If the activation key or product key is not working for activating your Windows OS, you can check the tips in this tutorial to see if they can help you fix the Windows 11/10 activation key not working issue. To seek solutions for other computer problems, you may visit MiniTool News Center.
If your Windows 11/10 activation key or product key is not working and you can’t activate Windows 10/11, you can try the tips below to see if they can help you fix the Windows 11/10 activation key not working issue.
12 Tips to Fix Windows 11/10 Activation/Product Key Not Working
Tip 1. Restart Computer
You can restart your computer and try to activate Windows 10/11 again. Restarting the computer can solve many minor issues on your computer.
Tip 2. Check If Windows Is Already Activated
You can click Start -> Settings -> Update & Security -> Activation to check if Windows is activated on the Activation page. For Windows 11, you can click Start -> Settings -> System -> Activation to access the activation page.
Tip 3. Use a Matched Key for Windows Edition
Make sure the product key or digital license is matched with your Windows edition. You should purchase the corresponding license for your Windows edition. Get a Pro license for Windows 11/10 Pro edition.
This post teaches you how to get a Windows 11/10 digital license and use it to activate Windows 11/10 PC.
Tip 4. Use a Genuine Windows 11/10 OS and License
If you don’t use a legal license to activate Windows OS, it may cause the Windows 10/11 activation key not working problem. It’s highly advised you buy an official Windows product key or digital license from Microsoft or authorized retailers, and use it to activate your Windows 11 or 10 operating system.
Tip 5. Make Sure You Have a Good Internet Connection
To activate Windows 11/10, you need to have an internet connection. If you have internet problems, you can try to restart your internet connection by restarting your router and modem. You can also find some other solutions to troubleshoot internet connection problems first.
This post introduces the top 10 free product key finder software. You can choose a preferred key finder to find your Windows 10/11 key or other products’ keys.
Tip 6. Activate Windows with Command Prompt
If you can’t activate Windows 11/10 from Settings, you can try to activate Windows with CMD.
- Press Windows + R, type cmd, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to run Command Prompt as administrator.
- Type the command slmgr /ipk <Windows activation key> and press Enter to activate Windows 10/11 with CMD. Replace “Windows activation key” with the 25-character product key.
Tip 7. Make Sure You Only Use the Product Key on One PC
If you have used the product key on one PC, you cannot use it to activate another computer anymore. The Windows activation key won’t work.
If you want to use your license on a new computer, you need to remove the product key from the old computer first before you can use it on the new computer. You can check Tip 12 for how to deactivate Windows 10/11 by uninstalling the product key.
This post teaches you how to find your Windows 11 product key using CMD (Command Prompt). Some other methods to check your license key are also provided.
Tip 8. Run Windows Activation Troubleshooter
If your Windows OS is not activated, you can run the Activation Troubleshooter to see if it can help fix activation issues on your computer.
For Windows 10, you can click Start -> Settings -> Update & Security -> Activation, and click Troubleshoot to run Windows Activation Troubleshooter.
For Windows 11, you can click Start -> Settings -> System -> Activation, and click Troubleshoot to run Windows Activation Troubleshooter to see if it can help you fix the activation issues in Windows.
However, if you don’t see the Activation Troubleshooter on the Activation page, you can check this tutorial to fix Windows Activation Troubleshooter missing or not working issue.
Check the 10 common tips to fix various Windows 11 activation errors or error codes so as to activate Windows 11 successfully.
Tip 9. Scan and Repair System Files with SFC
If the Windows 11/10 activation key is not working, you can run the SFC tool to use it to scan and fix any corrupted system files on your computer. Check how to run SFC below.
- Press Windows + R, type cmd, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open elevated Command Prompt.
- Type sfc /scannow command and press Enter to run SFC, and it will automatically scan and fix any corrupted system files on your PC.
Tip 10. Reset Your License Status
- Follow the guide above to open Command Prompt on your computer.
- Type the command slmgr.vbs –rearm and press Enter to reset the license status.
- Restart your computer to activate Windows again.
Tip 11. Force to Activate Windows 10/11
- Still, run Command Prompt as administrator.
- Type the command slmgr.vbs –ato and press Enter. Check if it helps resolve the Windows activation issues and if your Windows 11/10 computer can be activated.
Tip 12. Deactivate Windows and Activate It Again
If the Windows 11/10 product key doesn’t work, you can use CMD to deactivate Windows and activate it again. Check how to do it below.
- Click Start, type cmd, and select Run as administrator to run Command Prompt as administrator.
- Type the command wmic path SoftwareLicensingService get OA3xOriginalProductKey and press Enter to find your product key. Copy and save your Windows product key to a safe place for later usage.
- Type the command slmgr.vbs /upk and press Enter to uninstall the product key.
- Your Windows is not activated now. You can further type the command slmgr /ipk <Windows activation key> and press Enter to activate your Windows 11/10 computer again.
This post explains all the disadvantages of not activating Windows 11/11 on your computer. A guide for how to activate Windows 11/10 is also provided.
Free Data Recovery Software for Windows 11/10
Here we also introduce a free data recovery program to help you recover deleted or lost files from various storage devices.
MiniTool Power Data Recovery is a professional data recovery program for Windows. You can use it to recover any deleted files or lost data from Windows PC or laptop. You can also use it to recover deleted/lost data from USB flash drives, memory cards, SD cards, external hard drives, SSDs, etc.
It helps you recover data from various data loss situations like mistaken file deletion, hard drive corruption or failure, BSOD error, system crash, etc. Unless the hard drive is physically damaged and can’t be recognized by your computer, you can use this data recovery program to restore data.
Download and install MiniTool Power Data Recovery on your Windows computer and check how to use it to recover files below.
- Double-click MiniTool Power Data Recovery.
- Under Logical Drives, choose the target hard drive and select Scan. If you want to scan the entire disk, you can click the Devices tab, choose the target disk or device and click Scan.
- Let the software finish the scan process. After that, you can check the scan result to find wanted files, tick them and click the Save button. Choose a new destination to store the recovered files.
Easy and Free Disk Partition Manager for Windows 11/10
If you need to do some actions to your hard drive like extend or repartition the hard drive, you can use an easy and free disk partition manager to do it by yourself.
MiniTool also develops a professional disk partition manager – MiniTool Partition Wizard. You can use this program to manage hard disks from all aspects.
You can use it to create a new partition, delete a partition, extend or resize a partition, merge partitions, split a partition into two, format a partition, wipe a partition, change drive letter, copy partition/disk, migrate OS to SSD or HD, convert disk between MBR and GPT, convert partition between NTFS or FAT32, check and fix disk errors, rebuild MBR, analyze hard drive space, benchmark disk, recover partitions, and more.
With this free partition manager, you can handle your hard disks with ease.
Professional Free PC Backup Software for Windows 10/11
For data and system safety, you can also use a professional PC backup software program to back up Windows OS and data to another device.
MiniTool ShadowMaker is available for you. You can use this program to select any files and folders on your Windows computer and back up them to an external hard drive, USB flash drive, or network drive. You can also select the whole partition to back up all the content on the partition.
Still, you can also select the whole disk content to back up. The disk clone feature is also supported.
MiniTool ShadowMaker also lets you backup and restore the Windows system.
To help users with easy data backup, you can also set a schedule to automatically back up the selected data regularly. If you only want to keep the latest version of backup, you can also set an incremental backup scheme.
This post provides some tips to help you fix Windows 11/10 activation key not working issue, hope it helps. You can use a valid license key to activate your Windows OS to enjoy all Windows features without any limitations.
If you are looking for solutions for other computer problems, you may visit MiniTool News Center.
MiniTool Software also provides some other useful computer programs for users. You can find MiniTool MovieMaker, MiniTool Video Converter, MiniTool Video Repair, MiniTool uTube Downloader, etc. from MiniTool Software website.
MiniTool MovieMaker is a 100% clean and free video editor that lets you import video clips and edit them to create a personalized video. You can trim video, split video, add effects/transitions/subtitles/music to video, etc. After editing, you can export the video in MP4 or another preferred format.
MiniTool Video Converter is a 100% clean and free video converter program. You can install this program on your Windows computer and use it to convert any video or audio file to your preferred format, download YouTube videos, record computer screen, etc.