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Microsoft can disable pirated games, software, and hardware in Windows 10

If you pirate games, Windows 10 might be your worst enemy.


Mike Wehner


Posted on Aug 14, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 4:02 am CDT

Software pirates might want to hold off on their Windows 10 upgrades thanks to a newly updated Microsoft Services End User License Agreement. The company has added language to its terms that give it the ability to monitor and disable illegal software, games, and even hardware. 

The updated agreement reads as follows:

7b. 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. 

It’s a vaguely worded tweak, but the message is fairly clear: Microsoft won’t hesitate to make sure the programs and games you have installed on your computer are legitimate, and if not, it has the right to disable them. 

Microsoft’s Windows 10 just debuted, and it features mandatory updates that can only be disabled via some obscure workarounds. The combination of those updates and this new EULA suggests an increased focus on software piracy that could be a nightmare for anyone who is used to stealing their games and apps rather than buying them. 

Illustration by Max Fleishman

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*First Published: Aug 14, 2015, 4:08 pm CDT