirated software and there are others, much more dangerous files out there, carefully hidden within the installation.

What’s your experience with AutoKMS? Tell us in the comments section below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2017 and has been since revamped and updated in September 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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