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Remove Watermark – Windows 8.1 Preview

Microsoft adds a watermark to the bottom right of the screen reminding users that they are using a preview version of the software. If you are one of the many users that are annoyed by this constant reminder, this article is for you.

remove_watermark_1

Over the years Microsoft have employed a number of different methods to print the mark. In the past I have seen hackers replace the cached copy of the wallpaper for an unmarked version. From my testing this doesn’t seem to be possible with the Windows 8.1 Preview.

I hate just copying someone else’s method, after all, how do you know it is the best if you haven’t tried something different. I also always stay away from automated programs that claim to remove the mark and I suggest you do too. I have seen versions that include adware and even trojans.

I was able to fairly quickly remove the top line of the mark but the bottom proved to be more challenging. I had to resort to searching the Internet for methods and have put the following tutorial together based on the best method that I have found.

Warning: I take no responsibility for any damages caused to your computer.

I have tested this tutorial on both 32 bit and 64 bit versions of Windows 8.1 Preview.

Step 1 – Download Zip File

Initially I was going to manually describe the process, but for simplicity I have bundled it all together into a single zip file. I did not write all the contents of the files but I have analysed them and they are all safe to use. 

remove_watermark_2

Step 2 – Intall_Take_Ownership.reg

Once you have unzipped the file, open the Install_Take_Ownership.reg. This will add the contents of the file to the registry. This step is required so that you have the correct file permissions to edit the .dll files in the later steps. It is also possible to change the file permissions manually if you don’t want to add anything to the registry (I did this while I was experimenting).

remove_watermark_3

Step 3 – Take Ownership

There are two files that need to be taken ownership:

Windows\System32\en-US\shell32.dll.mui
Windows\Branding\Basebrd\en-US\basebrd.dll.mui

Right hand click on the files and select ‘Take Ownership’.

remove_watermark_4 remove_watermark_5

Step 4 – Copy Edited Files

Copy the replacement files that are located in the ‘Edited Files’ folder to overwrite their respective ones. If you get an error saying that the file is already in use, rename the file and then copy the new one.

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Step 5 – Open Command Prompt

Type ‘cmd’ into the start menu, right hand click on the first entry and select ‘Run as Administrator’.

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Step 6 – Run mcbuilder

Enter the command and press the return key to execute:

mcbuilder

It will take a few seconds to run.

remove_watermark_8

Step 7 – Restart your computer

You need to restart your computer to apply these changes. Once restarted, you should see that the watermark has been removed.

Step 7 – Remove Take Ownership

In the same way that you added ‘Take Ownership’ to the registry, double click Uninstall_Take_Ownership.reg to remove it from the registry.

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If you have followed the steps above you should have removed the watermark from the Windows 8.1 Preview. If you have any trouble here are a few things to try:

  • Change the desktop wallpaper
  • Replace the files in safe mode

What do you think of Windows 8.1 Preview? leave a comment below

Leave a comment if you have found an easier method to remove the watermark.

Tags:
Windows 8.1

II am the Founder and Director of Wheal Media Limited and a student studying MEng Computer Engineering at the University of Portsmouth.

http://www.johnwheal.co.uk
John Wheal
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Comments
66 comments
careoffi
careoffi

Windows 7 is the most recommended OS to do almost all work without any problem, So I recommend you to activate your existing OS being purchased its license code from ODosta Store at: http://products.odosta.com

Which is distributing license for almost all types of Microsoft Products with good customer support. I personally use it and have a good experience.

You can upgrade your windows 7 or windows 8.1 pro to windows 10, But you can face some technical issues, So I recommend you to have clean installation of Windows 7, windows 8 or Windows 10 and activate it using legal license.


lemorlenny
lemorlenny

I tried it in my expired Enterprise evaluation 9600 build Italian, copying the files in the it-IT instead the en-US but isn't works. (desktop restart continuosly with an explorer.exe error)
Where can i find localized patched files?


Thanks

Snehal Modani
Snehal Modani

Please help me for removing 9600 watermark. i have tried 2 times bt it's not working....

phyowaisoe
phyowaisoe

Yeap. How can i do that.i also appear that Build 9600

wahabsajid007
wahabsajid007

I like your article about removing watermark from window 8.1 i like it it  is awesome thank you

Gopinathan5
Gopinathan5

After one week successfully activated!!! thanks man!!!

josephdmello18
josephdmello18

hey

thank you very much

i waas trying very hard to figure out what to do....and you have solved my issue

samman
samman

Thank you very much, sir
But I have a problem appeared after I went watermark is no longer copy and paste menu appears in the right-button mouse

HinaIsmail
HinaIsmail

I have look forward to seeking more of your fantastic post.

RaduleaAdrian
RaduleaAdrian

Thx you a hero, Worked for me ! :D you the best. We apreciate your help.

mufaddal_mw
mufaddal_mw

This is temporary solution, after few hours watermark re-appeared :-((((((

DreamerkekZ
DreamerkekZ

thanks, it work.. but the build 9200 is still there.. :)

girlfri1
girlfri1

Did what you said, but my touchscreen on my HP laptop no longer works...help! :(

LeeRamLee
LeeRamLee

the watermark isn't there anymore but i still can't change the wallpaper. please help, mr. john wheal

Raha_Amir
Raha_Amir

Hello John Wheal Does it posible to remove watemark from windows 8.1 Enterprise free 90 days Evaluation. when I try this tut to remove it . your edited file just able to remove "windows 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation Build 9600" and this Edited file couldnt to remove the the "windows License valid for x days" How can I remove complate it . means I want to ramove "windows 8.1 enterprise evaluation windows license valid for 90 days build 9600" forgive me for bad english  if you know any way to remove it so please help me thanks again Sincerly: Raha

dlsambilay
dlsambilay

@Raha_Amir  same with me buddy.. did you manage to remove? I also cannot understand that I activated using kms 8.1 but i can still see the valid in 90 days. it's annoying

rubag
rubag

OvidiuGoa AaronKeokham Did you manage to overwrite it? Same thing happens to me.

shaileshs038
shaileshs038

norepli Same with me too- has any fix till today?

DrWhyU
DrWhyU

thanks for your advice..it works. nice job!

munirxh1
munirxh1

Thirs medote works and for Windows 8.1 Final

OvidiuGoa
OvidiuGoa

AaronKeokham i have build 9600 and it seems shell32.dll.mui cannot be overwritten, i still have the Evaluation copy Build 9600 watermark. If i use Mywcp watermark i get rid of it but after a while windos 8 metro apps stop connecting to the internet.

benblox10
benblox10

johnwheal benblox10 But, how do I buy one - I want to get a License for free!

johnwheal
johnwheal

benblox10 That means you need to buy a Windows License!!!

benblox10
benblox10

Nervermind it does work, but I still see "Windows License valid for 90 days". How do you remove that?

sirajyousef
sirajyousef

Still i cant remove the water marks ....................what do you mean "Replace the files in safe mode"???

misterrogers
misterrogers

Hi, I tried this procedure on Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Enterprise. It removes everything except one small portion which is: "build 9600"

AaronKeokham
AaronKeokham

I might of did something wrong but I still have the bottom line of the watermark

Dave247
Dave247

Just wanted to say, as I use a different language to English US replacing the files in only the "en-US" folder did not cause the watermark to disappear for me until I repeated the same method for the "en-GB" folder as well, which housed the two same files. Hope that helps any non American's. :)

missileman
missileman

Thank you.  Worked perfectly and as designed.

prettysp
prettysp

Good Job ... Thank you very much...

KanishkaWijesuriya
KanishkaWijesuriya

Hey but i tried to do it but it didnt work ..can i know why. i replaced everything usig Unlocker 1.9.2

Bluejeros
Bluejeros

djwyman19 lukeaddison norepli   Ran mcbuilder as administrator but the bottom half of the watermark remains, anymore ideas?

djwyman19
djwyman19

lukeaddison norepli did you guys remember to run the command prompt as administrators when doing the mcbuilder step?  I ask because that is what happened to me but once I did it again as admin it worked.

rahaamirchermahini
rahaamirchermahini

Hi John I want to tell you a grat Congrtulation for your this site design this has a most nice login for i have seen yet and i want to ask you a question .......do you know how can  add the country & OS and browser of client in the wordpress blog that when sombody give the comment show me its country & OS and browser ? or if you know any useful tutorial please Introduction me thanks and have nice time

ArnoldBrand
ArnoldBrand

nice. I have done it. thank you for your instructions and your software. all of it are useful for my pc. wish you luck boy. have a nice day. and keep sharing your ideas for us.. peace be upon you.