Troubleshooting Guide: How Do I Fix ‘This Computer is not Genuine Windows’ Error?

If you are encountering the dreaded ‘This Computer is not Genuine Windows’ error message on your computer, you might be feeling frustrated and unsure of how to resolve the issue. This error typically occurs when the Windows operating system on your PC is not recognized as a genuine version, which can lead to limited functionality and constant reminders to activate your copy of Windows. However, fear not, as this troubleshooting guide aims to provide you with a comprehensive solution to fix this error and get your computer back to its authentic state.

In this article, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of resolving the ‘This Computer is not Genuine Windows’ error. We will discuss the common causes behind this issue, such as outdated or pirated versions of Windows, and explore a range of effective solutions to tackle the problem. Whether you are a novice computer user or an experienced tech-savvy individual, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and tools necessary to fix this error and ensure your Windows operating system is recognized as genuine.

1. What is the ‘This Computer is not Genuine Windows’ error?

The ‘This Computer is not Genuine Windows’ error is a common issue that Windows users may encounter. It appears as a pop-up message on the screen, indicating that the currently installed Windows operating system is not genuine or properly licensed. This error message is typically seen when the Windows version installed on the computer is not activated or when the system fails the validation process.

There are several reasons why this error may occur. It could be due to an expired or invalid product key, issues with the Windows Activation system, or problems with the Windows update process. Sometimes, this error may also result from using counterfeit versions of Windows or installing unauthorized software modifications.

If you encounter the ‘This Computer is not Genuine Windows’ error, it is crucial to address it promptly to ensure the legality and authenticity of your Windows installation. This article will guide you through the common causes, symptoms, and troubleshooting steps to fix this error and prevent future occurrences.

Common causes and symptoms of the error

The ‘This Computer is not Genuine Windows’ error can occur due to various reasons and can lead to frustrating consequences. One of the common causes is the presence of an invalid or counterfeit product key. This happens when a user tries to activate Windows using a key that is not genuine or has been obtained from unauthorized sources.

Another cause is a failed Windows activation process, which can occur if the product key is entered incorrectly or if there are problems with the activation server. The error can also arise if the operating system detects unauthorized modifications, such as tampering with important system files.

Symptoms of this error include constant pop-up notifications stating that the Windows version is not genuine, a black desktop background with a watermark, and limited access to some Windows features.

It is important to resolve this error as it can result in the loss of important updates and security patches, potentially leaving your computer vulnerable to malware and other threats.

Steps to verify the Windows product key

When encountering the “This Computer is not Genuine Windows” error, the first step to resolving the issue is to verify the Windows product key. This ensures that the operating system is properly licensed and registered with Microsoft.

To verify the Windows product key, follow these steps:

1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box.
2. Type “slui.exe 4” and hit Enter. This will open the Windows Activation wizard.
3. In the Activation wizard, select your country or region from the drop-down menu and click Next.
4. The wizard will display the available phone activation numbers. Call the number provided and follow the automated prompts to enter the Installation ID.
5. Once you have entered the Installation ID, the automated voice response system will provide you with a Confirmation ID. Note down the Confirmation ID.
6. Enter the Confirmation ID in the corresponding field in the Activation wizard and click Next.
7. If the Confirmation ID is valid, Windows will be activated and the “This Computer is not Genuine Windows” error should no longer appear.

Verifying the Windows product key ensures that the error is not caused by an invalid or expired license. By following these steps, you can address the issue and ensure that your copy of Windows is genuine and properly activated.

Resolving the Error by Using the Windows Activation Troubleshooter

The Windows Activation Troubleshooter is a built-in tool provided by Microsoft to help users resolve activation issues, including the “This Computer is not Genuine Windows” error. This tool can automatically detect and fix common activation problems, making it a convenient and effective solution.

To use the Windows Activation Troubleshooter, follow these steps:

1. Press the Windows key + I to open the Settings app, then navigate to Update & Security > Activation.
2. Scroll down and click on the “Troubleshoot” option under the “Activate Windows” section.
3. Wait for the troubleshooter to scan your computer and detect any activation issues.
4. Follow the on-screen instructions provided by the troubleshooter to resolve the error. This may include validating your product key and activating Windows.

By using the Windows Activation Troubleshooter, you can easily resolve the “This Computer is not Genuine Windows” error without the need for manual intervention. However, if the troubleshooter fails to fix the issue, manual solutions may be required, as outlined in the next subheading.

5. Manual solutions for addressing the error

This section will outline various manual solutions that can be implemented to address the ‘This Computer is not Genuine Windows’ error. These methods can be useful when the Windows Activation Troubleshooter fails to resolve the issue.

One possible manual solution involves using the Command Prompt to manually re-enter the product key. This can be done by opening the Command Prompt as an administrator and typing in the command “slmgr -ipk [your product key]”. Pressing Enter will initiate the reinstallation of the product key.

Another manual solution involves editing the registry to remove any invalid licenses or activation keys. This requires caution, as modifying the registry incorrectly can cause system instability. It is recommended to create a backup of the registry before proceeding with any changes.

Additionally, manual activation through the phone can also be attempted. This involves contacting Microsoft’s customer support and providing the necessary information to reactivate Windows.

These manual solutions offer alternative methods to resolve the error when the automated Windows Activation Troubleshooter does not work. It is important to follow the instructions carefully and ideally consult with technical support or Microsoft’s resources for further guidance.

Preventing future occurrences of the ‘This Computer is not Genuine Windows’ error

To prevent future occurrences of the “This Computer is not Genuine Windows” error, there are several steps you can take to ensure the authenticity of your Windows operating system:

1. Install Windows updates: Regularly install the latest updates provided by Microsoft. These updates often contain patches that address security vulnerabilities and improve system stability.

2. Enable automatic updates: Configure your Windows settings to automatically download and install new updates. This ensures that you stay up to date and reduces the risk of encountering counterfeit or non-genuine software.

3. Purchase from authorized retailers: Only buy Windows licenses from reputable and authorized retailers. Avoid purchasing from suspicious websites or third-party sellers, as they might sell counterfeit or illegitimate copies of Windows.

4. Validate your product key: After purchasing a Windows license, validate the product key to confirm its authenticity. Microsoft provides tools to verify the validity of your key, ensuring you have a genuine Windows installation.

5. Install reliable antivirus software: A good antivirus program will not only protect your system from malware but also help identify and remove counterfeit or pirated software.

By following these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the chances of encountering the “This Computer is not Genuine Windows” error in the future, ensuring a genuine and properly licensed Windows operating system.


1. Why am I seeing the error message ‘This Computer is not Genuine Windows’?

The error message usually appears when your operating system detects that your version of Windows is not genuine or not properly activated.

2. What causes the ‘This Computer is not Genuine Windows’ error?

There are various factors that can trigger this error, including using a non-genuine copy of Windows, issues with the activation process, or changes to system files that affect the validity of the license.

3. How can I confirm if my Windows version is genuine?

To check the authenticity of your Windows version, you can navigate to the System page in the Control Panel or go to Settings > Update & Security > Activation. These sections will indicate whether your Windows copy is genuine or not.

4. How do I fix the ‘This Computer is not Genuine Windows’ error?

There are several solutions you can try to resolve this error, which include reactivating Windows using a valid license key, running system diagnostics to detect and fix activation issues, or seeking help from Microsoft support.

5. Will fixing the error affect my data or installed programs?

In most cases, fixing the ‘This Computer is not Genuine Windows’ error will not impact your data or installed programs. However, it is always recommended to backup your important files before attempting any significant system changes.

The Conclusion

In conclusion, the ‘This Computer is not Genuine Windows’ error can be a frustrating issue for users, but there are several troubleshooting steps that can help resolve it. By following these steps, such as checking for Windows updates, running the Windows Activation Troubleshooter, or resetting the license status, users can potentially fix the error and regain access to their genuine Windows operating system.

Additionally, it is important to ensure that the computer is using a valid product key and that it is activated correctly. Users may need to contact Microsoft support for further assistance if the issue persists. It is essential to address this error promptly and resolve it to ensure that the operating system remains genuine and properly licensed, allowing for a smooth and secure user experience.

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