“Unable to reach Windows activation servers” error after installing the Windows 10 Anniversary update on a PC with a replaced motherboard

Applies to: Windows 10


You may encounter this error if the following are true:

On Windows 10 running either the RTM build or the later Version 1511, you had the motherboard replaced by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), after which your PC activated successfully.

You then installed the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (Version 1607) Current Branch for Business (CBB) released January 19, 2017 using Windows Update, the Windows 10 ISO, or the Windows 10 download tools. You then noticed that the Activation setting page shows the error “Unable to reach Windows activation servers”.

Your PC is unaffected in any other way.



The Windows 10 Anniversary Update (Version 1607) CBB does not include a motherboard replacement improvement that was later included in the Windows 10 Creators Update released in March of 2017.



  1. Update to the Windows 10 Creators Update. This is normally done using the Windows Update settings page and selecting Check for Updates. You can also do this by visiting the Windows 10 download page and clicking the Update now button. This is the preferred method as you will get the latest updates for Windows 10 as well.

  2. If the scenario applies and your motherboard was replaced by your OEM, you can also solve this issue by entering the default product key that matches your edition of Windows. This key will not activate your PC, but will prompt your PC to re-activate using an already-associated digital license.

    To do this:
    1. Make sure you are connected to the internet for this process.

    2. From Start, open Settings, select Update and Security, and choose Activation from the left menu.

    3. Select Change Product Key.

    4. Enter the Default Product key that matches your Windows Edition

      • Windows 10 Home Edition YTMG3-N6DKC-DKB77-7M9GH-8HVX7

      • Windows 10 Home Edition Single Language BT79Q-G7N6G-PGBYW-4YWX6-6F4BT

      • Windows 10 Pro Edition VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T

      • Windows 10 Home N Edition 4CPRK-NM3K3-X6XXQ-RXX86-WXCHW

      • Windows 10 Pro N Edition 2B87N-8KFHP-DKV6R-Y2C8J-PKCKT

    5. Choose Next. Windows 10 should now show as Activated.

If this doesn’t solve your activation issue, see our activation error help article.