You May Be A Victim of Software Counterfeiting: How to Fix It?

Most common reason for this is using single PC licenses on more than one PC

by Vladimir Popescu
Vladimir Popescu
Vladimir Popescu
Managing Editor
Being an artist his entire life while also playing handball at a professional level, Vladimir has also developed a passion for all things computer-related. With an innate fascination... read more
Reviewed by Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Windows Server & Networking Expert
After moving away from the corporate work-style, Alex has found rewards in a lifestyle of constant analysis, team coordination and pestering his colleagues. Holding an MCSA Windows Server... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • This error comes up due to Microsoft's anti-piracy update, which helps to flag false versions.
  • Using the inauthentic version could help you use Windows for free but might leave to vulnerable to threats.
  • However, we have the fixes to resolve the issue if you have a genuine version.
You May Be A Victim of Software Counterfeiting How to Fix It

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Getting you may be a victim of a software counterfeiting warning can be frustrating. This Windows Authentication error occurs when a Windows license is flagged as not genuine.

This guide will discuss the potential reasons for the issue and available fixes. Let’s begin!

What causes you may be a victim of software counterfeiting?

There could be a handful of reasons for getting this error. We have mentioned some of the popular ones here:

  • Windows License is not genuine If your computer has a cracked version of Windows, and Windows Genuine Advantage Update scans your PC to ensure Windows license authenticity, this issue could occur.
  • Registry files are corrupted – If the Registry keys on your computer are missing or corrupted, you could see the error.
  • Windows  License is used in more than one computer – If you have the original Windows license, but it is being used on more than one computer, the issue can occur. It is advised to cross-check with your seller to ensure the same.

How do I deal with the you may be a victim of software counterfeiting message?

Expert tip:


Some PC issues are hard to tackle, especially when it comes to corrupted repositories or missing Windows files. If you are having troubles fixing an error, your system may be partially broken.
We recommend installing Restoro, a tool that will scan your machine and identify what the fault is.
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Before performing serious troubleshooting, let us check out some quick fixes:

If these fixes didn’t work for you, try using the methods mentioned below to re-authenticate your Windows license.

1. Reactivate Windows

  1. Press the Windows key, type CMD, and click Run as administrator.CMDm elevated
  2. On the Command Prompt window, copy and paste the following command to get the Windows product key and press Enter: wmic path softwareLicensingService get OA3xOriginalProductKeyProduct key
  3. Note the product key. Press Windows + R to open the Run window.
  4. Type slui.exe and hit Enter.Activation window
  5. Click Upgrade your edition of Windows, then go to the Change Product key and click Change.
  6. On Enter a product key window, type in or paste the license key you noted and press Next.Activation
  7. Click Activate, and it is done.

2. Disable Plug and Play service via Group Policy Editor

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run window.
  2. Type rsop.msc and press Enter to open the Resultant Set of Policy.
  3. Now navigate to the following path:  Computer Configuration\Policies\Windows Settings\Security Settings\System ServiesRSOP
  4. Locate Plug and Play and check if Startup and Permission are set to Not Defined. If not, right-click on Plug and Play and select Properties.
  5. Now change Permission and Startup status to Not defined.
  6. Close the window and restart your computer.

3. Delete Wgalogon folder from Registry Editor

  1. Press Windows + R to open Run.REGEDIT RUN COMMAND
  2. Type regedit and hit Enter.
  3. Go to this path: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Notifywgalogon
  4. Locate and right-click on the Wgalogon folder and select Delete.

4. Remove WGA files

  1. Press Windows + E to open Windows Explorer.
  2. Follow this path to get WGA files: C:\Windows\System32
  3. Type wga in the search bar and press Enter to locate all WGA files, including WgaSetup.exe and Wgatray.exe.wga DELETE
  4. Delete all the files and reboot your computer.

Note: If you can’t find the System32 folder, go to View, select Show, and then select Hidden items.

5. Add Necessary Network Service Permissions

  1. Press Windows + R to get the  Run window.
  2. Type regedit and hit Enter to open Registry Editor.
  3. Go to HKey_Users, click it to expand, and right-click S-1-5-20.
  4. Select Permissions.regT
  5. Now on the next screen, check if Network Service is available in Group or user names section.
  6. If yes, then go to step 8. If not, click on Add, and under Enter the object names to select, type Network Service.
  7. Now click the Check Names button and click OK.Change value
  8. Click Network Services and put a checkmark on Allow box for the Full Control and Read option. Click Apply and then OK.Aloow and read
  9. Reboot your PC to let the changes take effect.

6. Disable Automatic Updates

  1. Press the Windows + R to open the Run window.
  2. Type regedit and press Enter.REGEDIT RUN COMMAND
  3. Follow this path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows
  4. Select Windows and right-click on Windows, choose New, then Key.
  5. Rename the key as WindowsUpdate, right-click, select New, then Key.
  6. Name the key AU. Right-click on the AU key and choose New. Select DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  7. Rename the DWORD as NoAutoUpdate. Double-click it to modify the Value data, type 1, and click OK.Regedit
  8. Restart your computer.
  9. Your computer will not automatically download updates, but you can manually check and download updates when needed.

So, these are steps to fix you may be a victim of software counterfeiting issues. If you think we missed the method that worked for you, please let us know in the comments section below.

Still having issues? Fix them with this tool:


If the advices above haven't solved your issue, your PC may experience deeper Windows problems. We recommend downloading this PC Repair tool (rated Great on to easily address them. After installation, simply click the Start Scan button and then press on Repair All.

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