How to get McAfee not to delete a keygen

Written by michael roennevig Google
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How to get McAfee not to delete a keygen
McAfee quarantines potentially malicious files. (Courtesy of McAfee)

Key generators, or keygens, are small programs created and distributed by software hackers to help users of the applications they crack generate a product key. Many antivirus programs, including McAfee, flag some keygens as malware, even when they don't contain a virus. Instead of deleting flagged keygens, McAfee's VirusScan moves them to a quarantined folder after they've been downloaded. You can recover any files quarantined by McAfee in a few short steps, but be aware that your keygen could harbour malicious code that may harm your computer.


To recover your quarantined keygen, click on the "M" icon in your computer's taskbar or system tray. Select the "Navigation" link at the top of the window that appears and click on "Quarantined and trusted items." Click on the "Quarantined items" drawer, highlight your keygen by clicking on it and hit the "Restore" button. Your keygen will then be restored to the location you originally intended to download it to.

McAfee Labs

When recovering your keygen, you'll be given the option to click "Send to McAfee." Doing so will send your file to McAfee Labs for investigation. This function is intended to help McAfee software users flag up instances where VirusScan has wrongly identified legitimate software as a threat. If you're trying to get access to a keygen intended to unlock cracked software, there'll obviously be no point in forwarding it to McAfee.


Open your restored keygen in a sandbox. Although some antivirus programs automatically treat keygens as malicious, even when they don't harbour a virus, there'll still be a chance your file could contain malware that may harm your computer or steal your personal information. Sandbox software allows you to open potentially malicious programs in a safe environment so as you can see how they behave without affecting your hard drive.

Cracked software

If you've downloaded a keygen as part of a cracked software torrrent, you could leave yourself open to action from the publishers of the program you're effectively stealing. Many software publishers monitor file sharing sites such as Pirate Bay and isoHunt and record the IP addresses of any computer users downloading cracked versions of their products. Your computer may not become infected with a virus from the software and keygen you download, but you could find yourself being taken to court by the owners of the software you're illegally trying to get for free.

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