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Getting False Warnings from Office Genuine Advantage?

written by: •edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 6/20/2010

This article offers some hacks to remove MS OGA. Several reasons exist as to why people would want it off their computers, The most common reason being OGA is presenting false notifications.

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    Why Remove Microsoft OGA?

    Microsoft 

    Before discussing how to remove Microsoft Office Genuine Advantage tool, let us understand the tool, its pros, and cons. Windows Update installs Microsoft Office Genuine Advantage (OGA) as soon as your computer gains access to the site, after installation of Microsoft Office XP or later versions. The main role of the tool is to check the genuineness of the Microsoft Office installed on any computer. Though it does not harm anything, people wish to remove Microsoft Office Genuine Advantage as it presents false alerts from time to time.

    Microsoft introduced Office Genuine Advantage tool to counter the usage of pirated versions of the Office software. However, the tool often creates hurdles whenever users open the software or prevents installation of Office Updates. This is because it cannot identify the Office software as genuine. If it finds the copy of Office as pirated while connecting to Windows Update site, it gives out a message saying, "This copy of Microsoft Office is not genuine." It may also display the message in the System Tray whenever you start any Office application. Such messages are annoying, especially if you spent money on acquiring the MS Office software.

    To make sure that users cannot remove Microsoft Office Genuine Advantage tool, Microsoft made sure that it is not present in the Add/Remove programs under Control Panel. The following sections discuss workarounds to disable or remove the Genuine Advantage tool so that you do not get false notifications.

    Please Note that these workarounds are not meant to get the Office Genuine Advantage tool working for pirated copies of MS Office. They just help in disabling the annoying notifications so that users can work in peace.

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    Completely Remove Microsoft Office Genuine Advantage Tool

    IMPORTANT: If you remove the Microsoft Office Genuine Advantage tool completely, Windows Update will install it again if set to Automatic. To avoid this, open Windows Automatic Update dialog from Control Panel. In the dialog box, select the third option – Notify me but don't Automatically Download or Install Them. This option offers you a list of updates that you can install. You can always uncheck Office Genuine Advantage before installing Windows Updates. Alternatively, you can disable the Windows Automatic Updates completely and select Custom Install when you visit Microsoft Update site. If you disable Windows Updates, Windows Security Center will prompt you about Windows Updates every time you log in. This video shows you how to disable Windows Security Center notifications.

    To remove the Microsoft Office Genuine Advantage tool completely, press Windows key and F at the same time. This will open the Search dialog. Search for OGANotifier.cab. Select the Hidden and System attributes in the dialog before you hit the Search button. When the OGANotifier.cab file opens, right click on the file and select Open Folder. This will open the folder where the file is present. You need to extract the files from the OGANotifier.cab file. If the default Windows Extractor does not help, use a zip extractor such as WinRAR or WinZip. After extracting, look for OGANotifier.MSI. Right click on the file and select Uninstall. This will remove the Microsoft Office Genuine Advantage tool from your computer.

    If you do not wish to play with Windows Update settings, you can still disable the OGA notifications by disabling its components.

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    Disable Office Genuine Advantage Tool

    Before following this step, please backup your registry using one of the best registry backup methods.

    1. Locating OGAAddin value in Registry Type Regedit in the Run Dialog box to open the registry editor.
    2. Select the topmost option (My Computer) in the registry editor.
    3. Press CTRL plus F to open the Find dialog.
    4. In the Find dialog, type OGAAddin.connect and deselect the options Keys and Data. With only Values checked in the Find dialog, click on Find Next (See Image).
    5. When you find the value in the right pane, right click on it and select Delete.
    6. Press F3 to search the next occurrence. Delete the value when you find it.
    7. Repeat the process until you reach the end of Registry.

    Note: This process only disables and does not remove Microsoft Office Genuine Advantage tool. It stops the false notifications from appearing whenever you open any Office application.