Fix: This copy of Windows is not genuine

After you install your genuine copy of the Windows operating system on your computer, you are required to activate Windows within a stipulated period of time. If you do not, you will see a message This copy of Windows is not genuine. On rare occasions, this may also happen after a Windows Update, in a genuine copy of Windows.

This copy of Windows is not genuine

Activation is the initial process by which a Windows running on a PC is determined to be properly licensed and genuine, and it’s really quick and easy. It is different from Registration, in the sense that,  Activation is the process of ensuring that your copy of Windows is used according to the Microsoft Software License Terms, whereas registration is the process of entering information to sign up for product support, tools and tips, and other product benefits.

Read: Why not to use a Pirated copy of Windows 10.

If Windows is not activated or if Windows detects the copy as a counterfeit, you may see the following message on your black desktop:

This copy of Windows is not genuine

Additionally, if you visit System Properties in Control Panel, you may also see the message: You must activate today.  Activate Windows now.

If you do not correct the issue, you will continue to get these reminder messages. Your desktop will turn black. Sure, you will be able to reset it, but every 60 minutes, but it will return to black until the issue is addressed. You will continue to get critical security updates. But optional and other updates will not be available to you.

If you see This copy of windows is not genuine message on your Windows 8 or Windows 7 desktop, this post tells you how to remove or fix it.

1] First of all, find out – Is your Microsoft Windows software Genuine? If it is, then activate Windows using the SLUI.EXE 3. If not, then there can be serious risks in using pirated software.  If you are using pirated software, we recommend you go in for a genuine license of Windows 10/8/7. If you had paid for a license, and if you now find that it was a fake license, you could take up the matter with Microsoft, report counterfeit software and see if it helps. Remember, Microsoft may replace fakes, if you’ve been genuinely taken in. You may find this post on how to change Windows product key handy, if you need to change the license.

2] If you receive an Error 0x80070005 along with the Windows is not genuine, Your computer might be running a counterfeit copy of Windows, do the following.

If you have applied the Plug and Play Group Policy object (GPO), disable it or select Not Configured or Not Defined.

Computer Configuration / Policies / Windows Settings /Security Settings / System Services / Plug and Play (Startup Mode: Automatic)

Force a Group Policy setting update by using gpupdate/force and restart your system. KB2008385 throws more light on this subject.

3] If validation fails on genuine Windows 7 while installing Microsoft downloads or Windows Updates, and you receive a message This copy of Windows is not Genuine, accompanied with a validation error codes 1699978131, 1571607440, 757834664 or 228668481, see this post on Validation fails on genuine Windows.

4] If you are using a genuine key and feel that the license file or the activation tokens file may have got corrupted, do the following.

To reinitialize the license file. Open an elevated CMD, type the following and hit Enter:

slmgr /rilc

If you think your Activation files may have got corrupted, you can rebuild the Activation Tokens file.

5] SkipRearm is a registry entry which specifies whether to run the Windows Software Licensing Rearm program. Rearming a computer restores Windows Vista to the original licensing state, states Microsoft. This post talks on how you rearm a Windows computer, so as to be able to use it for an additional period of time. It is an old post, written during Windows Vista days – but should still work on Windows 10/8.1/7.

6] If your Windows is Genuine, and yet you face this problem, then download and run the Microsoft Genuine Advantage Diagnostic Tool.

Microsoft Genuine Advantage Diagnostic Tool

The Microsoft Genuine Advantage Diagnostic Tool provides detailed information about the Microsoft Genuine Advantage components and settings currently on your system. It will allow you to diagnose and automatically resolve problems. Run the tool, copy its findings to your clipboard and then submit a Genuine Windows technical support request to Microsoft.

Wish you all the best!

Read next: How to buy Windows 10 with a valid or legit license key.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.