Top Nav

How to Find your Windows 10 Product Key

Microsoft has made every effort to make Windows 10 licensing convenient. That said, there are times where product activation might not work according to plan. Whether you want to perform a new install or transfer your Windows 10 license to a new computer; your product key is an important asset you need to have. Depending on how you acquired Windows 10, you might not have a Windows 10 product key, in some cases you do, here is how you find it.

Locate Your Windows 10 Product Key

First, let’s start with a purchased Windows product key or license as it is officially known. Windows 10 is licensed as a digital download or a full packaged product you can purchase at a physical store. Both Microsoft and Amazon.com are the only authorized online merchants from whom you can purchase a digital copy of Windows 10. Any other retailer selling you just a product key is likely not genuine; so, make sure you purchase a license only from Amazon or Microsoft if you decide to go the digital download route.

Another tip, if you buy a license from Amazon, use this link. Some have tried to save a few bucks by purchasing a license from the Amazon marketplace only to later find the license is an MSDN key and not valid. 

When you purchase your Windows 10 license from the Microsoft Store, a copy of the product key is stored in your Microsoft Account. Microsoft will also send you a copy of the product key in a confirmation email. If you don’t see the confirmation email, check your junk mail folder. If you still don’t find it, log into the Microsoft Store > Downloads > Product Keys > Subscription page. Then click the Digital Content tab to see your previous purchases along with your product key.

Windows 10 Product key

Amazon customers can visit the Your Games and Software Library section of the website to find your product key.

Amazon Windows 10 Product Key

Windows 10 Pro Pack key

When you purchase a Windows 10 Pro Pack using the Easy Upgrade option in Windows 10 Home, you don’t receive a product key. Instead, the digital license is attached to your Microsoft Account; used to make the purchase. If you decide to transfer the Windows 10 Pro Pack to another computer, you can do so using the Activation Troubleshooter.

Windows 10 Pro Pack Key Store Microsoft

Transfer Windows 10 Pro Pack Key to a new Computer

  1. Open Settings > Update & security > Activation > Troubleshooter.
  2. Sign in with your Microsoft Account used to purchase the Pro Pack license.
  3. After troubleshooting is completed, Windows 10 will indicate a digital license for Windows 10 Pro has been found.
  4. Click Activate Windows then follow the on-screen wizard.

Digital License Found Pro Pack

Retail Full Packaged Product

Windows 10 is also available as a retail full packaged product you can buy at a store. Inside the Windows 10 product box, you will find your product key on a small business card at the back. Users should make sure they store the product key in a safe place or have a backup copy. I also recommend you use our trick to take a photo of the key and store it online for safe keeping.

Retail Box Full Package Windows 10 Product key

OEM System Builder License

The Windows 10 product key is normally found on the outside of the package; on the Certificate of Authenticity. If you purchased your PC from a white box vendor, the sticker might be attached to the chassis of the machine; so, look at the top or side to find it. Again, snap a photo of the key for safe keeping. After several years, I’ve found these keys like to rub off with normal wear-and-tear.

OEM System Builder Windows 10 Product Key

Find Windows 10 Product Key on an New Computer

The product key for new computers that come preinstalled with Windows 10 has the product key stored within the motherboard firmware. Users can retrieve it by issuing a command from the command prompt.

  1. Press Windows key + X
  2. Click Command Prompt (Admin)
  3. At the command prompt, type wmic path SoftwareLicensingService get OA3xOriginalProductKey

This will reveal the product key.

OEM New Computer Embedded BIOS Firmware OEMMarker Product Key Windows 10

Volume License Product Key Activation

If you’re using Windows 10 in a business environment, editions such as Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise and Education don’t use normal product keys. Instead, Domain Administrators set up special KMS (Key Management Service) servers which manage activation across the business network. This eliminates the need for computers to connect to Microsoft for activation.  System Administrators responsible for deploying Windows 10 in an organization can find the product key from the Volume License Service Center portal; click the Licenses tab, then click the Key tab for your Windows product.

Windows 10 Volume License Product Key VLSC Enterprise Education Pro

Imagine or Microsoft Campus Agreement

If you received your Windows 10 license through a Microsoft Campus Agreement or service such as Imagine, formerly called Dreamspark, the product key should be available from the download page after purchase. A purchase confirmation email should also contain a copy of your product key. Some Universities might also use volume licensing. If your University utilizes KMS for handling product activation, then you will not receive a key. Instead, when you join the campus network or VPN in, KMS will activate your system automatically. This also means, when you graduate or end enrolment, you will lose access to the license.

Windows 10 Product key Dreamspark Bizspark Imagine Microsoft Campus Agreement

Microsoft Software Developer Network

Subscribers to MSDN, can find their product keys by logging into their subscription, choose the product you would like to view click the product key button.

Windows 10 Product Key MSDN Technet

Lost or Damaged Product Key

Microsoft doesn’t provide much sympathy for customers who lose their product key. In some cases, you might be able to recover your product key using a key finder utility. Otherwise, if you lose it, your only option is to purchase a new one. That is why you should always make a backup copy and don’t throw away the box.

Users who took advantage of the free upgrade offer don’t have a unique Windows 10 key. This is because of the way Windows 10 handles activation; called Digital License. Users who need to transfer their Windows 10 free upgrade to another computer are entitled to a one-time transfer right. There are third party utilities we have covered in the past for finding your product key; solutions such as Show Key Plus can help if you have difficulty finding the key after upgrading from a previous version of Windows.

Get Help From Microsoft on Windows 10 Activation

Sometimes, after transferring a license or reinstalling Windows 10, you might have trouble reactivating the software. Windows 10 includes a handy chat option you can use to contact a Microsoft support agent, who can help with getting the software reactivated. If you prefer speaking to live person, you can also use phone activation.

  1. Press Windows key + R
  2. Type: slui.exe 4 then hit Enter
  3. Select your country from the list menu
  4. choose the option phone activation, the wait for an agent to assist you.

Tell us what you think. Was this article helpful with finding your Windows 10 product key? If you still need help, please use our free community forum to post questions. Our staff of writers and readers would love to assist you.

More Reading:

,

21 Responses to How to Find your Windows 10 Product Key

  1. martin hoffman December 28, 2016 at 6:18 am #

    Awesome post

  2. perry December 28, 2016 at 8:19 am #

    my win 10 was the free version, i cant get a key, why

  3. Ziggy December 28, 2016 at 6:11 pm #

    Andre, great posting. On one of my machines I’d like to do a clean install and go back to Windows 7 as the Win 10 Anniversary update has messed things up – constant freezing, in particular. Can I use the OEM installer disk (which I purchased) and which, by the way, has the windows key prior to upgrading to Windows 10 – or do I need a new key?

    • Andre Da Costa December 31, 2016 at 3:19 pm #

      If its an OEM System Builder license and its the same edition you were previously running, yes, you can use it. The product key should work, if you were using it on that machine prior to upgrading to Windows 10.

      • Ziggy December 31, 2016 at 7:45 pm #

        Thanks Andre. You have summed it up well in response to my query. Microsoft support were also able to confirm your answer and so it looks like I’ll be going back to Windows 7 on my troublesome machine. I don’t think the configurations of that pc were ever geared towards Windows 10. Thankfully (!) my laptop has not suffered the same issues as the one mentioned. Lesson learnt! All the best for a great new year – looking forward to your articles that are in the pipe-line…

        • Vampy January 1, 2017 at 6:49 pm #

          If you’ve had Windows 10 installed for more than 30 days Microsoft won’t let you revert back. I had to totally wipe my hard drive to factory settings and to do a clean install of Windows 7. Then Windows Update didn’t work so I had to manually download over 10 Microsoft files (some were huge) to get it to work. It was very frustrating and time consuming.

          Things you will need to do this:
          A copy of Windows 7 and serial number
          Your drivers, this all burned to CD
          **Or a recovery CD and drivers that came with your PC.

          An iso burned of dban (Derik’s Burn and Nuke) it’s free
          Look up his website for instructions.

          You might also want to go here and read how to reinstall Windows and where to get all those files to let you get Windows Updates. I’d read through this first. Burn these files to CD too. Make sure if you have problems you save the link below.

          http://plugable.com/2016/06/08/windows-7-wont-update-what-to-do/

          Good luck

          • Ziggy January 2, 2017 at 5:32 pm #

            @Vampy. Great to read your comment as I was just about to plunge into unknown waters in regard to re-installing Windows 7! Thanks for the link – explains everything nicely.

            Just for interest sake, on the troublesome computer, I updated my drivers using an older version of Iobit Driver Booster (version 3.5) and bit the bullet and downloaded/installed 17 outdated drivers, which Windows Device Manager did not pick up.

            Since then I have had no further freezes/crashes. Fingers crossed, otherwise I’ll have to go down the same path that you did! Or a System Image?

  4. Vampy January 4, 2017 at 10:26 pm #

    Good luck Ziggy and I’m glad this info helped you. I have found if you own a computer you have to learn to do many things to keep them running. Remember if you use that website to make sure when you reinstall Windows you set it to not run Windows Updates at installation. That’s very important. Read that part and look at the pic that shows you where it asks.

    I have never tried driver finding software. I either use drivers that came on CD, go to a website from each hardware manufacturer (what a pain), going to the website like Dell if that’s what kind of a PC it is (not all the drivers you need may be there) or going into device manager and trying to update drivers from there. From there you might find where they were installed on your computer and burn them to a CD. I need to do that on another computer I just fixed. It’s a never ending story with Windows trying to fix it.

  5. chris harmon January 20, 2017 at 9:14 am #

    I just got a new pc,i have windows 10 insider review,this pc freezes up atleast 3 times a day is it windows 10 doing this or my pc,ty chris

    • Vampy January 23, 2017 at 12:40 pm #

      This could be from so many things. It could be a software issue from something you installed. You don’t get any errors ? How long did you have the computer before this started happening and did you install something first ? Did you run Windows Update or check to see if all your drivers are updated ? What brand of computer is this and model ?

  6. Johnson April 21, 2017 at 3:01 am #

    Thanks, is a Valuable post.

  7. Anthony Rillo May 15, 2017 at 11:40 am #

    Andre,
    I am trying to do a upgrade to Windows 10 Build 16193. I have an ISO file on a USB. When I try and run SETUP it is asking for key. I do not have one. Have upgraded PC from 8.1
    Thanks,
    Tony

  8. Manish May 30, 2017 at 8:55 am #

    Thanks for your help!! 🙂

  9. Ajay Mathew July 21, 2017 at 9:33 pm #

    Great article mate,I had bought a new laptop with preinstalled windows 10 and the retailer had not given me the windows key.You helped me out here mate with the command promt code.So a BIG THANK YOU

    • Steve Krause July 22, 2017 at 8:33 pm #

      Awesome. thanks for the feedback. Glad we were able to assist!

      -S
      gP

      • Eniola Ayo September 9, 2017 at 1:41 am #

        I don’t know how to download my cnc usb controller

  10. hajah August 10, 2017 at 4:00 am #

    can you give a new product key of windows 10

  11. Marjorie Joy B. Pilapil August 24, 2017 at 5:24 pm #

    my Laptop has just been repaired and it is asking for the product key. I cant access some of the apps here in my laptop because the windows needs to be activated. Please help me I badly need your help. this laptop is very important for me. thank you so much.

  12. Harsha August 28, 2017 at 5:00 am #

    Dude i bought a new laptop which is windows 10 and after some time Microsoft word excel etc stopped working and they ask to enter a product key I have searched the packaging couldn’t find it how do I get to know what my product key is??

Leave a Reply

 

Free Learning

 

Don't miss a single tip, how to or tech news update. Subscribe to my free newsletter and receive updates, right to your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

49 Shares
Share35
Buffer4
Share4
+14
Pin2