How to View the Product Key in Windows 10
InformationThe Windows 10 product key is a sequence of 25 letters and numbers divided into 5 groups of 5 characters each (ex: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX) that is used to activate the 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 10 edition that you have installed.
OEM PCs store and encrypt the product key in the UEFI firmware chip. The product key is no longer on a COA sticker to help prevent theft. When you reset or install Windows 10, the product key will automatically be detected from the UEFI firmware chip, and will be used to activate.
When you install an Insider Preview or retail copy of Windows 10, you will need to enter it's product key during installation.
Windows 10 Enterprise does not require you to enter a product key during installation. You will have a free 90-day evaluation period before you must change the product key to be able to enter your volume license product key and activate.
This tutorial will show you how to view the installed and OEM product key in Windows 10.
NoteIf you upgraded to the free upgrade of Windows 10 from an activated Windows 7 or 8.1 PC, then you will not have a product key. Instead, the PC gets registered on Microsoft activation servers with a digital entitlement that will always be used to activate Windows 10 on that PC.
Starting with Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14371, you can link your Microsoft account to the Windows 10 digital license (formerly called digital entitlement) on your device. This can help you reactivate Windows using the Activation troubleshooter if you make a hardware change later, such as replacing the motherboard.
Starting in Windows 10 Insider Preview build 10565:
Device activation improvements: Microsoft has received a lot of feedback from Insiders on making it easier to activate Windows 10 on devices that take advantage of the free upgrade offer to genuine Windows by using existing Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 product keys. If you install this build of the Windows 10 Insider Preview on a PC and it doesnít automatically activate, you can enter the product key from Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 used to activate the prior Windows version on the same device to activate Windows 10 by going to Settings > Update & security > Activation and selecting Change Product Key. If you do a clean install of Windows 10 by booting off the media, you can also enter the product key from prior Windows versions on qualifying devices during setup. Refer to the Insider Hub for more information on these activation improvements including requirements.
Can I reinstall Windows 10 on my computer after upgrading with free upgrade?
Once youíve upgraded to Windows 10 using the free upgrade offer or Media Creation Tool on an activated Windows 7 or 8.1 PC, you will be able to reinstall, including a clean install, on the same device. You wonít need a product key for re-activations on the same hardware. If you make a meaningful change to your hardware, you may need to contact customer support to help with activation. Youíll also be able to create your own installation media like a USB drive or DVD, and use that to upgrade your device or reinstall after youíve upgraded.
NoteInstalled Key = This is the product key that Windows is currently activated with.
OEM Key = This is the key stored in the UEFI firmware chip on the motherboard. This key will not always be the same as the installed key. For example, when the PC came with Windows 8.1 originally installed.
1. Download and run ShowKeyPlus. See: "ShowKeyPlus" Information and Download Page
- How to Change Product Key in Windows 10
- How to Activate Windows 10
- How to Use Activation Troubleshooter in Windows 10
- How to Uninstall Product Key to Deactivate Windows 10
- How to Clear Product Key from Registry in Windows
- How to Determine if Windows License Type is OEM, Retail, or Volume
Option 2 and 3 do not work for me on Windows 10 Pro 64 (10240)