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"Change product key" link is not available in Windows 8 or in Windows Server 2012

Symptoms
When you try to change the product key in Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012, you cannot find a "Change product key" link in the System item in Control Panel.

For example, you want to convert a default setup product key to a Multiple Activation Key (MAK) on a computer that is running Windows 8. However, you cannot find an element in the UI that lets you change the product key.
Cause
This issue occurs because the "Change product key" link is not displayed if Windows 8 or Windows 2012 is not activated.
Resolution
To change the product key without first activating Windows, use one of the following methods:

Method 1

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. Or, if you are using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, and then click Search.
  2. In the search box, type Slui 3.
    search_slui
  3. Tap or click the Slui 3 icon.
  4. Type your product key in the Windows Activation window, and then click Activate.
    activation window

Method 2

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. Or, if you are using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, and then click Search.
  2. Type Command Prompt in the Search box.
    search cmd
  3. Right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator. If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Allow.
    elevated command prompt
  4. Run the following command at the elevated command prompt:
    slmgr.vbs /ipk <Your product key>
Note You can also use the Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) 3.0 to change the product key remotely, or if you want to change the product key on multiple computers.
More information
In Windows 7, a "Change product key" link is displayed when Windows is not activated.
Properties

Article ID: 2750773 - Last Review: 08/14/2015 07:11:00 - Revision: 5.0

Windows 10 Pro, released in July 2015, Windows 10 Enterprise, released in July 2015, Windows 8, Windows 8 Enterprise, Windows 8 Pro, Windows Server 2012 Standard, Windows Server 2012 Essentials, Windows Server 2012 Datacenter

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