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Nagware (also known as begware, annoyware or a nagscreen) is a type of shareware that reminds (or nags) the user to register it by paying a fee. It usually does this by popping up a message when the user starts the program, or intermittently while the user is using the application. These messages can appear as windows obscuring part of the screen or message boxes that can quickly be closed. Some nagware keeps the message up for a certain time period, forcing the user to wait to continue to use the program.

The intent is generally that the user will become so annoyed with the messages that he or she will register or buy it to get rid of them. Naturally, there is a fine line to be walked — if reminders are too annoying, users may abandon a program without even evaluating it fully, which is as much a lost sale as a failure to register or buy.

Examples of nagware are Windows Genuine Advantage, WinRAR, WinZip, mIRC, BitDefender 2009 Free Edition, AVG, Avira and Snood. Some of these programs pop-up a window after their trial period is up telling the user to buy the program (or for WGA, to install a genuine copy of Windows). LimeWire or Antivir similarly reminds the user to update to the Pro version, although the free version is not just a free trial.

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