In this post, we’ll cover how:
- you can acquire Windows 10 without a key for free;
- how to find your Windows 10 Key using a key extractor;
- what to do if your activation key isn’t working.
You Can Get It For Free
One of the open secrets about Windows 10 is that you don’t actually need a genuine Windows 10 product key to have it work! As How To Geek outlines, Microsoft permits anybody to download Windows 10 free of charge and install it with no product key.
It will continue to keep functioning for the near future, with a couple cosmetic limitations. And you can always fork over some cash to acquire a licensed copy of Windows 10 once you do the installation.
Surprisingly, regardless of whether you wish to set up Windows 10 in Boot Camp, use it on an old OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) laptop that is not entitled to a free, licensed upgrade, or generate a couple of virtual machines, you do not actually have to spend a cent- below, we’ll walk you through how to activate windows 10 without product key.
How To Get Windows For Free (Without A Product Key)
You will need to download Windows 10. You can obtain it straight from Microsoft using that link.
Video: How To Get Windows For Free (Without A Product Key)
The video below will walk you through how it’s done. (We have a written guide below, as well.)
The video creator demonstrates ways to get an unactivated Windows 10 installed onto a new computer. He also discusses a few common questions relating to Windows keys and why Microsoft is not more rigid concerning piracy issues as they’ve been historically.
He also links to the media creation tool. The purpose of the video, he says, is to show computer users an alternative to pirating software or resorting to grey market sellers to get them using a Windows OS if they can’t afford to purchase Windows.
Writeup: How To Get Windows For Free (Without A Product Key)
There’s a Windows 10 download utility that operates on Windows systems, which assists users to create a USB flash drive to set up Windows 10.
If you are not using Windows, you can go to the Windows 10 ISO download page to acquire an ISO directly (for example, if you are setting up Windows 10 in Boot Camp on an Apple computer).
- Just start the setup process and install Windows 10 just like you commonly would.
- The first screen you’ll encounter will ask you to supply your activation code in order to “Activate Windows.” You can just click on the “I don’t have a product key” hyperlink towards the
bottom of the window and Microsoft will let you carry on the setup procedure. You might be required to enter a serial key later in the progression. If this happens, just locate a similar small link to bypass that screen. In the event you do not see this choice, you may also supply a KMS client set up activation key to continue. These keys will not provide you with an initialized copy of Windows except in cases where you are working in a business with a Key Management Service, nevertheless, they will help you to make it through the Windows installation process.
- Once you choose this option, you will have the ability to set up either “Windows 10 Home” or “Windows 10 Pro.” Keep in mind that, if you are planning to pay for an upgrade, it will be less costly to upgrade to Windows 10 Home, so you might prefer to set up the Home version. Whichever edition you select, Windows 10 will set up normally.
How To Remove The Activate Windows 10 Watermark
We found a popular YouTube video that shows how you can remove the annoying Windows 10 watermark.
Use at your own discretion– we don’t endorse any sort of ‘illegal’ hack that violates Microsoft’s TOS.
This is the Command the video creator used:@echo offtaskkill /F /IM explorer.exestart explorer.exeexitThis video tutorial, the creator says, will apply to desktops, laptop computers,and tablets operating the Windows 10 operating-system (Home, Professional, Enterprise, Education) from all recognized hardware manufacturers, like Dell, Hewlett Packard, Acer, Asus, Samsung, Toshiba, Lenovo, and more.
Finding The Windows 10 Serial Key Sticker
The most obvious place to find your product key, if it came pre-installed on your laptop or PC is to find the serial key sticker.
Below you can see the laptop sticker:
So flip over your laptop or get on your hands and knees and crawl around the back of your desktop tower to find that sticker!
The Different Editions Of Windows
It probably makes sense to quickly go over the different types of Windows 32 and 64 bit operating systems, because there are a bunch:
- Windows 10 Home: probably the most generic, cheapest type for common PC users.
- Windows 10 Pro: this has touch-responsive features and is intended to be used on two-in-one devices, for example, things laptop/tablet combinations. plus some other functions to manage how computer software upgrades get installed – essential in businesses.
- Windows 10 Enterprise: which will include additional administration capabilities.
- Windows 10 Mobile: this for mobile phones.
- Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise: this is similar to Windows 10 Mobile but with additional business management capabilities.
- Windows 10 Education: which is designed for educational institutions.
- Windows 10 IoT Core: this is for robots, smart sensors, really for developers to build software/hardware solutions.
How To Find (Using A Key Extractor)
For those who purchased a Laptop, tablet or computer operating Windows 10 then it ought to have a sticker or Certificate of Authenticity that contains the product activation key, or it’ll be bundled somewhere within the packaging or paperwork that was included with it.
On the other hand, according to Tech Advisor that’s not always the case. We’ve seen Hewlett Packard computers that don’t ship with product serial keys stickered on laptops or personal computers for security and safety reasons.
Nowadays, these Windows 10 serial keys will be stored somewhere inside the computer itself and will switch on automatically if required.
This works even if the hard disk drive fails. An annoyance, however, is that many readers report that the Windows 10 serial codes are only semi-visible on their System screen within Windows- in fact, it’s redacted with merely the last 5 of the serial code digits visible.
If you have bought a boxed copy of Windows 10, it will likely be on a label within the box. For those who purchased a digital copy of Windows 10 on the internet from Microsoft, you will have obtained the serial key in an email.
If on the other hand none of the above applies to you, it’s possible to extract your 32 or 64 bit Windows 10 activation key using ProduKey, or a similar serial key software. This free software will root out your serial key by finding it listed on various software applications that are installed on your Windows 10 operating system.
How To use ProduKey In Windows 10
When you have upgraded your laptop or computer to Windows 10 it’s going to automatically connect with Microsoft’s activation server and will upgrade your current license to a Windows 10 edition.
Your personal computer will have to be linked to the internet for this occur.
The Windows 10 activation process is fast and simple to complete and generally occurs in the background without requiring you to do anything.
The YouTube creator says that In case you are updating to Windows 10 for the very first time, there could be a slight hold up in the activation process resulting from a lot of other computer users simultaneously connecting to Microsoft activation server.
This large number of requests to activate their copy of Microsoft Windows can be deferred for a day or so. To see if your PC has become activated click the Start Menu, click on Settings and select Update & Security, Activation.
You ought to see a message saying something like “your computer is activated”.
According to TechRadar, there are several alternatives to ProduKey you can use to find your activation key. Some might require payment, while ProduKey is freeware:
How To Get Windows 10 For Free (Extra Methods)
According to How To Geek, there is a loophole if you’re looking to acquire a free copy of Windows 10. Windows 10’s zero cost update offer ended, according to Microsoft.
However, this isn’t completely accurate. There’s a couple of methods for you to try to upgrade to Windows 10 for free if you’re using XP, Vista, 7 or 8 and acquire an authorized license, or just install Windows 10 and then use it free of charge.
There are some methods for you to still get Windows 10 free of charge, without resorting to a pirated license: you are able to install Windows 10 with a 7 or 8 activation code, for example.
Do A Windows 10 Reinstall (If You Have Already Upgraded)
In the event you’ve taken advantage of the famous Windows 10 free upgrade offer, whether you did so by using the original free upgrade offer, the accessibility offer, or by installing Windows 10 and supplying a serial key for an eligible prior version of Windows- you can certainly still get Windows 10 for free on your other computer systems.
To get this done, merely download the Windows 10 installation media and do the installation with that computer. Do not supply any activation key throughout the installation process. It ought to automatically activate right after it connects with Microsoft’s servers.
How to Reinstall Windows 10 Without Losing Data
Obviously, you’re only able to do this if you have previously upgraded to Windows 10, however, you can certainly still install Windows 10 free of charge on the same computer in the future even if you substitute its hard drive or any other internal computing element.
The brand new activation wizard in Windows 10’s Anniversary Update will, in addition, assist you to troubleshoot and fix hardware changes and re-connect the digital license with the appropriate computer.
Use An Existing Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 Key
One of the top methods is the following: although you can no longer see the “Get Windows 10” tool to update from within Windows 7, 8, or 8.1, it’s still a possibility to obtain Windows 10 installation media from Microsoft after which you’ll supply a Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 key once you do the installation. After you do that, Windows will get in touch with Microsoft’s activation servers and validate that the existing product license key is genuine.
Should it be, Windows 10 will be installed and activated on your computer. Your laptop or computer receives a “digital license” and you may keep using and reinstalling Windows 10 on it down the road.
If you head over to Settings > Update & security > Activation following setting up Windows in this manner, you will observe the words “Windows is activated with a digital license”.
Be An Organization
You can get a 90-day free trial of Windows 10 Enterprise.
Windows 10 Enterprise handles the requirements of large & mid-sized companies, supplying IT authorities with extensive device and app administration.
Be An Educational Institution
As an aside, if you run or work for an educational institution, you can get Office 365 for free. Currently, we’re not seeing that Windows 10 is provided for free, but it might be worth pinging a Microsoft support rep to see if you can wrangle a discount on it.
That said, it’s important to note that this isn’t just a trial- like we’ve seen with Windows 10.
Students and teachers qualify for Office 365 Education, which bundles Excel, Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, and also Microsoft Teams, in addition to supplemental classroom resources.
It’s designed for instructors and pupils, packed with potent tools, and easily accessible through your preferred smart or desktop devices. Office 365 Education is an assortment of solutions that permit you to work together and distribute your schoolwork. It is readily available for free to educators who’re presently working at an educational establishment and to pupils who’re presently going to an educational establishment.
The service incorporates Office Online (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote), limitless personal cloud storage space, as well as Yammer and SharePoint sites.
A few educational institutions permit educators and students to set up the entire Office programs on up to Five Computer systems or Apple computers free of charge.
In the event your institution offers this extra benefit, you will see the Install Office button on your Office 365 homepage once you finish sign-up.
What If Your Windows 10 Key Isn’t Working?
If you receive an error message that reports Windows cannot be activated, Microsoft support lists a couple of causes why it might not have been accepted, along with a few potential remedies.
One potential reason for a product key failure is that a different serial key or edition of Windows was used during a repair. In the event your laptop or computer was serviced or rebuilt, it is possible that a different edition of Microsoft Windows was set up.
Or perhaps, if a different activation key was applied for your computer system during a repair, that activation key could be blocked if it was employed on more computer systems than authorized by the Microsoft Software License Terms. If Windows was initialized before your system was repaired or rebuilt, re-trying the activation key bundled with your PC or original copy of Windows may possibly solve the issue. Additionally, try re-installing your original version of Microsoft Windows.
Multiple Install Issue
For those who have a single copy of Windows and set it up on several computer systems, a product activation may not work since the product key was already utilized, or it’s used on more Personal computers than permitted by the Microsoft Software License Terms.
If your activation key is getting used on more Computer systems than authorized by the Microsoft Software License Terms, you have to purchase a new serial key or copy of Windows for all of your Personal computers to activate them (or just install a free version, like we wrote about at the top of this post).
Counterfeit Software Issues
For those who have a fake edition of Windows that wasn’t published and licensed by Microsoft, account activation will not work because Microsoft cannot associate your Personal computers’ computer hardware profile with the 25-character product key. Microsoft support has a ‘How to Tell‘ web site that can assist you to evaluate if your copy of Windows is bogus. Should it be, you have to purchase a new edition of Windows.
Used PC Issues
If you purchased a used laptop or desktop computer with a single or multi-language Windows operating system already set up, it is possible that the serial key is being used on more PCs than permitted by the Microsoft Software License Terms. Microsoft suggests that you request the seller you obtained the used PC from for the original Windows DVD or CD serial key.
Should they not be obtainable, or in the event you tried them but still cannot initialize your computer, you have to purchase a new serial key or another copy of Windows.
Though it is possible, as we mentioned at the top of the post here to use Windows 10 for free without supplying an activation code.
If you made substantial hardware changes to your PC, such as replacing your hard drive or motherboard, Windows might no longer be activated.
For info about how to activate Windows again, check out Microsoft support’s product activation article.
Windows 10 Product Key Generators
Obviously, we can’t endorse that you use ‘black hat’, activation crack tactics to acquire a CD product key.
Especially since Microsoft has generously allowed Windows users to download it legit, for free, without supplying proof of purchase, i.e. an activation code.
That said, Lifewire had a good writeup about these product key generators.
These product key generators for Windows editions can work to produce a serial key that your installation media perceives as legitimate.
Having said that, it won’t locate your authorized Windows product serial code. Absolutely no key generator for Windows is legally allowed- and these product key generators for Windows 10, Windows 8, or Windows 7 cannot legally be used.
That said, here are a couple Windows 10 crack and key gen sites that purport to work. We don’t recommend using them!
There you have it- a guide for how to locate your key, download a free version, and some insights into common product key failures.
Windows 10 Review: Worth The Upgrade?
The Verge published a pretty definitive overview of this now several-year-old operating system.
They spent several months evaluating Windows 10 when it was first released to the public.
While a free upgrade for many individuals, is it (or, indeed, was it) best to upgrade Windows 10? Windows 10, The Verge says, attempts to realize Microsoft’s big dream to have a single, consolidated Windows experience that runs across personal computers, tablets, phones and even the corporation’s Xbox One console.
The Verge says that Windows 10 is mainly about fixing the mess that Microsoft created with Windows 8. Among the first indications of that is the return of the Start menu that you know and love. It’s not just the regular one from Windows 7. Instead, Microsoft has blended the very best elements of the last two versions of Windows to create a modernized Start menu.
The live tiles from Windows 8 remain, but you will no longer be booted into a completely different full-screen interface. There is a conventional list of apps, quick access to power, options and settings and the capability to re-size the menu freely. Windows 10 has a nice dark theme and it matches well against laptop computer screens.
There are numerous coloration choices to customize the look of the Start, menu, and taskbar- there are even a few transparency effects.
The frustrating hot corners of Windows, 8 have been eliminated and Microsoft has removed the strange charms bar and instead there’s a new Action Center that actually works as a Notification Center to gather any notifications from apps and supply fast access to a number of settings. Snapping apps has been a well-liked feature of Windows and Microsoft has modified it somewhat.
There is a new snap assist feature which makes it much easier to locate what apps are open to snap them side-by-side. Additionally, there is a brand new task View feature this is a lot like Mission Control on the Apple computers.
It showcases all your available windows and a single screen, and you’ll find what you are searching for rapidly. It is also a gateway to a brand new virtual desktops feature. Indeed, you are able to finally make separate virtual desktops without needing to use a third-party app.
One of the most popular inclusions in Windows 10 is Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana. It is built to feel and look like an extension to the Start menu similar to the Windows Phone equivalent. You may use your voice to search or type in inquiries by hand, there is actually an option to enable a ‘Hey, Cortana‘ feature that allows you to simply speak the questions at your mobile computer. It is ideal if you want to fire off emails using your voice, but this YouTuber found that he mainly uses it as a party trick.
Cortana also offers a valuable breakdown of your day, combined with interests like weather conditions, news reports, and local eateries. Cortana also offers a strong local hard drive search to locate your documents on your local hard disk or in the One Drive cloud storage space.
There’s also a new browser called Edge- it could be built to overtake Internet Explorer, but it stays with the past in many ways. Edge’s taskbar icon is hardly different from Internet Explorer in order to ensure that it stays similar. For the countless Windows users, Edge is simple, neat and functions well generally, there is, however, some things lacking and the lack of features you may expect from a modern browser.
Snapping tabs into individual windows is messy, downloads start instantly, with no selection of folder and there isn’t any ‘save target as’ option.
Microsoft truly began from scratch with Edge, and it shows. Because of this very reason, Edge is equipped with some intriguing additional features.
You can draw all over web pages and send out a copy to friends and Cortana generally seems to supply you valuable information in intelligent little ways. If you look for something in the address bar like weather, then it will instantly show weather conditions nearby on some restaurant websites. It will even appear to supply you directions or opening hours.
It’s not only a neat little trick, but it is, in fact, helpful when you do not have to look for this common information.
The Xbox app is another popular Windows 10 inclusion- you can stream Xbox One games to a laptop computer and merely plug in a controller to play. It performs remarkably well with no lag even using a Wi-Fi network.
For the full run-down of the operating system, click to watch the video!
Ryan is a computer enthusiast who has a knack for fixing difficult and technical software problems. Whether you’re having issues with Windows, Safari, Chrome or even an HP printer, Ryan helps out by figuring out easy solutions to common error codes.