The Product Key for newer Windows 10 computers is embedded in the computer’s UEFI firmware and cannot be easily seen or accessed. Keep reading this post to know more about Windows 10 Product Key and where to find it.
Windows 10 Product Key
The Windows 10 Product Key can be defined as a 25 character long code used by Microsoft to prevent theft and verify that your copy of Windows hasn’t been used on more PCs than the Microsoft Software License Terms allow.
The 25 character Windows 10 Product Key contains letters and numbers, divided into 5 groups that are separated by a hyphen “-” and written in the following format:
Windows 10 Product Key: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX
Where to Find Windows 10 Product Key
The method to find or view the Product Key depends on the Windows 10 computer that you are trying to find the product key for.
Windows 10 Bought Online: In case you bought a digital copy of Windows 10 from a Microsoft website, the Product Key will be in the email sent to you by Microsoft as a confirmation of your purchase.
Upgraded to Windows 10: Your computer does not have a product key, in case you upgraded to Windows 10 operating system from a previous version of Windows (Windows 7 or Windows 8.1).
In all such cases your PC has been registered on Microsoft activation servers with a digital entitlement for Windows 10 that will always be used to activate Windows 10 on your PC.
Windows 10 bought from a retailer: You will find the Windows 10 Product Key on a label inside the Windows 10 box, in case you bought your copy of the operating system from an authorized retailer.
New Computers: New computers that come pre-installed with Windows 10 operating system will have the product key installed or embedded in the computers UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface). On new computers, you may also find the Product Key displayed on a sticker inside the box.
Do You Really Need to Know Windows 10 Product Key
It is safe to assume that you will never come across the need to use your Windows 10 Product Key during regular or everyday use. Microsoft appears to be doing away with product keys, and it is perfectly possible to reset or reinstall Windows 10 operating system on the same PC without having to enter the Product Key.
Whenever you reset or install Windows 10, the product key will be automatically detected from the UEFI chip of your computer and Windows 10 will be activated on your computer.
As mentioned above, you will not have a Product Key when you upgrade to Windows 10 from a previous version of the Windows operating system. In such cases Microsoft will allow you to reset or reinstall Windows 10 on the same computer by making use of the digital entitlement that is tied to the hardware configuration of your computer.
What if You Change the Hardware Configuration on the Computer
Since the digital entitlement is linked to the computers hardware, making significant changes to the hardware configuration on your computer can potentially wipe out the digital entitlement. For example, you will not be able to activate Windows 10 on your computer, in case you have changed the motherboard and made similar significant hardware changes on your computer.
In all such cases, you will be required to make a call to Microsoft’s customer support department and get their help in re-activating your copy of Windows 10.
View or Access Windows 10 Product Key on the Computer
While the need to know, access or view the Windows 10 product key is not really there, you can make use of certain third party software programs to access your Windows 10 product key.
While there are many programs that claim to access and view the Windows 10 product key, you need to be aware that some of them do not work and many of them just display a generic product key that does not really belong to your computer.
ShowKeyPlus for Windows 10
ShowKeyPlus is a free software that can be used to view or access Windows 10 Product key on your computer. This program is portable, you can carry this program on a USB drive and use it on any PC.
The ShowKeyPlus Program for Windows 10 has a very simple user interface, most users should find it easy to use this program. You can easily save the Product Key and other information displayed by this program to a text file by just clicking on the Save button.
You can download this open source program from GitHUB