The most notable being that Windows 10 is free for existing Windows 7, 8/8.1 users for the first year. Regardless of this, product activation remains a part of Windows 10. In this article, we take a look at product activation and troubleshooting steps.
Hi, I upgraded from win 7 pro to 10. My laptop worked fine for weeks, then refused to start windows one morning. I tried the repairs available (advanced options, etc). I then downloaded the ISO file for win 10, that contains all the win 10 versions, I retrieved the win 10 pro product key from my drive, but during the win 10 installation it says the the key is invalid. Can anyone advise me, please. Thank you.
A product riddled with problems.When an update of windows TEN is done,some of my progremmes simply disappear.On windows 8 I never had any problems whatsoever.The latest problem .I cannot link to my printer. Got an expert in at great cost,he managed the link but as soon as the computer is switched off,that`s it,no more link.My ONLY alternative now is to go back to windows 8 until your team sort out all the crap on the system.
I previously had a windows 7 home premium original copy which I did bought spending my money. It worked well. After win 10 launch I could successfully upgrade to windows 10 and the copy got activated automatically. There were talks around saying Microsoft is giving away free windows activation this time. So i made a USB copy of windows 10 PRO in to my flash drive and I DID A CLEAN INSTALL FROM THAT VERY COPY. Now I have Windows 10 PRO not activated. I cannot activate this using my windows 7 home premium product key. PLEASE HELP!
I have a new build pic and have had trouble installing Windows 10. I resolved the issue with making a bootable disk to to the Windows install. My college offers a free Windows 10 education edition so I got the product key and it keeps saying invalid product key. Not sure where to go from here.
We've also included some handy "timeline reminders" for those wondering how long they have left to implement the free upgrade, and for those specific questions regarding product keys and the discontinuation of the upgrade path.
As you can see from the screenshot above, I'm using Windows 10 Pro at the moment. Before any readers exclaim "You lunatic, don't display your product key to the world," this is actually a generic key assigned to all Windows 10 Pro users. If you're a Windows 10 Home user, your key will be TX9XD-98N7V-6WMQ6-BX7FG-H8Q99.
Above, I've shown you the generic product keys issued to those users who upgraded to Windows 10. Now you may be wondering where your actual Windows product key has gone. After all, you paid for your Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 license all those years ago and, if it was a retail version, you might want to move your installation elsewhere.
The free Windows 10 upgrade process is called Digital Entitlement, and it links your Product Key to the hardware you're upgrading on. The installation process creates a unique installation ID for your system.
But really, Windows 7 isn't that old, and is of course eligible for the now almost-expired free upgrade to Windows 10. However, those with really old licenses have no such luck. Windows XP and Vista users will have to purchase a new Windows 10 license if they wish to upgrade.
Alternatively, it is definitely cheaper to purchase a product key for Windows 7, 8, or 8.1, and then either follow the free upgrade path to Windows 10 or perform a clean installation, inserting the newly purchased key during the installation process.
Conversely, if you attempt to activate Windows 10 on a different system, activation will likely fail, even in cases where a retail key is in use. The link between Microsoft account and a Windows 10 product key is set to address. Changing your motherboard will result in a newly generated unique installation ID, and under the existing rules, you'd have had to pick up the phone and manually activate your version of Windows 10.
It seems like a sensible move that will appease those users irritated by the sometimes archaic licensing terms metered out by Microsoft. On the other hand, I'm sure that removing some of the anonymity behind the unique installation ID and replacing it with a very definite link to an identifiable email address will rile those who believe Windows 10 and its telemetry is simply an enormous spying program (it isn't).
Please note that uninstalling and clearing the product key do not remove it from the Microsoft activation servers. If you have an OEM version of Windows, your license will still be limited to one system, the license matched to its hardware. Retail users may find that despite their ability to reuse their license, it may require phone activation if online activation fails.
Open an elevated Command Prompt. Windows 8, 8.1, and 10 users can use the Windows Key + X shortcut, then select Command Prompt (Admin). Other users can type CMD in the Start menu search bar, then press Shift + Ctrl + Enter. Now copy and paste the following command, replacing the number [#] signs with your own product key, and press Enter:
If Windows fails to activate during the installation process, you can attempt to manually activate your product key. Open an elevated Command Prompt. Windows 8, 8.1, and 10 users can use the Windows Key + X shortcut, then select Command Prompt (Admin). Other users can type CMD in the Start menu search bar, then press Shift + Ctrl + Enter. Now copy and paste the following command, then press Enter:
Windows 10 has been surprisingly kind to those users without product keys. Whereas Microsoft made Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 functionality diminish over time, they've seemingly allowed users to continue using Windows 10, albeit with slightly reduced functionality and the addition of a watermark.
That said, the reduced functionality is unsubstantial, and focuses largely on the cosmetic side of the operating system. Users who've been using Windows 10 without a product key have reported consistent feature and security patches, as well as minimal nag-screens to actually purchase a legitimate product key. It really runs against the experience of those users with legitimate licenses on earlier operating systems hounded by the progressively intrusive update screens.
We've looked at where your product key heads when you follow the Windows 10 upgrade path, and just how you can find your old Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 product key for future reference. We've also looked at how you can make the most of any extra license keys you have lying around, making sure they don't go to waste if and when the year-long free upgrade period ends.
Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 have been popular in the free product key scene. If you don't want to spend money on purchasing an adequately licensed product key, you can use a free one and try one of the latest Windows systems at no cost. However, there are some risks you need to take into account when trying this method.
Free product keys have been around for decades. Some people want to try the system to its fullest before making a purchase. Others want to get around the costs and acquire Windows 8 and 8.1 for free. Windows is a licensed product, there are some legal risks to using free product keys you find online.
You won't be sued for using a free product key unless you're running a business and audited for licensing. Software Licensing Audit of all software your business utilizes is necessary for many states and countries.
The following product keys are all valid, free product keys you can use to activate Windows 8.1 systems. Check our instructions below if you're unsure how to activate your Copy of the operating system.
We recommend purchasing to acquire a legal license if you like the operating system after activating it with your free product key. Here at SoftwareKeep, we sell systems at an affordable low price, with reliable support and step-by-step instructions on how to activate your new OS.
Above is an example of the Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition product key. Usually, it is on the side or bottom of an OEM desktop computer. On an OEM laptop, it may be on the bottom of the laptop, or underneath the laptop battery. In this example, the last four sets of letters and numbers are hidden to protect the unique key. After Windows is installed on a computer, it prompts you for an activation key to verify your computer has a legitimate copy of Windows. Below, are the formats of the Microsoft Windows product keys.
A product key is used to identify the rightful owner of a piece of software. By having the serial number or license number at hand, Microsoft can verify that you actually purchased the program. Although software can be copied, the product key remains unique and can only be used for a single matching version of the software. This holds true for Windows 8 and many other operating systems and software. If you purchase a physical version of your operating system, the license product key is usually located on the back of the box. However, if you lose the product key, finding it may prove a challenge.
LicenseCrawler is free for private users. However, companies must purchase a license. This small program scans the entire system and then lists the serial numbers for all applications. The tool allows you to find the product keys for other programs too. Its output is in the form of a simple text file which can be directly encrypted to protect sensitive information.
If you represent an organization, such as a business or school, that utilizes Enterprise and Developer Products from Microsoft, please see the Enterprise and developer products section of this privacy statement to learn how we process your data. If you are an end user of a Microsoft product or a Microsoft account provided by your organization, please see the Products provided by your organization and the Microsoft account sections for more information. 2b1af7f3a8