- 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.
- For help finding your product key, see Find your Windows product key.
- If you don't have a product key, 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 Windows Store, where you can purchase a Windows 10 license.
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 Microsoft Store and successfully activated Windows 10.||Digital license|
|Buying a Windows 10 Pro upgrade from the Microsoft 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.