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Danger level 8
Common infection symptoms:
  • Annoying Pop-up's
  • Shows commercial adverts


error_local_user is a fake alert message that pretends to be an authentic product key activation screen for your Windows operating system. This malware infection restarts your computer after it is activated and locks your screen with its own background instead of the usual desktop. We have found that this fake alert is indeed identical to another infection called “Windows Support. Call TollFree +1 -855-441-4421.” In fact, the only difference we have noticed is the telephone numbers provided by the infections. You should know that this attack is simply about pushing you to call this number where allegedly a Microsoft certified technician is waiting to help you with your system error. This is what we usually call as a technical support scam. You should not call this number if you do not want to throw your money out the window. We suggest that you remove error_local_user ASAP.

Our research shows that this fake alert is mainly distributed in free software bundles. This is one of the most frequently used methods to spread adware applications, browser hijackers, Trojans, fake alert programs, and potentially unwanted programs on the web. It is clear that installing such a package can seriously harm your computer with time passing. That is why it is so important for you to know how you can infect your system with such a malicious bundle. As a matter of fact, one way to let more infections onto your computer is to already have at least one adware program on board. error_local_user can display unsafe third-party ads and if you click on them, you can easily drop a number of threats onto your machine.

This can also happen very similarly when you land on suspicious websites, including gaming, pornographic, shareware, and torrent sites. These pages usually host a number of shady third-party ads that can also disguise themselves and look like download or next-page buttons, system errors, or warnings. There is a higher chance that you click on such content believing that it is what it looks like. This is the main purpose of deception, of course. However, once you click, you may download a whole package of malware threats onto your system. This is why we recommend that you scan your PC to detect all potentially harmful applications right after you delete error_local_user.

After unknowingly installing this annoying fake alert, it forces a reboot in order to start up automatically with Windows. However, this infection overrides your Windows Shell configuration and instead of your normal desktop, its own fake alert window will come up. This alert notifies you that your product key is missing and you need to enter it to be able to use your computer. Apart from the current date in the top-left corner, you can also find three buttons that open the TeamViewer, Supremo, and Logmein websites. In the top-right corner, there is a CMD button, too. If you click on this button, the Command Prompt window will come up, which will come in handy when you want to remove error_local_user from your system.

This fake alert is all about trying to scare you to call the promoted “customer support helpline” by dialing “+1-844-459-8882”. If you call this number, a technician will answer who claims to be Microsoft certified but, in reality, he is more like a salesman trying to sell you some unnecessary products or services to fix your PC. Since these people are experienced schemers, a lot of users fall for this trick and end up paying hundreds of US dollars for useless tools against non-existing system issues. We do not advise you to call this number. In fact, we suggest that you remove error_local_user right now.

If you are ready to act, here is what you should do to eliminate error_local_user. First of all, you need to press the CMD button to bring up the Command Prompt. Then, type in taskmgr and hit the Enter key. Now, locate and end the malicious process (“windowsactivation.exe”) this infection uses to operate through. After this you will still not have the main Windows process (explorer.exe) working so you need to keep using the Command Prompt until you restart your PC. Please follow our guide below to make sure you get it all right. We hope that after this malware attack you understand why it is so important to protect your virtual world. There are more dangerous infections that can destroy or encrypt your files and you will only be able to use them again – if at all – when you pay a certain amount of ransom fee, which could be hundreds of US dollars. But you can also let spyware and other threats onto your computer if you are not careful enough. Therefore, we advise you to install a trustworthy malware removal application that can take all this security burden off your shoulders.
Remove error_local_user from Windows

In the Command Prompt window type in regedit. Hit Enter.
Locate HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Shell registry value name and replace its value data (“C:\Program Files (x86)\WindowsActivationUpdate\WindowsActivationUpdate.exe”) with “explorer.exe” (64-bit)
Locate HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Shell registry value name and replace its value data (“C:\Program Files (x86)\WindowsActivationUpdate\WindowsActivationUpdate.exe”) with “explorer.exe” (64-bit)
Delete HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\ WindowsActivationUpdate registry key. (64-bit)
Close the editor.
In the Command Prompt window type in explorer to open the File Explorer. Hit Enter.
Delete “C:\Program Files (x86)\WindowsActivationUpdate” if found. (64-bit)
Empty your Recycle Bin.
Restart your computer.

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