Do you know what error_local_user is?
Either you are using an authentic or unofficial version of Windows, an annoying malware infection called error_local_user can appear anytime pretending to be an official product key activation screen. This fake alert has only one goal: To mislead you into buying useless software or support services. In other words, this is a technical support scam as our researchers refer to it. If you do not want to lose hundreds of dollars, we recommend that you remove error_local_user without a second thought. There is no problem with your computer or your system unless you really have not activated your copy of Windows and this is a real activation screen you are seeing. Let us tell you more about this fake alert so that you know how this threat can show up on your computer and what you can do against it.
According to our researchers, this infection is spread in bundles. This means that you may not even realize that you let this malware onto your machine, which most likely comes along with other malicious threats. Basically, you can drop a malicious bundle onto your system if you click on corrupt third-party advertisements. Such ads can be displayed on your computer screen while you are browsing the web. You either have adware infection on your system or you visit a shady website in order for you to be able to see such corrupt ads. These unreliable websites include torrent and freeware sites among others. The main feature that these sites have in common is that all of them promote several third-party ads. It is easy to end up on such pages if you run a web search on free products, movies, and software. The search results will definitely contain a number of fake or malicious websites. This is why we suggest that you always download software from official and reputable sources only. However, if you find this fake alert on your screen, there is only one thing you can do: You need to run a free online malware scanner to see if there are any other infections present. But first, you should delete error_local_user to get it out of the way. In fact, you cannot even use your computer properly until you do so.error_local_user screenshot
Scroll down for full removal instructions
You can find a number of identical or similar fake alert infections on the web that work exactly the same way. This alert poses as a product key activation screen for Windows, but there are some telltale signs, of course, that question its reliability. For starters, there are some non-relevant quick links at the top to third-party websites, such as TeamViewer, Supremo, and Logmein. Furthermore, there is a CMD button as well that opens the Command Prompt window. And, of course you will also find the promoted “Customer Support Helpline” telephone number (“+1-844-459-8882”), which is indeed the main “attraction” here. Nobody actually wants you to enter your real product key into the provided field. It is all about making you call this number.
This is called a technical support scam for a reason. In fact, you may not even talk to a real technician but, instead, a well-trained and experienced sales “guru” whose only goal is to sell you something; in this case, it is most likely a useless program to fix your system or a service with a one-time or annual fee. Unfortunately, there are plenty of inexperienced computer users who can be fooled and who are willing to pay money just to get their system running again. Well, you can take a deep breath now because that is exactly why we are here, too; but our help will not cost you anything, yet you will be able to delete error_local_user yourself manually.
The bad news is that this malware infection does not have a working uninstaller so you cannot simply remove error_local_user via Control Panel. Instead, you have to go through a number of steps to get rid of all the mess it created. The good news is that in order to assist you with the necessary steps, we have included our instructions below. Even if you are not an expert, you may succeed by following these instructions. However, it is always safer and more efficient to use a professional anti-malware program that can detect and clean all existing malware infections from your system as well as protect your PC from future malware attacks.
Remove error_local_user from Windows
- Press the CMD button on the fake error screen.
- Type in taskmgr and press the Enter key.
- Find the process named “windowsactivation.exe” and press End task.
- At the Command Prompt type in regedit. Hit Enter.
- Find 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)
- Find 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 entry. (64-bit)
- Exit the registry editor.
- At the Command Prompt type in explorer to open the File Explorer. Hit Enter.
- Bin “C:\Program Files (x86)\WindowsActivationUpdate” folder. (64-bit)
- Empty your Recycle Bin and reboot your PC.
In non-techie terms:
If you find an authentic-looking product key activation screen after a mysterious reboot, error_local_user fake alert infection may have crawled onto your system. This malware blocks your screen and the basic functioning of your operating system claiming that you have to provide your product key to activate your Windows. Obviously, this is a scam and you should not get a heart attack when you see this window. This is all about promoting a supposed customer support line (“+1-844-459-8882”), which could be used by potential schemers to sell you useless software and technical support services. Unsuspecting and inexperienced users may shorten their bank accounts by a few hundred dollars if they are not careful. That is why we suggest that you remove error_local_user ASAP. In order to protect your system from similar malware attacks, we advise you to download and install a reputable anti-malware application.