This article depicted by MiniTool teaches you everything about Windows 11 CD key including its definition, acquirement, usage, as well as recovery. This post also shows you how to find out whether your Windows is activated or not. All you need are below!

What Is Windows 11 CD Key?

Windows 11 CD key here refers to a product key or digital license to register the latest operating system (OS) – Windows 11. It can be gained in many channels including the official Microsoft websites, third-party stores or resellers/partners, etc.

Where to Get Windows 11 CD Key?

Officially, you can buy a Windows 11 digital license or product key after its installation. Just move to Start > Settings > System > Activation and click Open Store. Then, you can pay for a Windows 11 CD key in Microsoft Store.

get Windows 11 CD key

For 3rd party online stores, there are Amazon, BestBuy, AliExpress, Newegg, Walmart, Etsy, Target, QVC, etc. For partners and resellers, the common ones are the computer manufacturers who embedded Windows 11 in their new devices like desktops, laptops, notebooks, and so on.

Also, you can purchase a Windows 11 product key from some tech websites. Yet, be careful about your choice. You are recommended to perform your purchase within famous and big sites instead of unfamiliar small businesses for the license provided by the latter may be fake, unworkable, and even bring you trouble. You may involve in legal disputes or be infected with computer viruses especially your purchase requires you to click some link to get your Windows CD key.

Tip: If you can’t find a reliable way to get a Windows 11 license key, you can buy a Windows 10 product key and activate Win11 with the Win10 license. That should work!

Is Your Windows 11 Activated?

Activation proves that your copy of Windows is genuine and has not been used on more devices than the Microsoft Software License Terms allow.

Before activating your system, it is necessary to check out whether your OS is already activated or not. To do that, just go to Start > Settings > System > Activation and you will see your activation state listed to Activate.

  • Windows is activated.
  • Windows is activated with a digital license.
  • Windows is activated with a digital license linked to your Microsoft account.
  • Windows is activated using your organization’s activation service.
  • Windows is not activated.

Windows 11 activation state

If you are of the first or second status, you can further link your Microsoft account to your Windows 11 license on your device, which allows you to reactivate Windows using the Activation troubleshooter whenever you make a significant hardware change. Just follow the below steps to achieve that.

  1. Sign in as an administrator to add your Microsoft account. To confirm you are using an administrator account, navigate to Start > Settings > Accounts > Your info, under your name, you will see Administrator. If you are not an administrator, just create a local user or administrator account.
  2. Confirm that the administrator account is also your Microsoft account by checking to see if an email address is listed above Administrator. If it is, this is a Microsoft account. If not, it means that you are logged in with a local account. Then, you need to create a Microsoft account.
  3. Once confirm that you are an administrator and using your Microsoft account, go to the Activation page in Settings, choose Add an account, enter your Microsoft account and password, and click Sign in.

link Microsoft account to Windows 11

After that, your activation status will change to Windows is activated with a digital license linked to your Microsoft account.

How to Activate Windows 11?

Relying on how you got your Windows 11, you will need either a digital license (also called a digital entitlement in Windows 11) or a 25-character Windows CD key to activate it. The former is a method of activation in Win11 that does not require you to enter a product key. The latter is in form of xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx.

Situations Need Digital License to Activate Windows 11

  • Upgrade to Windows 11 for free from an eligible device running a genuine Windows 10, 8.1, or 7.
  • Buy a Windows 11 Pro upgrade from the Microsoft Store and successfully activated Windows 11.
  • Upgrade to the newest Windows 11 Insider Preview build on an eligible device running an activated earlier version of Win11 or Windows 11 Preview.
  • Purchase genuine Win11 from Microsoft Store.

Situations Need CD Key to Activate Windows 11

  • Buy a PC with Windows 11 preinstalled.
  • Buy a new or refurbished device running Win 11.
  • Purchase a box copy of Win11 from an authorized retailer.
  • Pay a digital copy of Windows 11 from an authorized retailer.
  • Have a Volume Licensing agreement for Win11 or MSDN subscription.
  • Buy from the Microsoft Store online.
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Activate Windows 11 via Digital License

The digital license is linked to your Microsoft account and associated with your hardware. So, there is nothing you need to find on your computer. You are all set once your machine is connected to the Internet and you log in to your Microsoft account.

Activate Windows 11 by a Product Key

During the installation of Windows 11, you will be prompted to enter a product key to activate the system. Or, just navigate to Start > Settings > System > Activation > Change product key > Change to input your Windows 11 CD key.

change Windows 11 product key

If you need to reactivate Windows 11 after reinstallation or hardware change, just go to Start > Settings > System > Activation > Update product key > Change product key to enter your system CD key.

Find Your Windows 11 CD Key

If your Windows 11 has already been activated and you want to know your registration key. You can use one of the following ways to do that.

  • Find your product key in the PC’s packaging or Certificate of Authenticity (COA) if yours is a new PC.
  • Find your product key on a label or card inside the box that Windows came in if you buy a copy of Windows 11 from an authorized retailer.
  • Find your product key in the confirmation email you received after purchasing Win11 in a digital locker accessible through the retailer’s website or from a Microsoft website.
  • If you upgrade to Windows 11 from an earlier edition of Windows, you should have a digital license instead of a product key.
  • Find your digital license in your purchase confirmation email if you buy Windows eleven Pro upgrade in Microsoft Store.
  • Find your product key through the web portal for your program if you are using a Volume Licensing agreement or MSDN subscription.
  • Find your product key by inputting wmic path SoftwareLicensingService get OA3xOriginalProductKey in CMD (run as administrator).
  • Find your product key by entering powershell “(Get-WmiObject -query ‘select * from SoftwareLicensingService’).OA3xOriginalProductKey” in PowerShell (run as administrator).
  • Find your product key using a third-party tool like ShowKeyPlus.
  • Finally, you can contact Microsoft support to find your product key.
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The new and powerful Windows 11 will bring you many benefits. At the same time, it will also bring you some unexpected damages such as data loss. Thus, it is strongly recommended that you back up your crucial files before or after upgrading to Win11 with a robust and reliable program like MiniTool ShadowMaker, which will assist you to protect your increasing data automatically on schedules!

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