About Genuine Windows

Applies to: Windows 7Windows 8.1

Genuine Windows is published by Microsoft, properly licensed, and supported by Microsoft or a trusted partner. Only customers with genuine Windows have access to all optional updates and downloads available from Microsoft, which are designed to help you get the most from your PC.

For info on how to activate Windows, see Activate Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.

Here are answers to some common questions about genuine Windows.

How do I know if I'm running genuine Windows?

The best way to make sure is to buy Windows or a PC with Windows preinstalled directly from Microsoft or from a store that you know and trust. Look for key features of genuine Windows, such as the Certificate of Authenticity (COA), a proof of license label, and an edge-to-edge hologram. For other ways to check if you're running genuine Windows, visit the What to look for page on the Microsoft How to Tell website.