Fix for being accused of stealing CorelDRAW!

I had an disappointing experience with Corel today. CorelDRAW/Photo Paint started displaying an "Illegal Software" message offering me amnesty and such.

Since I don't steal software and was offended at the implication, I contacted Corel by chat.

They asked for my serial number, which I gave them, but accidentally gave my X7 number from which I had upgraded. The rep then went on to tell me how my serial number was not for the version I was using. I was offended at the implication.

Now, bearing in mind that I bought X7 and the upgrade to 2017 from Corel, and should be in their system, I dug into my records to find my copy of the receipt to prove my innocence. That didn't sit well with me, either.

So, then, the customer service guy tells me to do this:

<quote>Delete Corel message folder to correct the issue.

1. Press Windows key + R.
2. Type %appdata% and hit enter.
3. Go to Corel folder
4. Delete the "Messages" folder </quote>

That worked. The accusational message box no longer appeared. So I asked, why didn't the service guy suggest that first instead of making me jump through all those other hoops to prove my innocence and what the ^ happened in the first place to provoke the software-theft-accusation dialog box.

None of this was cool or professional from Corel. None of it.

Anyway, rant aside, there's the fix if you get accused of stealing your software by Corel.


  • Thanks for posting this! I have an old Corel X5 which I originally bought in 2010. However it still fits my needs and I don't want to upgrade. I also started to get these "Illigal software" popups. I do not steal software, I bought this legitimately and still have the booklet and serial number.  It's a real disgrace of Corel to trick you into thinking that you have an illegal copy just to get you to upgrade,,, :-(

  • It got rid of the message but will it keep them from shutting down your version in a few weeks as they are threatening to do?  

  • I also received the "illegal software" "permanently disabled" message. I've bought every version up to X5 when I retired. I don't need all the latest features. X5 serves me just fine. I spent 3 hours on the phone and in chat with India today. I can't find a U.S. or Canada phone number to call.

    At first, I thought this was a virus/hoax/scam. Sadly, as the day wore on, I realized it really was Corel. I have my documentation, box and disk with serial number. I registered it when I bought it. They had my serial number from when I registered it. Why wasn't it illegal then? What makes it illegal? All I got from India was, "I have to buy 2017".  Why not 2018 or 2019? They offered a special price of $249. The upgrade is $179.

    But will it upgrade from X5? No one knows. As far as removing the message, they put it there. They can remove it. I'm extremely disappointed. I'll hold my tongue until Monday and try to reach someone at Corel.   Corel, is anyone listening?

  • I've had my X5 version for God knows how many years, and I've registered it online plenty times as I've upgraded PCs, got updates too.

    Very strange how suddenly after all these years, it's suddenly an illegal copy. 

    I've paid the amnesty deal fee and upgraded to 2017, but now that I see Corel are sending this message to users with genuine installs, I'm guessing that mine would have been genuine too, and all Corel are doing is tricking people into parting with their money.

    Now I find 2017 has a bug in it (X5 does not have this bug) where you cannot stop a non printable/exportable layer from exporting to DXF. This bug has been there since X7. I'm in contact with support who kept trying to get me to do various stuff on my PC. After contacting a bunch of other users, who have X7, X8 and 2017 it's became obvious this is not an issue with my PC because ALL those users have exactly the same issue. So first I get conned (????) into upgrading then the bigger and better version has a bug which affects me a lot.

    With tactics like that, they'll get a bad reputation real fast. Even if they were not deliberately scamming their own customers, it really shows how pathetic their organisation is if they are sending these messages to users with legit installs. Or they try and fix a long standing bug by asking the user to do a whole bunch of meaningless stuff on their computer.

    There are other software options out there that cost a fraction of the price and if Inkscape suffices, it's free.

  • Corel has the worst customer service period I've been Corel user since 2002 and my beef with them is auto billing me for upgrade when I had clearly turned if last year...when I was auto billed I logged in turned off auto bill again and initiated refunded through Cleverbridge (Core's payment processor) Corel blames me because they auto billed me WTF!!!!

    They said they did me a favour of extending the software upgrade package so nice of them to do me a favor.. I re-purchased the upgrade protection and nadda there was no indication in my corel account that I had purchased the upgrade protection, figured it would take 24 hours to kick in NADA!!!!!!!!!! 

    24 hours lated corel told me they no longer provide that information to Corel User WTF!@#$!@#$!$@#!$ guess what initiated 2nd refund though Cleverbrige and explain in detail that their Client is screwing it's customers around. Granted this i snot a Cleverbridge problem but it reflects badly on them to have 2 refunds in a row from Corel.

    Corel has the worst custom service compared to Adobe. At least with Adobe they will work to fix things no blame the customer!

    DO NOT BUY INTO THAT UPGRADE CRAP, in the long run it will cost you more buy coreldraw and Corel always changes that policy!