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Windows Product Key Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Summary: This article describes how Windows 11 and Windows 10 product keys work, and how to identify a Windows 11 or Windows 10 Genuine computer.

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Video - How to Check Your Activation Status in Windows 10

Where is the Windows 11 or Windows 10 Product Key?

Factory-installed Windows 11 and Windows 10 computers differ from previous versions of Windows. The product key for Windows was previously attached as a label on the computer. This key could be referenced for activation if the operating system must be reinstalled.

For Windows 11 and Windows 10, the product key is "injected" onto the computer motherboard at the factory. Installation and activation of Windows see the information in the BIOS of the computer to verify authenticity. Owners of these computers do not need a physical key to input.

Dell computers that are factory-installed with Windows 11 or Windows 10 may carry a logo on the palm rest. This logo verifies that the computer is a Genuine Windows 11 or Windows 10 device and has a Product Key on the motherboard.

For more on specific labels that Microsoft uses on computer hardware, see Microsoft's How to Tell website. Click the What to look for tab at the top of the page for images and information.

For more information about older versions of Windows, see the Microsoft knowledge base article Find your Windows product key.


More information and support for your Windows operating systems can be found on our Windows Support webpage.

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NOTE: Offers are only available for US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, China, and Japan personal computer customers. Server and Storage not applicable.

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Last Published Date

23 Aug 2023



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