You have decided to reinstall Windows on your computer and, before proceeding, you would like to retrieve the Product Key from your copy of the operating system so that it can be activated again without any problems. The problem, however, is that you don't have the slightest idea how to find the operating system license code and, after a careful search on Google, you happened to be right here, on my website. If that's the way things are, then let me tell you: you're in the right place, at the right time! In the course of this guide, in fact, I will explain how to retrieve Windows Product Key, but also Office Key, in a simple and fast way.
Before proceeding, let me give you some more information about the Product Keys of Microsoft products: this is an alphanumeric sequence of 25 characters, of the type XXXXX-XXXXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX, which is used to verify the authenticity of the operating system/program in use and is usually requested during the software installation. The Product Key codes can be communicated to the user in various ways, depending on the purchase method: on the sales packaging of the operating system/software, on any labels attached to the computer, electronically (e.g. by email) or in the form of a "digital license".
However, if you no longer have this information and are interested in understanding how to find the code for the product you are using, cut out a few minutes of free time for yourself and read carefully everything I have to say on the subject: I am sure that, after reading this guide, you will have acquired the necessary skills to brilliantly achieve the goal you set yourself. Having said that, I have nothing left to do but wish you good reading and good luck with everything!
How to retrieve Windows 10 Product Key
Retrieving the Windows 10 Product Key code is not at all difficult: just know the right tools to use! If, for example, you have purchased a PC with Windows 10 pre-installed, it is very likely that the Product Key is stored, in digital form, in the area dedicated to the UEFI system.
In this case, you can easily retrieve it using PowerShell, the "advanced" version of the Windows Commands Prompt. How? I'll explain it to you right now. First, right-click the Start button (the Windows flag icon located in the lower left corner of the screen), select Windows PowerShell (administrator) from the proposed context menu and click the Yes button to start the program.
Once started, type the powershell command "(Get-WmiObject -query 'select * from SoftwareLicensingService').OA3xOriginalProductKey"and press the Enter key on the keyboard: after a few seconds, the Windows 10 Product Key should be displayed on the screen. For more information, please see my tutorial on how to find the Windows 10 Product Key.
I beg your pardon? Wasn't this method useful for you? Fear not, all is not lost. Before you even turn to third-party software, I recommend that you check whether your copy of Windows is associated with a digital license, for example, when you purchase your copy of Windows from the Microsoft Store, when you connect your operating system to your account, or when Windows 10 was obtained after a free update from a previous version of Windows.
To do this, do the following: First, right-click the Start button, select Settings from the context menu and then go to the Update and Security and Activation sections.
At this point, check if, at the top of the window, Windows is activated with a digital license linked to your Microsoft account: if so, after you restore the operating system, you can activate it again by logging in to your Microsoft account during the first setup.
If you were unable to retrieve the Windows 10 Product Key using the system I proposed earlier, and your copy is not accompanied by a digital license, you can still trace the serial number of the operating system using the NirSoft ProduKey program.
How to retrieve Windows 8.1 Product Key
If it's your intention to retrieve the Windows 8.1 Product Key, you can consider using NirSoft ProduKey: if you've never heard of it, it's a program that allows you to quickly view the Windows 8.1 Product Key, as well as other Windows operating systems and Office branded products (less than 2013 version).
To use it, link to this website, locate the Download ProduKey (In Zip file) link located at the bottom of the page and click on it, to start downloading the package in .zip format, containing the program. Once you have obtained the file, extract the contents into any folder, navigate to it and start the ProduKey.exe file.
If everything went well, after a few moments the program window should open and show you, in clear text, the Windows 8.1 product key, along with that of other Microsoft programs installed on your computer.
Now, if you are interested in saving the recovered code, press the Ctrl+A key combination on your keyboard and then click on the floppy disk icon in the top left corner; if you just want to copy it to the clipboard, right-click on the code and choose Copy Product Key from the on-screen menu.
Note: if necessary, ProduKey can also recover serial codes from other Windows installations, whether on other partitions, disks, or on the network. To take advantage of this possibility, go to the File > Select Source menu of the program (or press the F9 key) and place a checkmark next to the item that suits you best, specifying, if necessary, the source from which to recover the Product Key.
How to retrieve Windows 7 Product Key
The NirSoft ProduKey program, exactly as I explained before, can also be easily used to recover the Product Key code of the Windows 7 operating system.
If, however, for some reason, it doesn't complete its task, you can get the same result using Lazesoft Windows Key Finder, another great free and open source program through which you can recover the serial number of all versions of Windows, and Office (versions before 2013).
To use it, connect to its official Web page and click on the Free Download Now! button to download the program now. When the download is complete, launch the file you have obtained (e.g. windowskeyfinder.exe) and wait a few moments for it to start: if everything went well, you should see, in the central part of the software window, the name of the PC you are using, together with the Windows 7 serial code. Are you happy?
How to retrieve Product Key Office
Before explaining how to retrieve the Product Key Office, I think it is necessary to clarify the subject: starting from Office 2013, Microsoft has modified the system for storing activation codes on PCs where Office is installed.
To be precise, starting from Office 2013, only the last 5 characters of the Software Product Key are stored in the computer, while the previous 20 characters represent a generic sequence.
So, if you have a version of Office prior to 2013 (e.g. Office 2011, Office 2009 and so on), you can easily recover the serial code of the product using the NirSoft ProduKey and Lazesoft Windows Key Recovery programs.
If, on the other hand, you are interested in retrieving the Office 2013 or later versions of the Office Product Key, you must do so in different ways, depending on the sales channel you used to purchase the license for the program.
- Physical license/installation support - the Product Key is indicated on the label attached to the product's sales package.
- Digital license from a third party reseller - the Product Key is indicated in the email sent by the license reseller, or on the license purchase page.
- Microsoft website - in this case, you can retrieve the Office Product Key directly from the Redmond big website. So, log in to the page in question, log in to the Microsoft account through which you purchased your Office license, click on the little man-shaped icon at the top right and select Order History from the menu. Now, locate the Office purchase order from the proposed list (if you can't find it, click on the All Orders item to view all the purchases made through the store), click on its name and then click on the Install Office link attached to the next screen. More info here.
- Office 365 - if you have activated your copy of Office through the Office 365 plan, then you don't need to retrieve its serial code: all you need to do, in this case, is log in through the account associated with Office 365. To do this, after completing the Office installation, start one of the programs in the suite (e.g. Word) and, if you are on Windows, click on the item to create a New document, select the File > Account tab and click the Login button. On a Mac, simply start one of the programs in the suite and click the Login button on the left.
If you are unable to retrieve your Office Product Key in any way, I suggest you contact Microsoft support to request a new one: you can choose to contact Microsoft on 02 38 59 14 44 or talk to an operator via chat. Remember that both services are available Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 18:00, and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00.
In any case, if you are interested in chatting with a Microsoft operator, connect to this web page, click on the Contact Technical Support item in your browser and briefly indicate the reason for your request (e.g. I lost my office serial number) in the chat window displayed immediately afterwards.
Then click on the No item several times until you see the link to talk to a person: when this happens, click on it, choose the Office item from the Select Product drop-down menu, press the Next button, select the Activation and Product Key item from the Select Version drop-down menu and click the Next button again. To conclude, all you have to do is click on the button to open a chat and wait for the answer of the operator in "flesh and blood".
Remember that, regardless of the contact method you have chosen, Microsoft will require a concrete proof of purchase of the product for which you want to restore the serial (in this case, Office): make sure you have it at hand, before contacting the support staff.