When you purchase a new copy of the Microsoft Windows operating system (either pre-installed on a new computer or a retail copy), you are given a genuine Windows Product Key. This unique Product Key is used to activate the operating system and prevent its fraudulent use. If you did not activate the operating system during the initial installation, you have roughly 30 days to do so before functionality becomes limited. Activating Windows with your Product Key is fairly simple.
- Open the Windows Start menu, select “Control Panel.”
- Select “System and Security,” then “Security.”
- Click “Activate Windows Now” at the bottom of the Security control panel window, listed within “Windows Activation.”
- Click “Activate Windows Online Now.” Make sure you have an active Internet connection.
- Enter your Windows Product Key and your administrator password when directed. Windows will begin activating your operating system; it may take a few minutes. When complete, an “Activation Successful” dialog will display. Click “Close.”
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