Using the Activation troubleshooter

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.

If you're unable to activate Windows 10, the Activation troubleshooter could help. To use the troubleshooter, select Start > Settings  > Update & Security  > Activation , and then select Troubleshoot .
Open Troubleshoot settings 

You must be signed in as an administrator to use this option. If you're not already an administrator, for more info, see Create a local user or administrator account in Windows 10. The Troubleshoot option is available only if your copy of Windows 10 (Version 1607 or later) isn't activated. Once you activate, the option disappears.

The following are some problems that the troubleshooter might fix. If you receive an error code and none of the steps below help, see Get help with Windows activation errors

For more info about activation, see Activate Windows 10. For help with your product key, see Find your Windows product key. If the troubleshooter is unable to fix your issue, contact support.

Note: Windows activation requires an internet connection. For more info, see Get online.

Troubleshoot common activation issues

To use the troubleshooter, select Start > Settings  > Update & Security  > Activation , and then select Troubleshoot .
Open Troubleshoot settings 

To activate using your digital license, you'll need to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro:

  1. Save your work and close any open apps.

  2. In the troubleshooter, select Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.

  3. Select Start upgrade. The upgrade might take a while and you won't be able to use your device until it's done.

To activate using your digital license, you'll need to install Windows 10 Home:

  1. Go to the media creation toolpage.

  2. Read the instructions on how to use the tool to create installation media for Windows 10 Home and how to do a clean installation.

  3. During setup for Windows 10 Home, you'll be asked to enter a product key. Because you already have a digital license for Windows 10 Home, you can skip this step and continue with the installation. Windows will automatically activate using your digital license when the installation is completed.

To activate Windows using your digital license, in the troubleshooter, select Activate Windows, and then select Activate.

A Windows 10 digital license is associated with your device. If you make significant changes, such as replacing your motherboard, Windows will no longer find a license that matches your device. For help resolving this issue, see Reactivating Windows 10 after a hardware change.

If you've received an error code and nothing here helped, see Get help with Windows activation errors.

If you need additional help reactivating Windows on your device, contact customer support

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