Windows 10 has the power to disable pirated software...UPDATE well sort of

Windows 10 has the power to find and disable any pirated games on its platform.

UPDATE: Although initially thought to affect the entire Windows 10 operating system it appears the ammendments added to the EULA were intended to protect against pirated software from Xbox Live and the Windows Store, but not monitor for all illegal acitivty on Windows 10


In an update to its end-user license agreement for Windows 10, it appears that Microsoft now has the authority to search your computer for pirated software, whether it is running or not, and disable it.

Despite online services such as Steam or Origin, piracy still plagues the PC gaming community in a very severe way. Since Microsoft is trying to make Windows 10 a key part of its gaming business this update makes a lot of sense.

This is the exact wording of the updated agreement:

"We may automatically check your version of the software and download software updates or configuration changes, including those that prevent you from accessing the Services, playing counterfeit games, or using unauthorised hardware peripheral devices."

According to this paragraph, not only does this affect the more than 53 million users now running Windows 10, but also tablet and smartphone users as well using Windows services. Modded controllers that give players unfair advantages seem to also be a target for this update.

It's worth noting that it is unclear if this will affect Xbox and illegally obtained Xbox Live content or not, but it seems to be leaning in that direction.

Although this statistic is a few years old, you can clearly see the severity of piracy around the world

Is this an invasion of privacy or a necessary step that needs to be taken in order to fight piracy? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured Contributor

Lover of all things media, especially music and video games. Been playing drums in the Philadelphia pop-punk scene for years. Final Fantasy VII, Bioshock, GTA V, The Legend of Zelda & Super Smash Bros. are among my favorite games, so I'm all over the place. When I'm not gaming or playing music I'm usually watching way too much anime. Let's talk about stuff!

Published Aug. 19th 2015
  • Rothalack
    Master O' Bugs
    This is misleading. It cannot do anything to pirated games, it can only do something with Microsoft software. Microsoft can barely stop people from pirating Windows itself, you shouldn't be afraid.
  • Larry Iaccio
    Featured Contributor
    With Windows 10 being a free upgrade for everyone, even previous pirated Microsoft OS users, I think this crack down on piracy could be a reason why. Microsoft will continually be scanning your computer with Windows 10 though so while it may only apply to first party apps right now, it could in theory easily make a transition
  • Rothalack
    Master O' Bugs
    Microsoft actually 180ed on that decision. Pirated versions of Windows do not get a free upgrade.

    As for what Microsoft actually says in the terms of service about this topic:

    Look for 7 b.
    "7. Updates to the Services or Software, and Changes to These Terms."

    "b. Sometimes you’ll need software updates to keep using the Services. We may automatically check your version of the software and download software updates or configuration changes, including those that prevent you from accessing the Services, playing counterfeit games, or using unauthorized hardware peripheral devices. You may also be required to update the software to continue using the Services. Such updates are subject to these Terms unless other terms accompany the updates, in which case, those other terms apply. Microsoft isn’t obligated to make any updates available and we don’t guarantee that we will support the version of the system for which you licensed the software."

    They are referring directly to their own software. The line "playing counterfeit games" is referring to the new Microsoft games, like the updated Solitaire etc.

    As any company anywhere, they have a right to protect their own software.


    Ah ha, here it is. This is the exact list of software being referred too in the terms.
  • Larry Iaccio
    Featured Contributor
    aahh you are correct about the free pirated upgrade thing. This still affects users of the Windows Store and Xbox Live though and any software that may be connected to those services.
  • Rothalack
    Master O' Bugs
    Right, the same way that say Google would police illegal copies of software from Google Play, or Apple would with things from the Apple Store.

New Cache - article_comments_article_26680