- 1 Find your Windows product key
- 2 Locate your product key for Windows 10 or Windows 11
- 3 3 simple ways to find your Windows 10 product key
- 4 How to find your Windows 10 product key
- 5 How to Find your Windows 10 Product Key
- 5.1 Locate Your Windows 10 Product Key
- 5.2 Windows 10 Pro Pack key
- 5.3 Transfer Windows 10 Pro Pack Key to a new Computer
- 5.4 Retail Full Packaged Product
- 5.5 OEM System Builder License
- 5.6 Find Windows 10 Product Key on a New Computer
- 5.7 Volume License Product Key Activation
- 5.8 Imagine or Microsoft Campus Agreement
- 5.9 Microsoft Software Developer Network
- 5.10 Lost or Damaged Product Key
- 5.11 Get Help From Microsoft on Windows 10 Activation
- 6 How to Find Your Windows 10 Product Key Using the Command Prompt
- 7 Find Your Windows 10 Product Key Using the Command Prompt
- 8 Find Your Windows 10 Product Key Using a Windows Registry Method
- 9 How to find your Windows 10 product key
- 10 How to find your Windows 10 product key
- 11 More Windows 10 tips
- 12 More Windows 10 tips
- 13 Why you need a Windows 10 product key
- 14 Where to find the Windows 10 product key for copies you purchased
- 15 How to find your Windows 10 product key on your PC
- 16 1. Check if Windows 10 is activated
- 17 2. How to find your product key
- 18 Summary
- 19 How to Find a Windows 10 Product Key
- 20 What’s a Windows 10 product key?
- 21 How to get your Windows 10 product key with the Command Prompt
- 22 How to get your Windows 10 product key with a third-party program
- 23 How to find your Windows 10 product key or digital license
- 24 How to find your Windows 10 product key using the Command Prompt or PowerShell
- 25 How to find your Windows 10 product key on the physical packaging
- 26 How to Find Your Original Windows 10 Product Key
- 27 Windows OEM keys vs. retail vs. free upgrade
- 28 Find your key from inside Windows
- 29 Find your key from outside Windows
- 30 Additional resources
- 31 How To Find Your Windows 10 Product Key [Full Guide]
- 32 How To Find Your Windows 10 Product Key On Preinstalled System
- 33 How To Find an OEM Product Key In Windows 10
- 34 Windows 10 Product Key Finder Tool
- 35 How To Recover Windows 10 Product Key From Bios
- 36 How To Find Windows 10 Digital License
- 37 How To Check If Windows 10 Is Activated
- 38 How To Deactivate A Windows 10 Product Key
- 39 Frequently Asked Questions
- 40 How To Find Your Windows 10 Product Key
- 41 What is a Windows 10 product key?
- 42 Why should I activate Windows 10?
- 43 How to find your Windows 10 product key after purchase
- 44 How do I activate Windows over the phone?
Find your Windows product key
When you activate Windows, you’ll need a product key, which is a 25-character code. It looks somewhat like this:
Locate your product key for Windows 10 or Windows 11
In order to activate your copy of Windows 10 or Windows 11, you’ll either need a 25-character product key or a digital license, depending on how you got your hands on it. It is possible to activate Windows 10 and Windows 11 without having to input a product key with digital licenses (also known as digital entitlements in Windows 10, Version 1511). You will not be able to activate your device until you have one of these. The location of your product key is determined on how you obtained your copy of Windows.
It is preloaded on your computer, supplied in the package with which the computer was delivered, or included on the Certificate of Authenticity (COA) that is affixed to the computer.
- The product key is located on a label or card that was included with the Windows installation package.
- How to determine whether or not your program is authentic.
- When you purchase a digital copy of Windows, the product key will be included in the confirmation email that you get.
- You may check your Microsoft accountOrder history to see whether you have made any purchases from Microsoft.
- You’ll receive a digital license instead of a product key in the confirmation email that was sent to confirm your purchase if you purchased a Windows 10 or Windows 11 Pro upgrade using the Microsoft Store app.
- Activation can be accomplished through the usage of the digital license.
Locate your product key for Windows 7 or Windows 8.1
When removing or reinstalling Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, a product key is almost always required to complete the process. In most cases, if you purchased a physical copy of Windows, the product key should be on a label or card that was included in the box that the software was delivered in. If Windows was preinstalled on your computer, the product key should be printed on a sticker that you may attach on your computer.
If you have misplaced or cannot locate the product key, you should contact the manufacturer. To determine whether or not your product key is authentic, go to the articles How to tell if your software is real and How to tell if your hardware is genuine.
See theHow to tell page for information on how to determine whether or not your copy of Windows is authentic Microsoft software.
3 simple ways to find your Windows 10 product key
Have you forgotten where you put your Windows 10 product key? With a little know-how and a few basic keystrokes, you may discover it listed in the operating system’s own directory. Photograph courtesy of ImageFlow/Shutterstock There has been no need for product keys for the majority of customers, particularly with Microsoft Windows 10, which is the final operating system you will ever require, because there hasn’t been a “new” version of Windows released. With the upcoming introduction of Windows 11, though, those carefree days may come to an end, and customers may find themselves in need of their Windows 10 product key after all.
However, before you start crawling under your desk in search of a 25-digit alphanumeric number printed in fine print on the rear of your computer, there are less difficult methods of locating your Windows 10 product key that are available.
How to find your Windows 10 product key
Before we get started, it’s important to understand that the effectiveness of any of these approaches is very dependant on how your computer was initially turned on. It is likely that you will locate the product key with most of these techniques if you activated Windows 10 by upgrading from a genuine Windows 7 or 8 installation or by purchasing the device recently. In contrast, if your computer was activated as part of an organization’s licensing agreement, locating the appropriate product key may be more difficult.
1. Command prompt
From the command line, you may obtain your Windows 10 product key in the quickest and most direct manner possible. Start by typing “cmd” into the Windows 10 desktop search box. Then right-click on the command line result and choose “run as administrator” from the context menu that appears. At the prompt, enter the following command: As you can see in Figure A, the command will display your current Windows 10 product key. wmic path softwareLicensingService get OA3xOriginalProductKey A diagram of the human body.
It is quite similar if you are using Windows 10 PowerShell to do the task. Start by right-clicking the Start Menu button and then selecting Windows PowerShell (Administrator) from the context menu that appears.
To expose the product key, enter the following command at the prompt, as shown in Figure B. “(Get-WmiObject -query’select * from SoftwareLicensingService’)” is a powershell command. A3xOriginalProductKey” is shown in Figure B.
3. Registry File
As you might expect, the product key is kept in the Windows 10 Registry File, so if you know the correct key, you should be able to locate the code there. In the Windows 10 desktop search box, type “regedit” and then choose the right item from the list of results. Navigate to the following key: Computer HKEY LOCAL MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionSoftwareProtectionPlatform HKEY LOCAL MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionSoftwareProtectionPlatform As seen in Figure C, the BackupProductKeyDefault key will expose a legitimate Windows 10 product key when entered.
C (Case-Controlled Experiment) Take note that, in my experience, the Windows 10 product key displayed by both the command prompt and the PowerShell ways is identical.
The most reasonable answer I can provide is that, when I upgraded from Home to Pro on the sample PC, the product key presented is for the upgrade to Pro rather than Home (or vice versa).
It’s true that there are third-party companies that sell software that can discover and show your Windows 10 product key, but they effectively accomplish the same thing we did here without using third-party programming or the possibility of security concerns.
- Changing the registered license owner in Windows 10 (TechRepublic) is a simple process. TechRepublic reports on the evolution of Windows, including Windows 11, as well as the potential future of Windows 10. On this article from TechRepublic, you will learn how to activate Microsoft Defender Application Guard in Windows 10. TechRepublic published a guide sheet for Windows 10 PowerToys. How to get a free upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro (ZDNet)
- Securing Windows 10 systems (TechRepublic Premium)
- Checklist for securing Windows 10 systems Every everything you need to know about the Microsoft Exchange Server attack (courtesy of ZDNet)
- Coverage that should not be missed: Windows 10 (TechRepublic on Flipboard)
How to Find your Windows 10 Product Key
We’ve talked about third-party programs that can assist you in locating your Windows product key in the past. And we’ll show you some additional examples of how to accomplish that in this section. Microsoft has made every effort to make the licensing of Windows 10 as simple as possible. Having said that, there are situations when product activation may not go as well as anticipated. Whether you’re doing a fresh install of Windows 10 or transferring your existing license to a new machine, your product key is an essential piece of information to have.
Locate Your Windows 10 Product Key
Let’s start with a Windows product key, or license, as it is formally known, that was obtained before. It is possible to purchase Windows 10 as a digital download or as a full packed product at a physical store. Windows 10 may be downloaded for free from Microsoft’s website. You may purchase a digital copy of Windows 10 from either Microsoft or Amazon.com, which are the only approved online merchants from which you can purchase a physical copy of Windows 10. Purchasing a license from any other retailer other than Amazon or Microsoft is unlikely to be authentic; thus, if you want to take the digital download route, be sure you only purchase a license from Amazon or Microsoft.
The purchase of a license from the Amazon marketplace has resulted in some customers discovering that the license they received was an MSDN key and was thus invalid.
In addition to the product key, Microsoft will send you a confirmation email with a copy of the key.
Log onto theMicrosoft StoreDownloadsProduct KeysSubscription page if you are still unable to locate the item you are looking for.
Then choose the Digital Content tab to see a list of your prior purchases, along with the product key you received with them. Customers who shop on Amazon may find their product key by visiting theYour Games and Software Librarysection.
Windows 10 Pro Pack key
There is no product key provided when you purchase a Windows 10 Pro Pack using theEasy Upgrade option in Windows 10 Home. As an alternative, the digital license is associated with your Microsoft Account, which was used to complete the transaction. Using the Activation Troubleshooter, you may move the Windows 10 Pro Pack to another machine if you so want.
Transfer Windows 10 Pro Pack Key to a new Computer
- Fill out the form using the Microsoft Account that you used to acquire the Pro Pack license. Windows 10 will notify the user that a digital license for Windows 10 Pro has been discovered when the troubleshooting process is complete. After clicking on Activate Windows, follow the instructions on the screen.
Retail Full Packaged Product
The retail complete boxed version of Windows 10 is also available for purchase at a physical shop. Your product key may be found on a little business card at the rear of the Windows 10 product box, which is included with the box. In order to protect their product key, users should keep it in a safe location or create a copy for themselves. As a last recommendation, I propose that you utilize our approach to photograph the key and save it online for protection.
OEM System Builder License
The Windows 10 product key is often located outside of the box, on the Certificate of Authenticity, and is not included with the software. You should check the top or side of your PC’s chassis if you got it from a white box vendor since the sticker may have been applied to the chassis during manufacturing. Take a snapshot of the key once again for safekeeping purposes. After several years of use, I’ve discovered that these keys are prone to rubbing off due to regular wear and tear.
Find Windows 10 Product Key on a New Computer
The product key for new computers that come preinstalled with Windows 10 is saved within the motherboard firmware, which is accessed by the operating system. Users can get it back by running a command from the command prompt on their computer.
- To open the Command Prompt (Administrator), use the Windows key + X. Enter the following command at the command prompt: wmic path SoftwareLicensingService the product key will be revealed by getting the OA3xOriginalProductKey
Volume License Product Key Activation
Unless you’re using Windows 10 in a business environment, you won’t be able to utilize standard product keys for versions such as Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education. To handle activation throughout the company network, Domain Administrators set up specific KMS (Key Management Service) servers, which are managed by the IT department. This eliminates the requirement for machines to establish a connection with Microsoft in order to be activated. System Administrators in charge of delivering Windows 10 in an organization may obtain the product key through theVolume License Service Center portal; navigate to theLicensestab and then to the Key tab for the Windows product you’re deploying in your company.
Imagine or Microsoft Campus Agreement
If you obtained your Windows 10 license through a Microsoft Campus Agreement or a service such as Imagine, formerly known as Dreamspark, the product key should be available on the download page after you completed the transaction. A copy of your product key should also be included in the email that confirms your purchase. Some universities may also employ bulk licensing to reduce costs. Your product activation key will not be provided if your university uses KMS to handle product activation and registration.
Instead, when you connect to the campus network or the VPN, KMS will immediately activate your system on your behalf. This also implies that you will lose access to the license whenever you graduate or terminate your enrollment.
Microsoft Software Developer Network
MSDN subscribers may access their product keys by logging into their account. Logging into their membership, selecting the product you’d like to view, and clicking the product key button are all options.
Lost or Damaged Product Key
Customers who have misplaced their product key will not find much compassion on the part of Microsoft. An application called key finder may be able to assist you in recovering your product key in some instances. Other than that, if you misplace it, your only choice is to purchase a replacement. As a result, you should always make a backup copy and save the original box for reference. Individual Windows 10 keys were not sent to those who took advantage of the free upgrade offer. This is due to the way Windows 10 manages activation, which is referred to as the Digital License.
We’ve previously discussed third-party programs for locating your product key; solutions such asShow Key Pluscan be useful if you’re having trouble locating your product key after upgrading from a prior version of Windows.
Get Help From Microsoft on Windows 10 Activation
After transferring a license or reinstalling Windows 10, it is possible that you will have difficulties reactivating the software. Windows 10 features a convenient chat feature that you may utilize to communicate with a Microsoft support specialist who can assist you with reactivating the product. If you would like to speak with a real person, you may also activate your account over the phone.
- Press the Windows key + R and type:slui.exe 4 into the search box. then press the Enter key
- Choose your nation from the drop-down box
- Choose the phone activation option
- And then wait for an assistant to help you.
- Please share your thoughts with us. Was this information useful in locating your Windows 10 product key
- If so, please share your thoughts.
How to Find Your Windows 10 Product Key Using the Command Prompt
For anyone seeking for their Windows 10 product key, a fast command may be used in the Command Prompt to get it. Here’s how to accomplish that, as well as a nifty little technique for locating the product key utilizing a Windows Registry-based approach.
Find Your Windows 10 Product Key Using the Command Prompt
Obtaining your Windows 10 product key using the Command Prompt necessitates that you launch the command line program with administrator capabilities. In order to do so, open the Windows search bar and type “cmd.” The command prompt will display in the search results when you type it in. Right-click it and choose “Run As Administrator” from the pop-up box that occurs once you do so. If asked, enter the password for your Windows account. Once the file is open, copy and paste the following command into the text box and press the Enter key: wmic route is an abbreviation for World Wide Microwave Information Center.
Keep in mind that this approach shows the Windows product key that is saved in the BIOS or UEFI firmware of your device.
Because of this, if you have since installed Windows with a new key (or obtained a digital license), the key will be different from the key now in use on your computer.
Simply said, that’s all there is to it. Although this method is speedy, it is not likely to be a code that you will remember readily. The Windows Registry technique can be used in the future if you’d want a more expedient manner of retrieving your product key in the meanwhile.
Find Your Windows 10 Product Key Using a Windows Registry Method
Update: This approach appears to be widely used on the internet, but it does not appear to provide an actual, valid key on the most recent version of Windows 10. Examples include this script in Microsoft’s TechNet gallery, which not only operates differently, but also pulls output from the registry value “DigitalProductId.” As of July 2020, we recommend that you skip this section and instead follow the instructions above. It was originally uploaded by a user (whose account is no longer active) in the Microsoft forum, and it has since been shared elsewhere.
Then pick “Text Document” from the menu.
Do Cur = Cur * 256 Cur = Key(x + KeyOffset) + Cur Key(x + KeyOffset) = Do Cur = Cur * 256 Cur = Key(x + KeyOffset) + Cur Key(x + KeyOffset) = Do Cur = Cur * 256 (Cur 24) In addition, 255 Cur = Cur Mod x = x -1 = 24 While x = 0 and I = I -1, loop till KeyOutput = Mid(Chars, Cur + 1, 1) The following is the key output: If (((29-i) Mod 6) = 0 and (i-1), then the value of the variable I is the same as the value of the variable -1.
- “-” is returned by KeyOutput.
- Set the “Save As Type” menu to “All Files” in File Explorer, and then give your file a descriptive name.
- You may give it a name like: productkey.vbs or similar.
- By accessing the new file, you will be able to see your Windows 10 product key at any point in time.
How to find your Windows 10 product key
The ability to locate your Windows 10 product key at a moment’s notice is quite vital. You never know when you’ll need to reinstall your copy of Windows, whether it’s after a system clean, when you’re constructing a new PC for fun, or when you’re just replacing a damaged one. Furthermore, because the product key is required to use all of Windows 10’s features as well as to receive critical updates, storing it in a safe area for later use is a good idea as well. In the unlikely event that you misplace your Windows 10 product key, don’t be concerned.
It is not necessary to use the physical key because of the Command Prompt; with a few clicks here and there, you will be able to bring up the missing key on your computer’s screen. Take a look at our instructions below, which will walk you through the procedure step-by-step.
- The finest antivirus software for Windows 10 is listed below. How to make use of the Enhanced Search Mode in Microsoft Windows
- Creating a Kill Switch in Windows is a simple process.
Please keep in mind that the following instructions are intended for users who have either purchased a physical copy of Windows 10 or acquired the digital version from an authorized reseller. If you buy Windows 10 as a digital download from the Microsoft Store, it will be associated with your Microsoft account. To get back up to speed after reinstalling Windows 10, all you’d have to do is sign into your Microsoft account. A product key is baked into the firmware of a device that has already been pre-loaded with Windows 10, such as a Microsoft Surface, making it impossible to retrieve the product key.
How to find your Windows 10 product key
1.In the Windows search box, type in Command Prompt and press Enter. The image is courtesy of Kenneth Seward Jr. | Future. After the Command Prompt entry appears in the list, right-click on it and select “Run as administrator.” When asked, select the word ‘Yes’. The image is courtesy of Kenneth Seward Jr. | Future. If the Command Prompt window does not open automatically, type or copy and paste the following command into it: SoftwareLicensingService is a wmic route. how to obtain the OA3xOriginalProductKey Remember that this is case-sensitive, so make sure you copy it exactly as it is written, or it will not work.
- The image is courtesy of Kenneth Seward Jr.
- Note down your thoughts and save them somewhere secure.
- That’s all there is to it.
- That this method of retrieval can be performed at any time is one of its many advantages.
- All you’d have to do is reinstall Windows 10 and use the Command Prompt to locate the key, after which you’d enter it into the online verification system.
- More information:How to alter the color of the Command Prompt in Windows 10
- How to utilize System Restore in Windows 10
- How to enable God Mode in Windows 10
- How to use System Restore in Windows 7
More Windows 10 tips
encrypting files on Windows 10|installing Windows 10|enabling Bluetooth on Windows 10|screenshotting on Windows 10|booting into safe mode on Windows 10|splitting the screen on Windows 10|recording the screen on Windows 10|updating drivers on Windows 10|mapping a network drive in Windows 10|updating Windows 10|changing the password on Windows 10|factory reinstalling Windows 10|how to factory reset on Windows 10|reinstalling Windows 10
More Windows 10 tips
If you have Windows 10 installed on your computer, regardless of whether you built it or purchased it, you will have a product key associated with it. Or, more accurately, you will have, if you are running a fully active version of Microsoft Windows 10. In the past, the product key was required for both installing and reinstalling Windows on your computer; however, Windows 10 is a bit more tolerable in this regard.
You will not be prevented from doing a clean installation of Windows 10 if you do not have one, and in certain situations, you may not even be required to input it. Find out all you need to know about locating your Windows 10 product key in this article.
Why you need a Windows 10 product key
It’s no longer required to have a Windows 10 product key in order to install the operating system on a computer these days. It is possible to include it during the installation process, but it is also possible to do it subsequently. In order to activate your copy of Windows 10 and obtain unfettered access to its features, you’ll need to have your Windows 10 product key handy. It is possible to continue to use your computer with an unactivated copy, but you will be unable to access a number of functions and, more importantly, will be unable to get critical updates.
Where to find the Windows 10 product key for copies you purchased
Upon purchasing a copy of Windows 10, you’ll be given a key that you may input manually or that will be automatically applied to your Microsoft Account based on your preferences. If you make a purchase through the Microsoft Store on your computer, the latter will be applicable. The product key will be handed to you if you purchase from an authorized reseller, whether you purchase online or receive a physical box. You will need to manually input the product key if you purchase through an authorized reseller.
(Photo courtesy of Anton Watman / Shutterstock.com)
How to find your Windows 10 product key on your PC
It is possible to discover the Windows 10 product key from your computer, however this is not a widely publicized function. It simply takes a few minutes, and the only pre-requisite is that you are familiar with the Command Prompt environment. (Photo courtesy of TechRadar.)
1. Check if Windows 10 is activated
It is necessary to do a preliminary check to ensure that your copy of Windows 10 is active. If this is the case, you will be able to locate your product key. If it isn’t, you’ll have to go out and get one. UpdateSecurity may be found in the ‘Settings’ app on your computer after you have opened the app. After that, select ‘Activation’ from the sidebar. In the next few seconds, you’ll see a notice indicating whether Windows 10 is activated and whether it is activated with a digital license or whether it is active with a digital license that is tied to your Microsoft Account.
2. How to find your product key
Opening Command Prompt with administrator privileges is the first stage in the process. Using the Windows search box, type ‘Command Prompt.’ When the command prompt window appears, right-click and select ‘Run as Administrator.’ When the notice box appears, select ‘Yes’ to bring up the Command Prompt window, which will open. You may also use Windows PowerShell as an alternative. This may be accessed by selecting ‘Windows Powershell (Administrator)’ from the Start Menu’s context menu. Your Windows 10 product key will now be shown when you have entered the appropriate command.
Please keep in mind that it is case-sensitive, so you must replicate it precisely as follows: SoftwareLicensingService is a wmic route. get OA3xOriginalProductKeyBy pressing the ‘Enter’ key, you will see the product key displayed in front of you.
There are just a few instances in which you will want your Windows 10 product key, but it is a vital item to have on hand. You are not out of luck, though, if you have a physical key and misplace it; you can always dig into your computer and check what is going on. If you’re migrating to a new PC or doing a clean installation of Windows 10, you’ll have peace of mind.
How to Find a Windows 10 Product Key
For those of you who are experiencing difficulties locating your Windows 10 product key, we have some helpful information. A Windows product key is defined in this brief lesson, and I’ll demonstrate how to locate the product key on a current Windows PC using a number of different methods.
What’s a Windows 10 product key?
A Windows product key, often known as a license, is a 25-digit number that is used to activate your Windows installation. It used to be that finding your Windows product key was as simple as looking for a sticker someplace on the computer back in the olden days. Typically, the sticker would be found on the side of a desktop computer or adhered to the bottom of a laptop, like follows: An old-school Windows product key sticker — Image courtesy of Shutterstock For those who purchased a physical copy of Windows, your product key would have been included somewhere in the package: A label with the product key for Windows 10.
You might be wondering where to look for your key if your computer is relatively new and arrived with Windows already installed.
Your product key is kept in the BIOS of your computer, regardless of whether you installed and activated Windows yourself or if it came preinstalled.
While this is true, there are situations when you will want your product key, such as when you wish to transfer a Windows Home or Pro license to another computer.
How to get your Windows 10 product key with the Command Prompt
Activating your Windows installation requires the usage of a product key or license, which is a 25-digit code. It used to be that finding your Windows product key was as simple as looking for a sticker anywhere on your computer. Typically, the sticker would be found on the side of a desktop computer or adhered to the bottom of a laptop, like follows: ” Source: An old-school sticker with the Windows product key – A product key would also be provided in the box if you purchased a physical copy of Windows, as follows: A product key label for Windows 10.
You might be wondering where to look for your key if your computer is relatively new and arrived with Windows already installed.
You can find your product key in the BIOS of your computer, regardless of whether you installed and activated Windows yourself or if it was preinstalled.
The product key will still be required in some situations such as when you wish to transfer your Windows Home or Pro license to another computer. If you need your Windows 10 product key for whatever reason, here are several options.
How to get your Windows 10 product key with a third-party program
It is possible to discover your Windows product key using a number of different software, such as Belarc Advisor or Magical Jelly Bean KeyFinder. We’re going to utilize Magical Jelly Bean KeyFinder for this lesson since, well, it has a catchy name, doesn’t it. All that is required is that you download and install Magical Jelly Bean KeyFinder on your computer. Once you’ve done that, launch the KeyFinder software to view your product key: It is quite OK to remove Magical Jelly Bean KeyFinder once you have copied your product key somewhere secure.
Which of these strategies or programs did you find to be effective?
Let me know on Twitter if you have any questions.
More than 40,000 people have benefited from freeCodeCamp’s open source curriculum, which has helped them land careers as developers.
How to find your Windows 10 product key or digital license
- Your Windows 10 product key acts as confirmation that you are the legitimate owner of the operating system. It is possible to locate your Windows 10 product key using the Command Prompt or by inspecting the box. When updating Windows or troubleshooting, you may be required to submit your product key
- This is normal. More stories may be found in Insider’s Tech Reference collection
- Click here.
Windows 10 is being installed on thousands of PCs every day, on both new and old machines. But how can you verify that you genuinely possess Windows if you don’t have a receipt to hand? The product key will come in handy at this point. Your Windows 10 product key is an unique ticket that proves you have a “activated” copy of the operating system installed on your computer. Every Windows PC has a unique 25-character product key, which is structured as follows: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX.
It’s possible that you’ll need to input it if you ever need to reinstall Windows.
Here’s how to locate your product key, as well as how to determine whether or not you have a digital license.
How to find your Windows 10 product key using the Command Prompt or PowerShell
Using the Command Prompt or the PowerShell program is the quickest and most convenient method of locating your product key. Command Prompt (Admin) orWindows PowerShell are the options that appear when you right-click the Windows icon in the bottom-left corner of your screen and choose them from the drop-down menu that appears (Admin). 2.In the pop-up window that displays, which asks if the app has permission to make modifications to your device, choose Yes. 3.At this point, you’ll be required to input a code.
The OA3xOriginalProductKey is obtained via the SoftwareLicensingService.
The length of your product key is 25 characters.
How to find your Windows 10 product key on the physical packaging
If you purchased your computer or a copy of Windows 10 from a retailer, your product key can be found on the package. There are a few sites where you might be able to find it.
- There may be a “Certificate of Authenticity” sticker on the outside of your computer case that has the product key printed on it. However, not all computer manufacturers include a sticker on the machine
- It’s possible that the package that arrived with the computer had a Certificate of Authenticity sticker that also contained the product key.
The 25-character product key is contained within the Certificate of Authenticity.
Dave Johnson of Business Insider has contributed to this article.
- The product key should be printed on a card or label that is included in the Windows 10 package if you have recently purchased Windows 10.
If you are unable to locate your product key, you should contact the computer manufacturer for assistance. Tech Reference’s William Antonelli is the editor and a staff writer. New York City-based writer and activist William Antonelli works as an editor and organizer for a variety of causes. A founding member of the Reference team, he has contributed to the growth of Tech Reference from its humble beginnings into a behemoth that receives more than 20 million visits every month. His writing has featured in a variety of outlets outside of Insider, including Polygon, The Outline, Kotaku, and others.
- You may follow him on Twitter at @DubsRewatcher or send him an email at [email protected] if you want to get in touch.
- Writer on a freelance basis A technology journalist, Dave Johnson covers consumer technology and how the industry is changing the futuristic realm of science fiction into a reality that is more like ours today.
- After that, he worked for Microsoft for eight years as a content lead on the Windows team.
- Besides being the author of more than a dozen books, Dave also contributes to a variety of websites and magazines such as CNET, Forbes, PC World, How To Geek, and the Insider magazine.
How to Find Your Original Windows 10 Product Key
Microsoft has been modifying and enhancing the way it manages Windows licenses in recent years. Everything you need to know will be covered in this article, from the traditional methods of retrieving keys to the more current techniques to making the most of your licenses and the limits that may apply depending on the type of license you have, and everything in between. To distinguish Windows 10 from previous versions of Microsoft’s licensing, the operating system added a “Digital Entitlement” feature that ties your Windows key to an ID produced depending on the hardware of your computer.
In essence, this means that your Windows 10 license is now linked to your Microsoft account, allowing you to activate a copy of the operating system simply by checking in with your valid online login credentials.
The specifics of this will be explained in greater detail shortly.
Not to mention that various terms and limitations apply to non-OEM retail keys as well as to keys provided to those who received a free upgrade to Windows 10 from Microsoft.
Editor’s note: This article was first published in December 2018 and has been updated. This article is just as current as when it was published, so we’ve included it in our ThrowbackThursday campaign.
Windows OEM keys vs. retail vs. free upgrade
Microsoft has been modifying and upgrading the way it manages Windows licenses in recent months. Everything you need to know will be covered in this article, from the traditional methods of retrieving keys to the more current techniques to making the most of your licenses and the limits that may apply depending on your license type. To distinguish Windows 10 from previous versions of Microsoft’s licensing, a new “Digital Entitlement” feature was included, which ties your Windows key to an ID produced depending on the hardware of your computer.
- Therefore, a genuine Microsoft account must be used in order for you to activate a copy of Windows 10.
- Consequently, if you have a newer Windows PC or you already check in with your Microsoft account, you should not be required to hunt for your original Windows 10 activation code.
- Occasionally, you may need to manually locate a Windows key that is saved in your UEFI/BIOS, or you may wish to prevent this key from being automatically applied during the installation.
- If things go wrong, you can find yourself attempting to locate the license for a copy of Windows that no longer works.
- This article is just as current as when it was published, so we’ve included it in our ThrowbackThursday series.
- OEM keys are only valid for the computer that they were purchased for and cannot be transferred to another computer. Once again, they should be automatically applied from your UEFI/BIOS when reinstalling Windows on a contemporary boxed PC, but you may also manually obtain them if necessary. Retail keys are acquired directly from Microsoft, Amazon, and other third-party vendors
- These may be moved to another system, and the procedure should occur automatically for a digital license, while you can also “uninstall” a Windows key from a specific PC
- And Those who received a free upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or Windows 8 do not have a unique Windows 10 key code. A single copy of this can only be transferred to another machine (not if you upgraded from an OEM key). Free upgrade licenses are granted in the form of a digital entitlement.
Do I have a digital license?
The Windows 10 Settings app has a page for displaying your activation information, which includes whether or not you have a digital license. However, your key is not displayed on this screen: Activate security by going to:SettingsUpdateSecurityActivation Alternatively, you should see “Windows is activated with a digital license” or “Windows is activated with a digital license connected to your Microsoft account” if you have a digital license. Furthermore, you have the option of tying in your Microsoft account to your Windows license by choosing “add a Microsoft Account” at the bottom of the same page and entering your login credentials.
Find your key from inside Windows
Your activation information, including whether you have a digital license, is displayed on a page in the Windows 10 Settings app, albeit your key is not displayed on this page: Change the security activation settings by going to SettingsUpdateSecurityActivation. The message “Windows is activated with a digital license” or “Windows is activated with a digital license connected to your Microsoft account” should appear if you have a digital license.
If you have a Microsoft account, you may link it to a Windows license by clicking “add a Microsoft Account” at the bottom of the same page and entering your login credentials.
Find your key from outside Windows
It is possible to access this data from an external environment such as a Windows To Godrive or by attaching your non-booting Windows drive to another computer even if you are unable to boot into Windows. It’s important to note that if you’re recovering the key from a Windows To Go workspace, the non-booting drive containing your Windows key will be disabled by default and will need to be reactivated in Disk Management (diskmgmt.msc). Set the drive to “online” by selecting it using the right-click menu.
However, because the key is not in plain text, you may also browse to your license straight from the Windows registry (regedit from the Start menu).
This registry hive is kept in a file on your operating system’s hard disk entitled SOFTWARE, which can be found atWindowsSystem32Config.
Keep in mind that ProduKey may search for Windows keys on machines that are part of a remote domain among other places, and that the Windows Registry Editor can import hive files from other installations:
- Start by launching the Windows Registry Editor (by typing regedit into the Start menu). ClickHKEY LOCAL MACHINE as a result, it is chosen
- Navigate to the SOFTWARE file in WindowsSystem32Config on your other device by clicking FileLoad Hive and selecting it
- Enter a name for this external hive file in the text box provided. The hive should show as a sub-entry in the HKEY LOCAL MACHINE registry key. To unload the hive, pick the name you selected and then choose FileUnload Hive from the menu bar.
Using Linux, it was as simple as typing the following line in a terminal to obtain the UEFI/BIOS-bound Windows key, however we were unable to locate any graphical user interface (GUI) apps such as ProduKey or ShowKey Plus that would extract the license from a registry hive file: sudo strings /sys/firmware/acpi/tables/MSDM | tail -1 /sys/firmware/acpi/tables/MSDM Linux users may import Windows registry files using the command-line utility Chntpw, which can be installed and run from the command-line.
Assuming you’ve got a boot disc handy, Chntpw (also known as Offline NT PasswordRegistry Editor) is included in a number of comprehensive recovery options, such as the Ultimate Boot CD and Hiren’s Boot CD.
The fact that your Windows key will be immediately identified from the UEFI/BIOS is a helpful feature, but it means that you’ll have to modify the Windows installation disc if you wish to utilize another license. Create a new text file titled PID.txt in the Sources folder on the installation media by opening the installation media in File Explorer and browsing to the Sources folder. You want the following text in PID.txt, where the Xs match to the letters in your licensing key. Value=XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX It is also possible to uninstall a retail key from a specific system, and while this does not instantly update the information on Microsoft’s servers, it will prevent future issues from numerous workstations using the same key.
Anecdote from our testing: after we deleted our Windows installation and erased the key from our computer, we were able to reactivate that copy of Windows by simply clicking “Troubleshoot” on the activation screen.
The same retail key had previously been used on a desktop computer that was cloned as a Windows To Go disk and inserted into another system with a different hardware profile, and this was the case here as well.
For better or worse, Microsoft’s activation is lenient enough that you should have no problems validating your operating system license on a new machine or after many hardware modifications.
Keep Reading.Softwareat TechSpot
- Methods for Increasing Storage Space on Windows
- Windows To Go: Windows To Go is a portable version of the Windows operating system. Instructions on how to install and run Windows 10 from a USB flash drive
- What Does the Phrase “Run as Administrator” Mean? A collection of Command Prompt Hints and Techniques Things You Can Do That Are Really Cool
How To Find Your Windows 10 Product Key [Full Guide]
Microsoft licensing has gotten much more understandable in recent years, yet some people are still unclear of where to get their Windows 10 product key. To activate Windows 10 on a new system or transfer the license to another machine, you will need the product key that was provided with the operating system. There are a variety of methods for locating your product key, and I will go through each one in detail below. Microsoft Windows 10 product keys can be kept in a variety of ways, including on a sticker, embedded in the computer’s motherboard, digitally over the internet, using KMS, and a variety of other methods.
How To Find Your Windows 10 Product Key On Preinstalled System
Some people are still puzzled about where to get their Windows 10 product key, despite the fact that Microsoft licensing has gotten a lot more straightforward. To activate Windows 10 on a new system or transfer the license to another machine, you will need the product key that came with the operating system. There are a variety of methods for locating your product key, and I will go over each of them in detail further down this article. Windows 10 product keys can be saved in a variety of methods, including on a sticker, embedded in the computer’s motherboard, digitally, online, through KMS, and a few more.
I’ll walk you through the process of locating your Windows 10 product key in the section below.
- After clicking on Start and typing cmd, pick “Command Prompt” from the context menu and select “Run as Administrator”
- Alternatively, hold down the Windows key and the X key while typing CMD and pressing enter. If you are presented with a prompt regarding user access control, select Yes. In the command prompt window, type the commandwmic path softwarelicensingservice obtain OA3xOriginalProductKeyas seen below and press Enter to execute the command. The product key for Windows 10 will now be shown. Notice that I have masked out my Windows 10 product code, which is understandable given the circumstances.
How To Find an OEM Product Key In Windows 10
In most cases, older devices are shipped with what is known as an OEM Product key. Alternatively, if you prefer to re-install Windows 10 on the existing system, you can reuse this license key. These are the actions to take in order to locate your OEM key:
- It is written on a label that is fastened to the base of your machine and serves as your OEM product key. The OEM label will be similar to the one seen below. You may need to open up the lid of your laptop in order to access this label
- I propose that you utilize the prior way of locating the product key through command prompt in order to ensure that the OEM license is the one that is loaded on your system.
Windows 10 Product Key Finder Tool
If the two procedures described above do not yield results for you, a tool known as passfabmay be able to retrieve your product key. Take the actions outlined below.
- Passfab can be downloaded. Install the program
- Start the software
- Finish the software On the main screen, select Get Key from the drop-down menu. Your Windows 10 serial number will now be shown.
How To Recover Windows 10 Product Key From Bios
If your computer already has the Windows 10 product key integrated in the UEFI / BIOS, then all you need to do is reinstall Windows 10 and the product code should be applied and Windows 10 activated immediately. Just to be on the safe side, if you are planning to reinstall Windows 10, I recommend that you export your Windows 10 product key beforehand. Follow these procedures to retrieve your Windows 10 product key from your BIOS.
How To Find Windows 10 Digital License
If you acquired your Windows 10 license key directly from Microsoft or Amazon (the only two companies that are authorized to sell keys), you will be able to retrieve the digital key through the Microsoft or Amazon websites. Microsoft In the event that you purchased Windows 10 from Microsoft, you may obtain the digital key from the Microsoft store by following the instructions outlined below.
- Sign in to the Microsoft Store and then go to Order History. Click on Product key/Install
- Your digital key will be shown here.
- To get started, go to the Amazon website, sign in, and navigate to Your Games and Software Library. Windows 10 may be found by searching for it. Your digital key will be shown on this page.
How To Check If Windows 10 Is Activated
Follow these methods to determine whether or not your Windows 10 is activated.
How To Deactivate A Windows 10 Product Key
These instructions will let you reinstall your operating system or just disable the Windows 10 product key on your computer.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between an OEM and a retail product key? To determine if your product key is OEM or retail, go to the start menu and put cmd into the search box, then push enter. In the command prompt window, run slmgr -dli and hit enter again. On the Description line of the Windows script host popup box, it will display either OEM or retail depending on the configuration. How can I obtain the OEM Windows key from the BIOS? In order to get the OEM Windows licence key from the BIOS, you must first boot to the Windows desktop and then launch powershell as an administrator, after which you must enter the following command.
OA3xOriginalProductKey Instructions on how to move your Windows 10 license to a new computer.
After that, you will see the phrase “Uninstall product key successfully” on your screen.
Is it possible to use my Windows 10 product key on a different computer? In order to do so, deactivate the license on your old computer, then transfer it to your new machine, and finally activate Windows.
How To Find Your Windows 10 Product Key
Knowing how to locate your Windows 10 product key is essential knowledge for each user. Whether you’ve recently purchased a machine or want the product key for verification or any other reason, the tips below will show you how to retrieve your Windows 10 product key.
What is a Windows 10 product key?
An alphanumeric code of 25 characters is used to activate and license a copy of Windows 10. A product key is used to activate and license a copy of Windows 10. Here’s an illustration of what a product key may look like: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX. Please keep in mind that you may obtain a free Windows 10 product key by visiting this page. The product key for Windows 10 can be found in one of the following places, depending on how you obtained your copy of the operating system:
- In your email inbox
- On the retailer’s website from where you purchased Windows 10
- Or on your computer’s hard drive. It is written on a real piece of paper or sticker. Following activation, the following will appear in your system:
Why should I activate Windows 10?
This information may be found in your email inbox; on the retailer’s website where you purchased Windows 10; and on the manufacturer’s website. It is written on a real piece of paper or sticker; Following activation, in your system;
- Remove the watermark that says “Activate Windows 10” from the corner of your screen
- Choose not to have your data collected by Microsoft
- Customize the colors of your background and operating system
There might be a variety of additional reasons why you should have your Windows 10 product key on hand as well. Microsoft, for example, may demand you to supply your product key when troubleshooting, requesting refunds, or for other reasons. The same original product key that was used to activate your Windows 10 system may also be used to reactivate your Windows 10 system in some cases. If your digital license is linked to your Microsoft account, you will be able to do this action. Fortunately, there are several methods for locating your Windows 10 product key.
How to find your Windows 10 product key after purchase
You can attempt to locate your Windows 10 product key after purchasing the operating system using the following methods:
A new computer running Windows 10
Your product key should be included in the box that your PC or laptop arrived in, or it may be included in the Certificate of Authenticity (COA) that was connected to the PC if you purchased a PC or laptop that came with Windows 10 preinstalled. Manufacturers may include the product key as a sticker on the gadget itself in some instances. For further information, you should contact the device’s maker or retail outlet. If you have reason to believe that the product key you got is not real, consult Microsoft’s official guidance on how to determine whether or not your hardware is legitimate.
A physical copy of Windows 10 from a retailer
Your product key should be included in the box that your PC or laptop arrived in, or it may be included in the Certificate of Authenticity (COA) that was connected to the PC if you purchased a PC or laptop that came with Windows 10 preloaded on it. In certain cases, product keys are left on the device itself by the manufacturer as a sticker. For further information, you should speak with the device’s maker or retailer. Consider consulting Microsoft’s official advice on How to detect whether your hardware is real if you are concerned that the product key you received is forged.
A digital copy of Windows 10 from a retailer
It’s likely that if you purchased a digital copy of Windows 10 from a retailer, you’ll be able to find your product key in your email inbox or in the digital locker available via the store’s website.
If you want assistance, please sure you contact the customer care representatives listed on the retailer’s official website.
A digital copy from the Microsoft website
If you purchase product keys directly from the Microsoft online store, Microsoft will preserve a record of such purchases. The product key may be found in the confirmation email you got after completing your purchase, as well as in the Order History section of your Microsoft account.
How to find your original Windows 10 product key
- On your keyboard, press the Windows + R keys together. This will bring up the Run utility, which will be useful. Enter the command “cmd” and press the Ctrl + Shift + Enter buttons on your keyboard to execute it. You are starting the Command Prompt with administrative privileges as a result of this action. If your device’s User Account Control (UAC) prompts you, select Yes to enable the Command Prompt to make changes to your device’s settings. If you do not have administrative privileges, you may need to get assistance from your system administrator. Fill in the blanks with one of the following instructions, and then hit the Enter key to have them executed: wmic path softwarelicensingservice wmic path softwarelicensingservice PowerShell cmdlet to obtain the OA3xOriginalProductKey “Retrieve a WMI object by using Get-WmiObject -query’select * from SoftwareLicensingService’. OA3xOriginalProductKey”
- When you open the Command Prompt window in Windows 10, your product key will be shown immediately.
How do I activate Windows over the phone?
To activate Windows 10 over the phone, dial the following number:
- To open the Run utility, press the Windows key + R at the same time. Enter the command: slui.exe 4 and press Enter. To begin, select your nation from the drop-down menu. When you select the phone activation option, you must wait for an agent to help you.
If you require any more assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our customer support team, which is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Continue to visit us for more in-depth articles on topics such as productivity and current technologies! Would you want to be notified about promotions, offers, and discounts that will allow you to purchase our items at the best possible price? Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter by providing your email address in the box below. Receive the latest technology news delivered directly to your email, and be the first to learn about our suggestions for increasing productivity.
How to Make Windows 10 Run Faster What is the best way to manage user accounts in Windows 10? How to Install a Windows 10 Update