How to Find Windows 10 Product Key and Connect to Microsoft Account?
In earlier days, it was common to use pirated versions of Windows operating system. In order to overcome piracy and encourage using Windows 10, Microsoft allowed free upgrade to Windows 10 for previous versions. Pirated Windows operating system will show the “Activation Required” watermark and will not allow you to do certain tasks. We strongly recommend you verifying the product key and link it to your Microsoft account for verification and retrieving purposes.
Related: Step-by-step Windows 10 tutorials.
What is a Product Key?
Windows 10 has product key to identify the originality of the product whether you have a free upgraded version or purchased.
- It is a 25 character alphanumeric and logical product key that validates the operating system you use on your PC or laptop.
- As mentioned, you need a product key to work freely and activate the Windows version you have installed on your PC.
- Remember, it is not possible to activate Windows without a valid product key.
This product key is something like a digital license authorizing you to use the Windows operating system for personal or professional or enterprise purposes. You should ensure to buy the correct version of Windows 10 Home, Pro or Enterprise version as per your need.
How to Get a Windows 10 Product Key?
You need to keep the product key handy when trying to activate your Windows version. Finding your product key is an easy task, however it depends on how you have purchased. Below are the various ways you can obtain a Windows 10 copy.
- Purchase from an authorized retailer in a DVD or USB. In this case, you can find the product key on the cover of your DVD or USB pasted as a label or printed on some other place on the product box.
- Pre-installed in your PC or laptop – most of the manufacture supply Windows OS as part of the hardware. Most probably you will buy laptop or PC and get free Windows 10 pre-installed in it.
- Digital license from the Microsoft website – you can also purchase a copy of Windows directly from Microsoft’s online store. In this case, you can use the digital license as a product key for activation of Windows 10.
- Free Windows 10 upgrade – you can still find an activation key preinstalled in this case. However, it will clearly mention the product was a free upgrade and not purchased for money.
Why You Need a Product Key?
Well, there are many reasons you need a valid Windows 10 product key.
- You want to activate your Windows version.
- Want to upgrade the OS.
- Link the key to your Microsoft account.
- Change the product key to different one.
- You have purchased laptop with pre-installed Windows 10 or got a free upgrade and wanted to check your product key.
- For getting authorized support or service, you should provide the key.
How to Check Your Windows 10 is Activated?
Follow the below instructions to get the product key.
- Press “Win + I” shortcut keys to open Windows Settings app.
- Go to “Update & Security” section.
- Click on “Activation” tab.
- If you have an already activated Windows version, you will see a screen like below mentioning the version was activated with digital license or key.
Changing Product Key
- Click on the “Change product key” link to modify the key with different one.
- Windows will validate the key when you enter. If you try to type invalid combination, you will get an error message like below.
Finding the Product Key
If you wanted to see the 25 digit product key, then follow the below instructions.
- Press “Win + E” to open File Explorer.
- Right click on “This PC” and select properties.
- This will open “System” pop-up where you can get the product key under “Windows activation” section.
From here also you can change the product key which will ultimately take you to the settings page as explained above.
Linking Product Key to Microsoft Account
It is a good idea to link product key to your Microsoft account so that you can easily reactivate Windows when needed. After activating Windows 10, follow the below steps to link your product key to your Microsoft Account. If you are already logging to your Windows with Microsoft account, then simply you can link the account. In case, if you are using local administrator login, Windows will automatically disable your local admin login when you link the account .
- When you are in “Activation” section, click on the “Add an account” link under “Add a Microsoft account” section.
- Use your Microsoft username and password to connect your account to the product key.
- Type your Windows admin password and Windows will replace your local admin account with the Microsoft account login.