How to Validate a Windows 10/11 Product Key?

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Microsoft’s Windows OS, particularly Windows 10/11, is among the most widely used operating systems, with over a billion active devices. While the exact number of pirated copies is challenging to ascertain, it’s clear that piracy remains an issue for many software companies. To prevent this, Microsoft has implemented Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) to verify Windows keys.

The WGA feature uses an algorithm that checks software program keys against those blacklisted. If the key is flagged, your Windows copy gets banned from receiving security updates. The wallpaper and background are set to default which gives the user no option to personalize.

A notification that reads “Activate Windows” is posted to your desktop. This will happen until a genuine product key is used to activate the operating system. Occasionally, this also happens to users with genuine product keys. Now, this doesn’t give a great solution as it also leaves your system exempted to Windows updates.

If you’re facing this issue but believe that your product key is genuine, the Microsoft Genuine Advantage Diagnostic Tool (MGADiag) is a better option. The tool scans your system to present reasons behind the validation error messages that you may be receiving. MGADiag is also useful in resolving various issues and sending error reports to Windows.

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Compatible with: Windows 10/11, Windows 7, Windows 8

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There is a grace period for illegal Windows users provided by Microsoft. This period allows them to get genuine product keys before their systems get sanctioned. The main aim of providing this period is to allow illegal Windows users to redeem themselves and buy genuine activation product keys.

Unfortunately, the MGADiag tool does not support Windows 10/11. However, there are alternative methods users can use to check the Windows 10/11 product key validation.

Here is how to verify if the product key is authentic for Windows 10/11:

Use Slmgr Command

Slmgr Command can help check Windows 10/11 product key validity. Here is how:

  1. Open the Run dialog by simultaneously pressing the Windows + R keys.
  2. Type “slmgr.vbs /dli” (no quotes) and press the Enter key. Slmgr is the abbreviation for Software License Manager and .vbs for Visual Basic Script.
  3. In the emerging window, check for ‘Volume_ activation expiration.’ If the text is there, it means the copy of your Windows 10/11 isn’t legally activated.

Use Windows 10/11 Settings

This is another way to perform Windows 10/11 product key validation. This method uses the Settings app and is quite straightforward. Here is how you can check for product key validation via the Windows 10/11 Settings app:

  1. Access the Start Menu and click on the Gear Icon to launch the Settings app
  2. Now, click on the Update & Security tab.
  3. Hover down to click on Activation located on the left pane.
  4. If the copy of your Windows 10/11 Operating System is genuinely activated, you will see text that reads, “Windows is activated with a digital license linked to your Microsoft account.”

Use Command Prompt

Alternatively, you can use the admin Command Prompt to check Windows 10/11 product key validation.

  1. On the Windows 10/11 Start Menu, type “Command Prompt” (no quotes) and hit Enter.
  2. Right-click on relevant results and select Run as Administrator.
  3. Copy and paste the command line below before hitting the Enter key.
    slmgr -dlv
  4. Check details on the emerging window. Proceed to check the expiry date of your Windows by replacing the command line above with the one below and hit Enter.
    slmgr -xpr

If your Windows 10/11 copy is genuine but for some reason, you’re receiving errors related to illegal product key validation, use the steps below to follow up on the issue:

  1. Open an elevated Command Prompt by following Steps 1 and 2 of the previous procedure.
  2. Copy and paste the command line below before hitting the Enter key
    Licensingdiag.exe -report %userprofile%\desktop\report.txt -log %userprofile%\desktop\repfiles.cab
  3. Now, copy the results and save them to your OneDrive. Then, find the .txt file created by the system on your desktop and upload it too.
  4. Access the MS Product Activation Center and open a case.

Using pirated software poses significant risks. While there may be legal repercussions such as fines, more importantly, it can expose your devices to vulnerabilities. Pirated software can often be embedded with malware, making users susceptible to cyberattacks. If there are concerns about potential malware from questionable software sources, consider running a reputable anti-malware security tool to scan your system for threats.

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