By activating Windows 10, you prove that the version of Windows you’re using is genuine and you have rights to it. So as a rule of thumb, you will need to buy a digital license or a product key to be able to activate the operating system.
Activation also helps you ensure that you are protected, and will be getting free periodic updates as these are released by Microsoft, it also protects you from hackers and scammers who might be looking for vulnerabilities in the version of Windows 10 you’re using.
We should point out that the processes we’ll be sharing in this article wouldn’t work if the version of Windows you’re using has been used on another machine or if the plan you have doesn’t cover the number of devices you’re trying to activate the operating system on. So if we have all of that out of the way, let’s take a look at how to activate Windows 10 permanently.
How to Activate Windows 10
Checking your activation status: Before you start activating your Windows 10, you would want to confirm that the machine is linked to your Microsoft account and that it is activated. The reason why it’s important to link it to a Microsoft account is so that you’d be getting fast troubleshooting if you run into issues down the line.
When you link the Microsoft account to your Windows 10 license, even if your computer starts asking you for activation later on, at no extra cost, you’d be able to reactivate the Windows 10 using the feature called “Activation Troubleshooter”.
To check if your Windows 10 is already activated, click on the Start button >> Settings>>Update & Security>>Activation.
Here, you will see something like “Windows is activated”, “Windows is activated with a digital license” “Windows is activated with a digital license linked to your Microsoft account” or “Windows is not activated”. Am sure these are self-explanatory.
In case your Microsoft account has a digital license, then linking your account should help you activate your machine if you’re eligible.
To do that, log in to your Microsoft account as an administrator >> go to the activation page we mentioned earlier >> Add an account >>Enter the Microsoft account details and Sign in. If your Microsoft account has a license, you should now see a “Windows is activated with a digital license linked to your Microsoft account” notification on the activation page of your Windows 10 machine.
To get a license or product key if you’ve not already bought one, click here. Alternatively, if you have a licensed copy of Windows 7 and 8, you should be able to make an upgrade to Windows 10 for free.
Note: Your license key needs to match the Windows 10 edition you have installed. So if you have a Windows 10 Home, your license key needs to be for Windows 10 Home, and if yours is Windows 10 Pro, your license key needs to be the same. You’d be able to find your Windows 10 edition by clicking the Start Button >> Update & Security >> Activation.
How to Activate Windows 10 – The Processes
As you can tell, you won’t be able to activate your Windows 10 machine without a digital license or the 25-character product keys. The digital license doesn’t require a product key, you just need to link a Microsoft account with the active license.
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Active Windows 10 with a digital license
When you’re prompted to enter a product key during setup, you should select the “I don’t have a product key” option, which would then prompt you to sign in with your Microsoft account details. Ensure you’re connected to the internet, and you should be activated in a little over 2 minutes.
If you reinstalled Windows 10 on your machine, we recommend that you check to be sure that Windows 10 is activated and that the Microsoft account associated with the Windows 10 activation is one you have access to. After confirming this, you can proceed with your reinstallation.
When planning to change some hardware like the motherboard, you would first confirm that the Microsoft account that is associated with your Windows 10 activation is one that you have access to. This makes it possible and seamless to reactivate Windows 10 after carrying out serious hardware corrections.
Activate Windows 10 with a product key
Using the product key for your Windows 10 activation has always been straightforward. During installation or after installation, you’ll get a prompt to enter a product key. Click the Start button on the bottom left corner of the screen >> Settings >> Update & Security >> Activation >> Update Product Key >> Change Product Key.
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John follows everything happening in the tech industry, from the latest gadget launches to some of the big-name moves in the industry. He covers opinionated pieces and writes on some of the biggest names in the industry. John is also a freelance writer, so he shares articles on freelancing every now and then. email: [email protected]