During installation, you’ll be prompted to enter a product key if no digital license is found on your computer. A valid product key or digital license is required to activate Windows 10; without one, activation can’t continue.
To find the activation method that works with your copy of Windows 10, see the table below.
|If you got Windows 10 by...||Activation method|
|Upgrading to Windows 10 for free from an eligible device running a genuine copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.||Digital license|
|Buying genuine Windows 10 from the Store and successfully activated Windows 10.||Digital license|
|Buying a Windows 10 Pro upgrade from the Store and successfully activated Windows 10.||Digital license|
|Being a Windows Insider and upgrading to the newest Windows 10 Insider Preview build on an eligible device that was running an activated earlier version of Windows and Windows 10 Preview.||Digital license|
|Buying a copy of Windows 10 from an authorized retailer.|| |
(On a label inside the Windows 10 box. A digital license will be given to your device for Windows 10 based on the valid product key you entered.
If you bought your PC from a manufacturer, the manufacturer, not Microsoft, must provide you a product key.)
|Buying a digital copy of Windows 10 from an authorized retailer.|| |
(In the confirmation email you received after buying Windows 10 or in a digital locker accessible through the retailer’s website. A digital license will be given to your device for Windows 10 based on the valid product key you entered.)
|Having a Volume Licensing agreement for Windows 10 or MSDN subscription.|| |
(Available through the web portal for your program.)
|Buying a new or refurbished device running Windows 10.|| |
(Preinstalled on your device, included with the device packaging, or included as a card or on the Certificate of Authenticity (COA) attached to the device.
If you bought a refurbished PC, the refurbisher, not Microsoft, must provide you a product key.)
For more detailed information, expand a topic in the list below. If you need to install and activate Microsoft Office, see Download and install or reinstall Office on your PC or Mac.
Article ID: 12440 - Last Review: 27 Sep 2017 - Revision: 73