How Genuine Advantage Notifications Work

By: Dave Roos

Installing Genuine Advantage Notifications

Microsoft originally placed  GAN under its security shield.
Microsoft originally placed  GAN under its security shield.
Microsoft product screen shot reprinted with permission from Microsoft Corporation.

To begin installing Genuine Advantage Notifications, first you have to download the installation software. Microsoft has added Genuine Advantage Notifications to its Windows Update and Microsoft Update services. Both of these services notify a Windows user when there are security or other updates available for their Microsoft software. Windows Update is built into Windows XP and Vista and offers updates for the operating system. Microsoft Update is an optional service that provides security updates for all other Microsoft products like Office and Outlook.

You can also follow this link to download Genuine Advantage Notifications directly from Microsoft's official Download Center. Once you've downloaded the small, 1.3 MB (Megabyte) file, an installation wizard will walk you through the rest of the process:


  1. The wizard introduces Genuine Windows Notifications and explains that if your copy of Windows software isn't genuine, you'll receive periodic notifications on how to correct the situation.
  2. You're asked to read the terms and conditions and privacy statement of Genuine Advantage Notifications. You can click "I Do Not Agree" or "I Agree" and choose to print the documents.
  3. If your software is genuine, you'll receive confirmation immediately. The wizard explains that the program may run periodically to re-validate the operating system software.
  4. Sometimes, says Microsoft, the validation cannot be completed due to a system or network error. In this case, you can wait until the next notification to try again.
  5. If your software fails the validation process, you can see if you qualify to receive a free replacement copy of Windows software. This is reserved for victims who purchased high-quality fake copies. Or you can purchase a genuine Windows XP product key to immediately resolve the issue.
  6. If you believe your system was wrongfully diagnosed as fake, you can contact Microsoft for further troubleshooting assistance.

Now let's hear what the critics are saying about Microsoft's anti-piracy system.