Security

What is kmspico.exe and how do I remove it?

WindowsProductKeyCertificationExample

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What is a KMS and how is this related to kmspico.exe?

KMS which stands for Key management system is a technology developed by Microsoft which allows for business or large institutions to host a server responsible for allocating licenses to individual Windows computers. This process makes it easier for system administrators to manage license keys rather than working on individual computers when it comes to activation, the server than communicates back to Microsoft approximately every 180 days to validate it’s license.

As a result of the popularity of KMS servers many of these servers are not properly configured and can therefore be probed externally outside of a network allowing additional unauthorised licenses to be added to computers. Kmspico is an application which illegally bypasses this and emulates a KMS server it is typically associated with pirated versions of Windows and often includes malware such as Trojans or adware designed to hijack the users web browser and search settings.

For further information about KMS servers and volume licenses see this page.

Common file names and anti-virus detection

Depending on your security/anti-virus program the program may have several different names which can include the following:

KMSpico (v9.3.1.0).exe
KMSpico.exe
KMSpico_setup.exe
KMS.exe
Setup.exe
SETUP.exe
gKMSpico_setup.exe

Most anti-virus programs will flag the tool as a hacking tool or a Trojan therefore we recommend that if you have encountered this file on your computer you go through the process of removing it in order to keep your system clean from any potential malware.

Recommended tools for the job

In this particular tutorial we will recommend a program called ADW Cleaner which facilitates the cleanup of different adware programs, in addition we recommend MalwareBytes Premium which is an excellent anti-malware scanning program capable of detecting and removing lots of different threats.

MalwareBytes

MalwareBytesLogo

In order to get rid of the above program we recommend running a full MalwareBytes scan followed by an adware scan using this guide to scan for and remove any remnants of the software from your PC.

Scanning and removing kmspico from your computer

malwarebytes-scan

In order to remove kmspico from Windows we will be using MalwareBytes which can be downloaded from the links above, simply go ahead and run the setup to get the program installed. From here go ahead and open up the program and choose “scan now” to run a full system scan.

Upon completion you should have a list of items that were detected, go ahead and tick all items that you wish to remove and follow the prompts to finalise the cleanup. You may be required to reboot your computer so be sure to close any open applications before doing so.

After rebooting follow the link above to scan your system with ADW Cleaner which will look for any adware remnants and get rid of those as well.

Other general tips to stay safe

These are some additional tips which we always recommend to keep your system safe from malware:

  • Keep your system up-to-date including your operating system and programs
  • Always keep your anti-virus tools updated and enabled unless you need to disable them briefly
  • Avoid pirated software or operating systems as these usually contain malware
  • Exercise caution when installing software and keep track of the default check boxes to avoid adware or bundled tools
  • Run regular security scans
  • Whilst not directly relevant we always recommend keeping backups of your most important data including an offline and or offsite backup

Conclusion

I hope you found this guide to be useful, if so be sure to share it with your friends and check out our software utilities and videos for more.

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*Image credits

Windows Product key image via Wikipedia under a public domain license