How to Find Your Windows 10 Product Key
We have covered third-party utilities that will help you find your Windows product key. And here we’ll show you some more ways to do it.
Microsoft has made every effort to make Windows 10 licensing convenient. That said, there are times when 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, but in some cases, you will.
If you want to find your Windows 10 product key, 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 Alpha XR 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 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. Click the Digital Content tab to see your previous purchases along with your product key.
Amazon customers can visit the Your Games and Software Library section to find your product key.
Find a Windows 10 Product Key on a 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 find a Windows 10 product key by issuing a command from the command prompt.
To find a Windows 10 product key on a new PC:
- Press Windows key + X.
- Click Command Prompt (Admin).
- At the command prompt, type the following to reveal the product key:
wmic path SoftwareLicensingService get OA3xOriginalProductKey
Using a 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, which is used to make the purchase.
If you decide to transfer the Windows 10 Pro Pack to another computer, you can use the Activation Troubleshooter.
Transfer Windows 10 Pro Pack Key to a New Computer
If you want to transfer a Windows 10 Pro Pack key to a new PC, you’ll need to do this via your Settings menu.
To transfer a Windows 10 pro pack key to a new PC:
- Open Settings > Update & security > Activation > Troubleshooter.
- Sign in with your Microsoft Account used to purchase the Pro Pack license.
- After troubleshooting is completed, Windows 10 will indicate a digital license for Windows 10 Pro has been found.
- Click Activate Windows, then follow the on-screen wizard.
Using a Retail Full Packaged Product
Windows 10 is also available as a retail full packaged product that 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 safekeeping.
OEM System Builder License
The Windows 10 product key is normally found outside the package on the Certificate of Authenticity. If you purchased your PC from a white box vendor, the sticker might be attached to the machine’s chassis; so, look at the top or side of the device to find it.
Again, snap a photo of the key for safekeeping. After several years, I’ve found these keys like to rub off with normal wear-and-tear.
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 that 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.
To access your volume license key for Windows 10, click the Licenses tab in the VLSC portal, then click the Key tab for your Windows product.
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), then 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, KMS will activate your system automatically. This also means that, when you graduate or end your enrolment, you will lose access to the license.
Microsoft Software Developer Network
Subscribers to the Microsoft Software Developer Network (MSDN) can find their product keys by logging into their subscription page. From there, choose the product you would like to view by clicking the Product Keys button.
Dealing with a Lost or Damaged Windows 10 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. We have covered third-party utilities 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 a live person, you can also use phone activation.
- Press Windows key + R.
- Type slui.exe 4 and press Enter.
- Select your country from the list menu.
- Choose the phone activation action, then wait for an agent to assist you.
Please tell us what you think. Was this article helpful with finding your Windows 10 product key? If you’ve upgraded recently, you can also use similar steps to find your Windows 11 product key.
Very informative simple to understand and put in layman’s terms.Needed to find the product key, typed everything in as it showed and the product key was there after I had followed all the clear simple steps. Marvelous. Thank you very much.
AGREE life saver thank you!!
my win 10 was the free version, i cant get a key, why
Andre Da Costa
Because your got a Digital License based on your previous version of Windows, 7 or 8/8.1. Learn more:
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
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.
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…
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.
@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?
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.
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
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 ?
Thanks, is a Valuable post.
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
Andre Da Costa
Skip entering the product key and use the instructions in this article for finding your Windows 8.1 product key through the command line. You can then enter or use chat support to reactivate:
Thanks for your help!! :)
I had windows 10 altum pro on my PC but after I upgraded to windows 10 Education , but have tried each and every activation key fro every source but it failed to get the right one
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
Awesome. thanks for the feedback. Glad we were able to assist!
I don’t know how to download my cnc usb controller
can you give a new product key of windows 10
Marjorie Joy B. Pilapil
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.
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??
At last I have an answer!
Thank you so much!
Now I have another question.
How come I search the official Microsoft pages for hours, and consult their robot reply service, all in vain, when a free, private and may I say groovy site can answer my questions concisely and simply.
Microsoft needs to learn from you guys.
Thanks for the informative article. I wish to share an experience about Win10 product key in relation to upgrading to Win 11.
My machine was unable to upgrade to Win 11, from Win 10, because Setup was unable to validate my Win 10 Product key. However, under Activation, it was confirmed that I had a digital licence linked to my Microsoft Account. Show Key plus confirmed I had a valid product key that was upgraded (free) to Win 8 and then Win 10.
When I spoke with our MS regional Tech Support, they confirmed twice that it does not support upgrading to Win11 for machines that were preloaded with Win 7 or 8 but received free upgrade to Win 10.
In other words, Set up would have no problem validating my product key, if the machine was preloaded with Win 10.
In short, MS was saying that I have to buy a new machine (or buy a new license for an old machine).
I had the same problem with my ASUS PN60 mini PC, bought some 14 months ago.
The Win10 Pro OS came from a previous DIY Desktop that I installed with a Win 8 Pro, that came in the form of DVD with Product Key and upgraded to Win10 Pro. The MB died so I transferred the Win10 Pro to ASUS PN60, and had no problem Activating and acquiring the Digital License.
I shared this experience to challenge MS’s credibility and integrity in saying nice things in public forum but doing something else in practice.
I will be glad to be contacted by MS to be proven otherwise.
Hey, I’ve some how made my system Ultra-Sluggish, and wish to do a clean Install of Win. 10 Pro; the version I’ve got installed right now; which (I already know how to make a bootable USB) wouldn’t be a problem, except for the issue I’m facing, at the moment. This is the computer I got, to replace an old laptop I had already sold, which had a copy of Win.7 Pro on it, which one of my other friends had given me, for Christmas, the previous year. Now, my new Computer had Win. 8.1 HP on it, and as such, I got the free Upgrade to Win 10 HP, but I wanted to be able to somehow use my Pro licence from Win 7, with Win 10, so I complained to Microsoft, and eventually; I’ve now got an official full version Win 10 Pro. Now, the dilemma I’m facing, is wondering “If I do a fresh install of Win. 10 Pro, will it knock out the current licence key I have in place right now? Because, whit’s a Genuine Microsoft key, it’s not all together “clean”, as I had to complain to them to get it, in the first place.”. So, I could use a little advice, on how to go about this.
I purchased 23x desktops via a retailer for our company in June 2017 which was pre-loaded with Windows 10 Pro. In October 2017 our company got a virus outbreak on all 23x desktops and some other computers that was loaded with Windows 7 Ent. I have a Volume License key for Windows 7 that was purchased through Microsoft. I had to format the 23 machines and reload with Windows 10 Pro. Now I need to activate these equipment. I do not have a license key. How do I obtain a license key as I am not sure if the license key that was used on these computers where stand-alone product keys or a volume license key. Your assistance will be appreciated.
Machines that come from a manufacturer with a Windows 10 Pro license will have an OEM key which is assigned to the box for life. If it was me, I would just get in touch with Microsoft and have them help you get rolling again by activating the machines. Pretty straight-forward.
Great post. I’ve just received a PC with Windows 10 preinstalled. The wmic command you presented was the most straightforward way to get the full product key. Thanks.
I purchased a new pc which has office 2016 pre-installed. I needed to activate it but could not cuz it requires my product or activation key which I cant find. please help me guys.
Tony, where you mention that Office 2016 was pre-installed do you mean the “full deal” or was it for a “trial period” only? If it was the full deal (which is what I believe you are saying) just get in touch with Microsoft support and, more than likely, they’ll be able to sort it out for you.
Just explain your circumstances and all should be fine, especially seeing that you purchased a new pc with Office pre-installed. Alternatively just go back to where you purchased your pc and see if they can provide with the key. Good luck…
This article was super helpful… Thank-you so much!!!!
Worked great! Thank you!!
Thank you for the clear easy to understand instructions to find the product key for Windows 10 Pro on a new preinstalled Laptop via the command prompt. Most explanations on other websites were written in such complicated high brow style that it cause anxiety and complete confusion.
Very much appreciated. The rest of your instructions for various scenarios vere also clear and very helpful!
What if wmic command doesn’t display the key? it display’s just a blank line. wtf?
Thank you so much I searched and searched through the registry for hours looking for my Windows 10 product key finding four of them that did not work after reading this article I found it in two seconds you are my new hero.
I have a Windows 10 Home OEM system that I upgraded to Windows 10 Pro using the Microsoft Store and “Windows 10 ProPack”. I had to reinstall due to hardware failure and my system activated as Windows 10 Home. Although I can see the “Windows 10 Pro” license in the microsoft store, I am not able to install or activate it. Any advice?
This post saved my life(metaphorically of course). thank you very much!!
Thank you! Worked liked a charm. I can’t believe that Windows is putting us through such run-around. I will do this to all my computers to find out the product key. Otherwise, to run Windows recovery, I went through a long, painful completely wiping off my computer and hours/ days of recovery ways.
Thank you!! It worked better than the Windows help website.
Unfortunately, the “wmic path SoftwareLicensingService get OA3xOriginalProductKey” command doesn’t work anymore. The reply is “OA3xOriginalProductKey” only.2020.02.29
Haydn Brisbane Australia
Thanks for this article I have bookmarked it for future use and to recommend to others.
Keep up the awesome work
Well that was easy. Thank you!
I have purchased my PC with both: Windows 10 Professional 64 & Office 2019 Professional Plus preinstalled and no keys supplied. I have looked at various ‘key’ retrieval software but, as far as I am aware they do not work with the ‘Professional’ versions of Microsoft programmes… any Ideas??
Thank you so much for this write up! It helped me activate windows 10 on my ASUS 11th Gen i7 Lapotop. For some reason, it said windows was not activated and I did not know how to retrieve the keys since its also embedded on the motherboard? The command prompt instruction worked for me like a charm. Thank you again, saved me a great deal of time.
Your instructions for using WMI to “Find Windows 10 Product Key on a New Computer” at a command prompt also worked just fine on this old (2014) Toshiba Satellite i7 laptop that came with Windows 8.0 installed, which I upgraded to Windows 8.1 a month or so later.
And both the keys, including the OEM key, reported by Show Key Plus were identical to this product key.
So now I’ve got the info I need in case of activation problems when upgrading to Win 10. Thanks a bunch!
Really useful post. Where did you get all this info from? How do you know so many shortcuts and cmd commands?