A malicious program or file that was created to get around a limitation on commercial software and computer programs is detected by the HackTool:Win32/ProductKey detection. Legitimate antivirus programs like Microsoft Defender Antivirus are capable of recognizing and eliminating this threat. This threat may also be identified by other security tools, although they might refer to it by a different name than HackTool:Win32/ProductKey.

This specific detection covers the category of harmful files, such as keyword generators, cracking apps, and hacking tools, that are intended to get over the limitations placed on commercial software and programs. Therefore, we strongly advise doing an urgent cleaning to eradicate this virus if HackTool:Win32/ProductKey is found on the computer. Ignoring its existence on the computer might lead to further problems.

Illustration of HackTool:Win32/ProductKey

How does it infect the computer?

In a manner similar to other computer viruses, HackTool:Win32/ProductKey spreads. Under normal circumstances, harmful programs such as shareware, freeware, or pirated apps might be installed by computer users, therefore posing a threat. Attackers have also been seen to use a number of malicious websites as delivery systems for the HackTool:Win32/ProductKey virus.

Once the computer is up and running, HackTool:Win32/ProductKey will dump many harmful files into key directories, most notably SYSTEM. Next, it incorporates a registry entry that launches HackTool:Win32/ProductKey every time Windows boots up.

HackTool:Win32/ProductKey is a harmful virus that should be removed from the computer right away since it poses a serious risk. Ignoring its presence may lead to more dangerous contamination that compromises the computer’s overall functionality.

How does this malware operate?

In order to profit from the corrupted system, hackers created HackTool:Win32/ProductKey. Once entered, this virus is capable of a number of harmful tasks, such as the following:

  • Communicate with a distant server to pick up more viruses.
  • Run the malicious program that was downloaded on the machine that was infected.
  • Gather different computer data, such as the operating system, IP address, and ISP information.
  • Transfer the collected data to a distant server.
  • Allow the remote attacker to take control of the computer by opening a backdoor port.


As previously said, the warning message that prevents you from accessing the computer or files might be the first indication you see. Security software will continue to display warnings about several virus attempts to operate on the computer if HackTool:Win32/ProductKey is not completely removed.

Versions of HackTool:Win32/ProductKey
Version Name Alert Level Date Added
HackTool:Win64/ProductKey.G!MSR Severe Aug. 22, 2022
HackTool:Win32/ProductKey is also detected as:
Arcabit Application.Nirsoft
Bkav Pro W32.Common.D5CE3C98
CrowdStrike Falcon Win/grayware_confidence_100% (W)
ESET-NOD32 A Variant Of Win64/PSWTool.ProductKey.A
Fortinet Riskware/ProductKey
Malwarebytes HackTool.Agent.Nirsoft
TrendMicro HackTool.Win32.ProduKey.AJ
Zillya Trojan.PSWTool.Win64.2

For more help

A significant portion of this threat is already out in the wild, and HackTool:Win32/ProductKey is one of many harmful applications in this group. Please go to our list of HackTool threats to identify a particular version and the associated eradication procedure.

How to remove HackTool:Win32/ProductKey?

To totally remove HackTool:Win32/ProductKey from the computer and get rid of relevant viruses and trojans, please execute the procedures as stated on this page. Make sure that you have completely scanned the system with the suggested malware removal tools and virus scanners.

Step 1 : Scan the PC with Combo Cleaner for Windows

Combo Cleaner is a trusted computer security and optimization tool equipped with a powerful virus and malware detection engine. This program can get rid of computer virus like HackTool:Win32/ProductKey through this procedure.

1. Download the application from the following page:

2. Save the file to your preferred location.

3. Double-click the downloaded file CCSetup.exe and install with the default settings.

4. At the end of the setup process, click Finish to run Combo Cleaner.

5. The tool will update the database file; please wait for this process to complete.

6. To begin checking for threats like HackTool:Win32/ProductKey, click on the Start Scan button. Wait for this scan to finish.

Screenshot of Combo Cleaner PC

7. At the end of the scan process, click on Remove all threats to delete HackTool:Win32/ProductKey malware, including all malicious objects from the computer.

To fully optimize the features of antivirus and privacy scanners, users may have to upgrade to the premium version.

Please continue with the succeeding removal procedures if you are comfortable manually getting rid of the computer virus and malicious items linked to it.

Step 2 : Start Windows in Safe Mode With Networking

The method of running Windows in Safe Mode before running a virus scan is effective in getting rid of HackTool:Win32/ProductKey. This process can prevent most viruses and malware from loading, making it easier to detect and remove them.

1. On the Windows Search bar, please type msconfig.

Screenshot of Win 11 Search

2. Select and open System Configutation on the list of found results.

3. Once you are in the System Configuration window, go to the Boot tab.

Screenshot of Msconfig Win 11

4. Under the Boot Options area, please check Safe Boot so that it starts in Safe Mode after restarting.

5. Next, select Network. This will allow Windows to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

6. Lastly, click on Apply and OK to save the changes.

7. Please restart Windows.

Do not forget to restore the normal boot process of Windows after running the virus scan. Simply repeat the method above, and this time, uncheck the Safe Boot option to run Windows normally.

Step 3 : Run Sophos Home Virus Scanner

To remove HackTool:Win32/ProductKey automatically, scanning the computer with this powerful virus and malware removal tool is recommended. This scanner does not just uncover known threats like viruses or malware; it is also effective in discovering harmful files associated to HackTool:Win32/ProductKey.

1. Please click on the link below to download the program.

2. After downloading, locate the file SophosInstall.exe in the Downloads folder.

3. Install by double-clicking on the file.

4. If it prompts "Do you want to allow this app to make changes on your device?" please click Yes.

5. Next, it will display the Terms and Conditions page. Click the Install button to begin.

Screenshot of Terms by Sophos Home

6. Run the installation with the default settings. Please note that an internet connection is required in order to download important updates.

7. After finishing the installation, you must login to the dashboard. If you already have a Sophos account, please login. Otherwise, please enter your details and click on the Create Account button.

8. Once you are in the Sophos Home console, click the Scan button to start checking the computer for HackTool:Win32/ProductKey components.

Screenshot of Sophos Home

9. Scanning may take a while; please wait for this process to finish.

10. After scanning the computer, Sophos Home will start cleaning or deleting files infected with HackTool:Win32/ProductKey.

11. You may now close Sophos Home. The computer is now free from HackTool:Win32/ProductKey, as well as associated malware and viruses.

After executing the above instructions, HackTool:Win32/ProductKey should have been completely removed from the computer. If there are still signs of infection or the computer is displaying unusual behaviors, please continue with the remaining procedures.

Another alternative for Windows 10/11 users is to scan the computer with Microsoft Defender Offline. This will run a virus scan in the recovery environment.

Step 4 : Double Check with Windows Security Apps

Microsoft Windows has a built-in security application that you can use to double-check if your computer is still infected with HackTool:Win32/ProductKey. For Windows 10/11 users, please run Windows Security.

Windows 10 / 11 Instructions:

Windows Security is a free tool that was built to help you remove HackTool:Win32/ProductKey, viruses, and other malicious items from Windows 10/11 systems. Follow these procedures to scan your computer with the tool:

1. Tap or click the Search charm and search for Windows Security

2. Click Open to run the program.

Screenshot of Win 11 Search

3. On the Dashboard, click Virus and threat protection from the sidebar.

Screenshot of Win 11 Virus Protection

4. On the right panel, click on Scan Options to see different levels of checking the computer.

5. Next, please select Full Scan button.

Screenshot of Full Scan Win 11

6. Lastly, click on the Scan now button to start scanning for the presence of HackTool:Win32/ProductKey. The process may take a while to complete.

7. After the scan, Delete/Quarantine identified threats, whether they were relevant to HackTool:Win32/ProductKey or not. You may now restart Windows to complete the virus removal process.

For Windows 8.1 and Windows 7, you can scan the computer for free with the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT 64-Bit). It is a stand-alone virus scanner tool that targets prevalent malware groups.

About the author

2 thoughts on “HackTool:Win32/ProductKey”

  1. This malware just showed up on my Defender scan of a “new”/refurbished laptop I received yesterday (HackTool:Win32/ProductKey Affected items: file: C:\files\produkey-x64-produkey-x64\ProduKey.exe). Before doing anything further, I searched for how to remove this malware and found your page. I am not able to run Windows Defender in Safe Mode (Windows 10). When I open Windows Security in Safe Mode, I get “Security at a glance”, “See what’s happening with the security and health of your device and take any actions needed” but then there’s just a blank white page and no scan options. As well, my Network is not enabled in Safe Mode so I am unable to download anything in Safe Mode. How do I enable Windows Defender in Safe Mode? What are next steps for removing this malware that has been quarantined?

  2. @K, It could be that your laptop is running pirated software. If you cannot download WD, your OS might not support it. I suggest downloading/installing Malwarebytes. Then, reboot in SafeMode and scan your computer. 

    If the identified file is not that important, you might just delete it, and your problems will be gone.

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