Why can't I activate Windows?

Applies to: Windows 10Windows 7Windows 8.1

Virtual Agent: Need help with activation?

Activation helps verify that your copy of Windows is genuine and hasn’t been used on more devices than the Microsoft Software License Terms allow. When you get a message that says Windows can't be activated, there are several possible reasons why.

Select any of the following topics to see some typical reasons for activation difficulty, along with possible ways to get going again.