Activation code required when signing in with a Microsoft account on your Windows Phone

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Article ID: 2431699 - View products that this article applies to.
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Symptoms

The first time you sign in to your Windows Phone 7 or Windows Phone 8 using your Microsoft account (formerly Windows Live ID), you get a two-part error message that asks for an activation code.

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Activation failed
Activation failed

We were trying to activate your phone without troubling you about it, but something went wrong, so we need some more information before we can continue. Tap close and we’ll explain.
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Activate Windows Phone
ACTIVATE WINDOWS PHONE

There was a problem setting up your Microsoft account on the phone, and we need an activation code to finish setup. You can call customer service to get the code, then enter it here. If you tap Skip, we'll let you know the next time you do something that requires activation, so you can call then.

Call support.


Note Microsoft account is still called Windows Live on Windows Phone 7. So, if you're on a Windows Phone 7, your error message will show "ACTIVATE WINDOWS LIVE," and it will refer to your account as a "Windows Live ID" instead of "Microsoft account." 

Cause

Each Windows Phone is created with an activation code as part of the manufacturing process. In rare cases, a new activation code is required to complete the Microsoft account sign-in process. This is why you're asked to enter a new activation code when signing in with your Microsoft account for the first time.

Note The appearance of the Activate Windows Phone screen does not reflect a problem with the Microsoft account that you're trying to sign in with.

Things to Try

1. Get a new activation code

To receive a Windows Phone activation code, contact the Microsoft Customer Service team by calling:

Brazil: (55) (11) 5504-2155

China: 011-86-10-5917-0101

France: 09 70 01 90 90

Germany: +49 (0) 1806 - 67 22 55

Italy: +39 02 38 591 444

Poland: (+48) 22-594-1000

Russia: +7 (495) 9678585

Spain: 34913919000

United Kingdom: (+44) 0344 800 2400

United States: 800-642-7676

You can find information for other locations  by going toMicrosoft Worldwide.

Important You should keep your new activation code someplace safe. If you ever have to reset this phone back to factory settings, you’ll see the Activate Windows Phone screen again, and you can reuse this new activation code. Don't share your code with anyone else. Doing this may prevent your new code from working.

Note You can tap Skip on the Activate Windows Phone screen, which lets you continue to use your phone until you get a new activation code.

2. Return to the Activate Windows Phone screen and enter your new activation code

You'll be able to enter your new activation code the next time that you use a Windows Phone feature that requires a Microsoft account sign in (such as playing a game on Xbox Live, downloading an app from Windows Phone Store or Marketplace, or adding a Hotmail or Outlook email account). In any of these instances, you'll receive a Microsoft account sign in screen, and then you'll be asked to enter your new activation code. 

For example, you can access a Microsoft account sign-in screen by adding a Microsoft account to your phone. Here's how:
  1. On your phone, go to Start, flick left to the App list, tap Settings
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    , and then tap Email+accounts.
  2. Tap Add an account, and then tap Microsoft account (tap Windows Live on a Windows Phone 7).
  3. If you haven't signed in with a Microsoft account yet, the Before you sign in screen appears. On this screen, tap Next.
  4. Tap the Microsoft account (or Windows Live ID) box, and then enter your Microsoft account.
  5. Tap the Password box, and then enter your Microsoft account password.
  6. Tap Sign in. You'll see the Activate Windows Phone screen. Enter your new activation code and tap Activate.

More information

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about Windows Phone activation codes:
  • Should I try signing in with a different Microsoft account?

    No, you’ll still be asked to enter an activation code even if you have a different Microsoft account. The prompt to enter a new activation code does not reflect a problem with the Microsoft account that you're trying to sign in with.

  • What happens if I tap Skip on the Activate Windows Phone screen – can I still use my phone?

    Tapping Skip closes the screen and cancels your Microsoft account (or Windows Live ID) sign-in attempt. However, you can still use your phone to make calls, run most built-in applications, send text messages, and surf the Internet. After you receive your new activation code, see step 2 in the "What to Try" section, learn how to return to the Activate Windows Phone screen, and enter your new activation code. 

  • What should I do with my new activation code after I’ve entered it?

    Keep this code somewhere safe in case you have to access it again. For example, you'll need your code if you ever have to reset your phone back to factory settings.
For more information about the services you can access on your Windows Phone, see the following Windows Phone article: Microsoft account

Properties

Article ID: 2431699 - Last Review: June 12, 2014 - Revision: 19.0
Applies to
  • Windows Phone Consumer
  • Windows Phone 7 Consumer
  • Windows Phone 8 for Consumers
Keywords: 
kbwp7 kbwp8 kmcustomerservice kbmsccsearch KB2431699

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