How can we find our Windows 10 original key?


Windows PCs placed their product key sticker often outside their machine and in their computer’s manuals .Now they are storing it in machine’s UEFI/BIOS and this information is retrieved and applied automatically  when reinstalling the operating system.

In addition new element called “Digital Entitlement” was introduced by Windows 10 in their Microsoft’s license that links your Windows key to a ID generated based on your PC’s hardware.

Since your hardware  can change to a vast when you  upgrade  your hardware the entitlement became as a “Digital license” when 2016 Anniversary update came.

Windows 10 license now ties Windows Keys to Microsoft accounts  letting us to activate a copy of  operating systems by simply logging in with valid online credentials.

If  you already login to your Microsoft account or you have a new PC you shouldn’t have to search for your original Windows 10 key.

There may other opportunities where we can still manually find  a windows key or prevent this from applied automatically during installation.

Windows 10 settings app show information such as whether you have Digital license or not.But your key is not shown here.

Settings->Update&Security->Activation

You should see “windows is activated with digital license” or “windows is activated with digital license linked to your Microsoft account” if you have digital license.

You can also link your Microsoft account by clicking “add a Microsoft Account” on the bottom of the same page  and providing your login information.

We can find our key inside windows by typing into admin’s command prompt as 

wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey

You can also try to find the key outside windows.

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