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How To Find Your Windows Product Key

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How To Find Your Windows Product Key

How To Find Your Windows Product Key

It's easy to lose your Windows product key. If you’re planning on doing a reinstall of Windows but can’t find your product key, you’re in luck because it’s stored in the Windows Registry. It’s just not easy to find, and it’s impossible to read without some help. Luckily, we’re here to help.

In many cases there's a sticker somewhere on the machine itself which bears the code, but it may have faded, rubbed off or been damaged over the years.

Luckily, there are apps which will search the Windows Registry and dig out the product key for you. It's encrypted, so don't bother attempting a manual search yourself.

Instead, download ProduKey or Magical Jelly Bean KeyFinder . Both are free utilities that should be able to find the activation key for Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and - in some cases 10.



With Magical Jelly Bean, you can even use it to scan a Windows installation on another hard drive to extract the key if Windows won't boot.

Windows 10 is a special case, because it doesn't necessarily require a product key like older versions. However, if you purchased a boxed copy of Windows 10, it will be on a label in the box. If you bought a digital copy of Windows 10 online from Microsoft or another site, you should have received the product key in an email.

But if you got your copy of Windows 10 from a free upgrade, or it came with a new PC or laptop, there may be no key at all. That's because Microsoft has an alternative method to a product key called 'digital entitlement'.

If you bought a PC, laptop or tablet running Windows 10 then it should have a sticker or Certificate of Authenticity which contains the product key, or be included somewhere with the packaging or documentation that came with it.

Since Microsoft has your computer’s ‘digital signature’ from the initial upgrade it recognizes the combination of components when you do a clean install and automatically activates Windows. This means you can safely skip the screen which asks for a product key at the start of the installation process.

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