Guide to Windows 10 Activation

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Windows 10 Activation Guide

Are you using an activated copy of Windows 10? Do you even know? Activating Windows 10 is an often confusing topic for many people, and for good reason. While Windows 10 activation is much simpler compared to previous versions, at least in my opinion, it can still be difficult to determine if you have an activated copy or how you can get one if you don’t have one on your laptop.

Today, we will examine Windows 10 activation in more detail. We’ll cover the types of licenses available, how activation occurs, and how you can activate your copy of Windows 10.

Why activate?

First, let’s talk about why you should activate Windows 10. At first glance, you might be wondering why bother. After all, you can install Windows 10 Home or Pro without the need for a product key. So what happens if you never buy a copy and activate Windows?

Honestly, not much. In the past, Windows would not only limit the features you had access to, it would also stop allowing you to update your PC. This could present a big problem, especially if you are concerned about security. Now, Microsoft will allow you to continue using Windows 10 with almost all the features available, including updates. I’ve only really noticed two things not working properly:

1. If you don’t activate it, after a month you will get a watermark in the lower corner of the screen indicating that Windows is not activated. It’s annoying, but it doesn’t really stop you from using the system.

2. Your access to the Personalization section of Windows 10 is disabled. This means that its ability to control settings such as colors, wallpaper, lock screen, etc. is disabled. You can still see them, but they are all dimmed.

So if this is the case? Why should you bother? Aside from making sure you’re legit while using your software – something that’s important if you’re running a business – accessing these other features really makes Windows 10 a much better experience. But, if you’re just messing around with Windows to experiment or maybe try something out, I’m not sure it’s worth it. But for anyone planning to use Windows 10 as their main operating system, it is something that I definitely recommend.

Types of licenses

There are two main types of licenses available from Microsoft. The license you have will typically depend on how you purchased Windows 10. Let’s look at each one briefly.

Digital license

This license does not exist on paper anywhere. Instead, information about your computer and perhaps even your information is stored on Microsoft’s servers. This type of license can be found on computers that have gone through the official Microsoft update process, either during the free update or a digitally purchased update.

They can also be found on machines with a fresh copy of Windows 10 that has then been purchased and activated through the activation screens on the computer or in the Windows Store.

Product key

This type of license is available to anyone who goes to an official retailer and purchases a copy of Windows 10, or anyone who purchases a new computer that comes with Windows 10 pre-installed. This key must be entered during the installation process or after setup is complete in order to use it.

Checking your activation

Guide to Windows 10 Activation

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to check and see if your copy of Windows 10 is activated. Eventually, it will probably figure it out, but if you want to make sure it’s legit, you can check its activation status anytime you want. To check your activation status, go to Start – Settings (Cog icon) – Updates & Security – Activation. From here, you can see if your product is activated and how it is activated.

How to activate Windows 10

Guide to Windows 10 Activation

Okay, I think we’ve covered all the basics about Windows 10 licensing and activation. So how do you activate Windows 10? It is quite easy, but it will depend on the type of license you have.

Digital license

This is by far the easiest method, because you don’t really have to do anything. When you have a digital license, information about your computer, your account, and your copy of Windows are stored in Microsoft databases. When you install Windows 10 on a PC that has a digital license, activation should happen automatically.

If you want to go this route and you don’t have a license yet, you will need to visit the Microsoft Store to purchase a valid copy of Windows. Once you do, your machine will wake up on your machine.

Product key

If you have purchased a product key, it will have a long set of letters and numbers. Fun things. During Windows installation, all you need to do is enter that key and then Windows will use that key to activate.

If you don’t enter the key during Windows 10 installation, you can always enter it later. To do that, click Start – Settings (Cog icon). Then go to Updates and Security – Activation. Click the Enter Product Key button and enter your key. Your Windows 10 operating system will try to activate with the key you purchased.

Activation problems

Activation issues were a big problem in Windows XP, Windows 7, and even Windows 8. However, in my experience, there are far fewer issues with Windows 10, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Sometimes you can get errors with your activation. If you are using a valid product key, you may want to wait a bit before trying to activate it. Sometimes these servers go down. If you are still having trouble, you may need to contact Microsoft with all your information to activate your system.

Parting thoughts

Windows 10 activation has been simplified compared to previous versions of Windows. Still, understanding the activation process and how it works can go a long way in keeping your new copies of Windows 10 activated, whether you’re running a cheap under $ 200 laptop or a high-end Microsoft Surface Book.

While you can run Windows 10 without activating it, in my opinion it should activate Windows. At the very least, it keeps its software practices up to date with Microsoft. While it costs money, having an activated copy of Windows will help you, especially if you’re having trouble with Windows.

Are you using an activated copy of Windows 10 on your PC? Tell me what you are running on your machine in the comments below.

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