It is easy to lose the Windows product key as it usually disappears when we get rid of the box in which it comes Our new laptop or PC.
In some cases, the device comes with a sticker with a bar code where the key we are looking for appears, although it is also frequent that over time the sticker will break or the ink will fade.
Luckily there are applications capable of searching the Windows registry and finding the product key you are looking for. Normally this information is encrypted, so it is necessary to make use of programs and software special.
For example, you can download ProduKey or Magical Jelly Bean KeyFinder. Both are free applications that will allow you to find product keys for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and in some cases also Windows 10.
With Magical Jelly Bean, it can even be used to scan a Windows installation on another hard drive and extract the key in case Windows does not boot.
However, you should run it from another computer that works with the same version of Windows (XP or Vista).
In case these free programs do not work, there are more powerful payment alternatives such as Recover Keys.
How do I find the product key of Windows 10?
Windows 10 is a different case since it does not necessarily require the product key like the older versions. However, if you have purchased a physical version (boxed) of Windows 10, the code will appear on a label on the package.
If you bought a digital version of Windows 10 online, that is, without a box, you will have received the product key in an email.
However, if you obtained Windows 10 through a free update, or if it came already installed on a PC or laptop that you purchased, you may have no way of knowing what the product key is (at least a priori).
Microsoft offers an alternative method to the product key called digital law.
If you bought a PC, laptop or tablet with Windows 10 operating system, it must come with a label or certificate of authenticity that contains the product key.
This is not always the case. We know that some brands decide not to put labels with the product key for security reasons.
However, making use of that digital right, also called a digital license, they store that key somewhere in the device and it is automatically activated if necessary.
Fortunately, as with previous versions, it is possible to extract the product key from Windows 10 with ProduKey.
Note: The program may be vetoed by your antivirus program, since it is a tool used to extract keys and some antivirus consider it as a virus or malware, but trust us: it is safe.
Write your product key on paper and secure it securely. If you ever need to reinstall Windows 10 on another computer, or if you decide to clean your hard drive and reinstall everything from scratch, you can do it without problem.
Do I need the product key to reinstall Windows 10?
Since Windows has the digital signature of the initial update, it recognizes the combination of components when you do a clean and automatically active Windows installation.
This means that you can safely skip the screen requesting a product key at the beginning of the installation process. It is not necessary.
It is frustrating that there is no message explaining that the password request screen is only for those who have purchased Windows 10 and have not yet entered the password.
Therefore, even if you skip that screen during installation, Windows 10 should be activated as long as you have not made any major changes to the computer.
Upgrading a hard drive to an SSD does not affect anything, nor does it change the graphics card. However, updating the motherboard or motherboard and the processor will probably count as "significant change."
In this case you will have to call the Microsoft support line if you see that Windows is no longer activated, or if you are reinstalling it.
How do I know if Windows 10 is activated?
Click the right mouse button on the button Start with the Windows logo and choose the option System Within the menu to appear.
Then, click on Update and security, looking for the option in the menu on the left side of the screen and choose the option of Activation
Vers a section in which to say if Windows is activated or not. In our case, you can see that next to Activation, under Edition, it says the following: Windows is activated with a digital license.
This means that you will not have a product key since it was an update of the previous versions Windows 7 or Windows 8.
Similarly, if in carrying out the same process, in the Activation section, you see a screen similar to the one in the image below, it means that a version prior to the creators update is running.
What do I do if Windows is activated with a digital license?
If you cannot extract the product key because Windows 10 is using a digital license, you will need to link that license with your Microsoft account.
After carrying out this process, even if you update the CPU or motherboard, Windows will be reactivated when the updated hardware is started for the first time and connected to the Internet. (This applies to the Anniversary Update version of Windows 10 and later).
To do this, follow these steps:
- Open the Settings app
- Click on Accounts
- Select Your information, and then the option to log in with a Microsoft account
- Enter your data and password Windows
- Create a PIN if you wish or click Skip this step
Now, to verify that the digital license has been correctly associated with your Microsoft account, do the following:
- Open the Settings app
- Click Update and security
- Click on Activation
- Make sure that a message appears in the activation section stating that Windows is activated with a digital license and linked to your Microsoft account.
Now you can update your hardware and you will not have to have any problem with your Windows 10 license.
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