- A digital license (called a digital entitlement in Windows 10, Version 1511) is a method of activation in Windows 10 that doesn't require you to enter a product key. If you upgraded to Windows 10 for free from an activated copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, you should have a digital license instead of a product key.
- A Windows product key is a 25-character code used to activate Windows. It looks like this:
- Microsoft doesn't keep a record of purchased product software keys. Digital licenses are tied directly to your Microsoft account.
- For help finding your product key, see Find your Windows product key.
- Digital licenses are connected to your Microsoft account, so there's nothing you need to find on your PC. You're all set once your PC is connected to the internet and you log in to your Microsoft account. See What activation method do I need? below to determine if your genuine copy of Windows 10 is activated with a digital license.
- If you don't have a product key or digital license, you can purchase a Windows 10 license after installation finishes. Select the Start button > Settings > Update & Security > Activation . Then select Go to Store to go to the Microsoft Store, where you can purchase a Windows 10 license.
If you're curious about Windows updates instead of Windows activation, see Update Windows 10.
If you need to install and activate Microsoft Office, see Download and install or reinstall Office on your PC or Mac.
To learn more about Windows activation, select any heading below and it will open to show more info.