4 tips for finding the Windows and Office license key

Most commercial software comes with a license key to prevent unauthorized copying and installation.

Although software manufacturers use different methods to prevent this type of protection against unwanted installation, one of the most common ways to prevent unwanted installations is to register with a registration key.

For both Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office, you need a license key to activate the product at Microsoft.

If you upgrade from Windows 7 or 8, Windows 10 or Windows 11 will automatically activate online. However, if you plan to Reinstall Windows, you must have your product code to activate windows.

It is advisable to first check how you purchased Windows or Office. If you purchased a copy of Microsoft Windows or Office, the first place to look is the CD or DVD.

The Microsoft Product license keys are usually on a sticker and consist of 25 characters.

If you have purchased a PC that already has Windows installed, look for a sticker on your PC. For Microsoft Office, the product code must be a sticker on the installation CD.

If you wish, you may contact Microsoft to obtain the license key. However, there are also ways to obtain the product (license) keys through Windows itself. I’ll go into that further in this article.

Advice: buy one Windows 10 license safely and directly through Bol.com.

Obtain Windows license code with Magical Jelly Bean – Key Finder

If you have Windows installed and you no longer know the license code, you can find it with the Jelly Bean Key Finder program.

Jelly Bean Key finder removes the license code directly from the Windows registry. The program also supports another 300+ other applications to retrieve license codes from.

Should it be necessary, Jelly Bean Key Finder is even able to recover the Windows license from computers that no longer boot to windows, due to, for example, a damaged Windows application, etc.

Download Jelly Bean Key Finder.

retrieve windows license key

Install the program and it will start the program. Jelly Bean’s Key Finder will automatically look up all applications and display their associated license keys and information.

Use Lazesoft Windows Key Finder for free to find the license key

Windows Key Finder not only finds the product key of Windows 11 or Windows 10; Using this software, you can obtain the product key for Windows 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 2008, 2012, or Windows 7, 8, 10, and Windows 11. On top of all that, this free software can retrieve the Microsoft Office product keys from the registry. Once the product key has been retrieved by this tool, you can print or save the product key in a notebook file.

Windows Key Finder is a free and portable tool, which means you do not have to install it on your PC. Just download and run and you will immediately see the product key of Windows 10, Windows 11 or Microsoft Office.

Download Lazesoft Windows Key Finder.

Lazesoft Windows Key Finder for free

List of supported versions of Windows to retrieve the product code:

  • Windows 2000 SP4
  • Windows XP
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 11
  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2016

List of supported Microsoft Office versions to retrieve the product code:

  • Microsoft Office 2000
  • Microsoft Office 2003
  • Microsoft Office 2007
  • Microsoft Office 2010
  • Microsoft Office 2013
  • Microsoft Office 2016
  • Microsoft Office 2019

Find Windows license key with Windows Command Prompt or PowerShell

You can retrieve the Windows product code using Windows Command Prompt or PowerShell commands.

To proceed, go to search and search for “command prompt”. Once you have opened the Command Prompt, type the following command and confirm it with the enter key:

wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey

The following screen appears. Note that this method does not work for every PC.

retrieve windows license via command prompt

You can also obtain the license code with PowerShell code. To do this, go to search and search for “power”. Note that you choose Windows Powershell one not Windows PowerShell ISE.

If you have opened PowerShell, type the following command and confirm it with the enter key:

(Get-WmiObject -query 'select * from SoftwareLicensingService').OA3xOriginalProductKey

It looks like this, see the example below.

look up windows license code with powershell

The method may prompt via command and PowerShell may not work. This is different per Windows installation.

Find Windows license code using Visual Basic Scripting (VBS) using Notepad

Go to Windows Search and type: notepad. You can now open notepad and launch a new text file.

Copy the following code from this page and paste it into the new notepad text file.

Set WshShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
MsgBox ConvertToKey(WshShell.RegRead("HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionDigitalProductId"))

Function ConvertToKey(Key)
Const KeyOffset = 52
i = 28
Chars = "BCDFGHJKMPQRTVWXY2346789"
Do
Cur = 0
x = 14
Do
Cur = Cur * 256
Cur = Key(x + KeyOffset) + Cur
Key(x + KeyOffset) = (Cur  24) And 255
Cur = Cur Mod 24
x = x -1
Loop While x >= 0
i = i -1
KeyOutput = Mid(Chars, Cur + 1, 1) & KeyOutput
If (((29 - i) Mod 6) = 0) And (i -1) Then
i = i -1
KeyOutput = "-" & KeyOutput
End If
Loop While i >= 0
ConvertToKey = KeyOutput
End Function

After pasting the above content into notepad, you will get the following result below.

Now we are going to save the content, choose File from the menu and then on Save As, see image.

windows license code lookup notepad

Choose the Desktop for the location, then you will be able to find the file more easily later. You are of course free to choose the location yourself, we assume in the instruction that the file will be saved on the Desktop.

At the bottom of Save As, select “All files (*. *)”, Give the file a .vbs extension name, as in the example below: license code.vbs. Now click the Save button to save the code file on the Desktop.

windows-license-code-notepad-save

Now locate the license.vbs file on your Windows desktop and double-click the file to open it. A new Windows window will now appear containing your Windows license product code.

windows-license-code-look-up-with-vbs

Not sure if your version of Windows is activated?

Which version you also use from Windows, all versions of Windows must be activated to obtain product updates. Not only to get updates, but also to register with Microsoft that you own the purchased license.

To be sure that Windows is activated, open the Windows Explorer, and right-click My PC, My Computer or Computer and select from the Properties menu. A new window will open with information about your computer. At the bottom of the window you will find the information whether windows is activated.

is-windows-enabled-look-up

License code not found yet? Search the BIOS

You can also look up the Windows license key in the BIOS. These are OEM license codes, in the following article: Find an OEM license in the bios, I explain how this works.

I hope this guide has helped you find your product code. If you have any questions, you can also ask them at the bottom of this instruction!

Also read: Transfer Windows license to a new computer.