Fix Windows Defender Hacktool Win32keygen in a few easy steps

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • ​​Hacktool: Win32/Keygen is a tool used to generate fake activation keys for various softwares in order to bypass their protection mechanism.
  • ​​While the tool itself is not harmful, it usually comes associated with malware so make sure you use the best antivirus on the market.
  • Malware removal can be a tricky business, so make sure you pay attention and follow all the steps in this article.
  • If you encounter other Window 10 security issues, check out our dedicated hub for Windows 10 fix guides.
remove hacktool win32keygen windows defender
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​​Windows Defender, which comes automatically installed with each copy of Windows 10, usually does recurring scanning in the background.

Sometimes, after a scan, it can detect a threat that is labelled as HackTool: Win32/Keygen. Naturally, some people are complaining about this:

​​I faced this threat “HackTool: Win32/Keygen” in windows defender. What should I do?

How can I remove HackTool: Win32/Keygen?

1. Quarantine or Remove the threat via Windows Defender

Windows Defender Advanced Scans

  1. Open Windows Defender and check the History tab to see if the threat has been properly dealt with.
  2. ​Go back to the Home tab, and perform a Full scan.
  3. See if there are any other threats discovered after the scan and take notes of where the infected files were found.
  4. Restart Windows 10 to complete the removal of the files that were found during the scan.

​​Alternately, on newer versions of Windows, you can go to Windows Defender Security Center, click on Scan Options and perform the Full Scan from there.

​​2. Detect and remove the software that came with the win32keygen
​​windows 10 programs and features in control panel

  1. In the previous step where we noted down where the files were found, we can determine what software came with the file. You can usually determine this by looking at the parent folder that contained the infected file.
  2. Go to Control Panel. Select Programs > Programs and Features.
  3. Click on the name of the software you identified and then on the top tab click Uninstall.
  4. Complete the steps shown on the screen and repeat for each software, if necessary.

If you’re unable to open Control Panel in Windows 10, check out this simple guide.

​​3. Use Microsoft Safety Scanner

microsoft safety scanner remove hacktool win32/keygen

  1. ​Go to the official page and download Microsoft Safety Scanner.
  2. Open the executable.
  3. Perform scan and follow instructions to complete this action.

​​4. Install Malwarebytes  and scan

Best choice
alwarebytes logo official website
  • Performance without slowing down your PC
  • Removes infections with a quick scan 
  • Customize your security
  1. Download and install latest version of Malwarebytes.
  2. Perform a scan.
  3. After the scan is complete, the results screen will appear.
  4. To remove the infected applications, check them and click on the Remove Selected button.
  5. If it asks you to reboot your computer, do so as instructed.

If you arrived at this point, it means that you managed to get rid of Hacktool: Win32/Keygen from your system and you cleaned your computer.

If you have other questions or suggestions, leave them in the comments section below and we’ll be sure to check them out.

FAQ: Learn more about Windows Defender

  • Is HackTool win32 keygen safe?

The file itself is usually harmless. However, the rest of the software that comes associated with it has a high possibility of having injected with malware.

  • Is keygen a virus?

Keygen is just a tool used to generate serial keys to activate software. However, most of the times the software that is about to be activated is injected with a virus.

  • How do I get rid of win32 virus?

The steps to clean your computer are similar to the ones in this article. Start by installing a good antivirus and performing a full scan. Then proceed to Microsoft Safety Scanner and then to running a scan using Malwarebytes.