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How To Fix “Windows Is Not Genuine” Error

Monday, June 11th, 2012 by | Filed Under: Security Help

Fern from WV writes:

Why do I keep getting the message that my Windows 7 is not genuine? How can I fix this? It came on my Gateway computer that I bought in Dec. 2010.

Windows 7 includes a Windows Genuine Advantage checker which verifies ┬áthat your copy of Windows is legally licensed. However, sometimes there is an error which causes Windows to forget it is registered – but there is an easy fix.

The first step is to look at the side of your computer, or on the bottom for a Windows Authenticity Label. This  label will show your Windows 7 serial number. Write down the serial number.

windows product key

Once the serial number is written down, click the Start button and in the search box type: Activate Windows

In this window you can enter in your product key and proceed with activation. You may need to click the Change product key button and type in the product key again. Once activated, you should receive the below message and will no longer be prompted that your copy is not genuine.


Hope this helps!


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12 Responses to “How To Fix “Windows Is Not Genuine” Error”

  1. Kalju says:

    It would be nice if that were the case, but Dell and computers of some other company’s can not be activated so, if there is installed on Windows 7. I have officially bought a new Dell, but on this label is a completely different number, than what the factory has been activated.

  2. LIbby says:

    Great tip! As an additional help on this, instead of writing down the number from the tag on the bottom of your laptop (or on the back of your desktop computer) use the camera on your cell phone and take a quick picture of it. This works great for anything that is too small of print to make out also, click, open, and enlarge on your phone’s screen!

  3. Dan says:

    There’s a lot of piracy going on these days…I’ve run into it before and if it’s a pirated or hacked copy of Windows, no amount of changing the product key will help activate it. The only solution Microsoft will give is charge you full price for a valid version of Windows.

    If the version is legitimate, that message usually never pops up unless a re-installation has occurred or some other system change.

    • Daniel Brant says:

      There has been no system change to the computer. It has run for over 3 years without this popup. The only difference may be I downloaded something that was bundled and this is the result. Activation shows my copy is genuine. What I have is more an annoying enigma as it has not shut down the computer. I suspect it is the result of malware.

  4. Stephany Mccaskill says:

    Well the problem is, that the employees of these online backup companies have full access to our private files..I read it on wikipedia, there have been many incidents where insiders violate privacy!

  5. Renae Didomenico says:

    You ought to actually think about working on creating this site into a serious authority on this market. You certainly have the knowledge on the subjects everyone seems to be looking for on this blog anyhow and you might even earn a buck off of some banners. Only a thought, good luck in whatever you do!

  6. Karen Konczyk says:

    I would love to just be able to key in Windows number on bottom of my computer but it’s worn & I can’t read it..I bought my Compaq in 2010. Never had a problem till now…Black screen & constant messages that Windows not genuine
    Please help!
    Thanks, Karen

  7. Steve Illes says:

    I did as you instructed but it said that number is being used by another computer. Any other ideas?

  8. Rick says:

    It has nothing to do with hacked copies of Win 7. Plenty of users are getting this message after having their laptops for many years. It is the fault of a windows update, which when removed, solves the error problem. Nothing sinister about it, no assuming people have got illegal free copies.

  9. Daniel Brant says:

    I like this answer but I still can’t figure out where Microsoft screwed up. One day this popup warning was there (few months ago) and it does not go away. I think I’ll use another browser for awhile and see if I only get it on my preferred browser. I’ll call my tech too but not really wanting to pay $100 to solve it if at all. Microsoft is not really good at providing support for what may be their mistake. Also noticed there is much more vicious stuff out there than a few years ago. Worry at any time the government can shut down my internet.

  10. Russ says:

    I have a Dell Inspiron which I updated from a Celeron to a duel core Intel processor to get better performance and that worked out well.

    My hard drive went bad and I could not save the programing from off of it so i bought a Windows 7 Home Edition from Walmart and installed it.

    I don’t run windows update as ten thousand times of the updates giving me problems soured me on them. And I don’t do networking and i don’t watch videos, nor use audio visual chats. All I do is use type in chat sites so i eliminated most of the features such as for media and network printing and even Internet Explorer, as I use Firefox for everything.

    I deleted all firewall rules but the ones I directly use.

    Now every time I go on the Internet, when i get off i find that Your copy is not genuine message which goes away by simply clicking properties under the Computer shortcut and visiting the View Basic Information About Your Computer screen.

    Is there no way to solve that annoying not genuine lying warning? It really angers me at Microsoft. I don’t give a hoot about their piracy problem as that is not me and I should not have to be annoyed by their paranoia.

  11. vboop says:

    my problem is it s missing drivers and it needs to be activated but wont do cause its not authen

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