Windows Product Key Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Summary: This article describes how Windows 8 and Windows 10 Product Keys work, and how to identify a Windows 8 or Windows 10 Genuine system.

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Video (English Only) - OEM Windows 10 Activation (Official Dell Tech Support)

Where is the Windows 8 or Windows 10 Product Key?

Factory-installed Windows 8 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 needed to be reinstalled.

For Windows 8 and Windows 10, the Product Key is "injected" onto the computer motherboard at the factory. Installation and activation of Windows refer to 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 8 or Windows 10 may carry a logo on the palmrest. This logo verifies that the computer is a Genuine Windows 8 or Windows 10 device and has a Product Key on the motherboard.

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

Where is the Windows 7 Product Key?

Windows 7 computers have one of two options for Product Keys:

  • A product key that is physically attached to the computer
  • A Windows 8 product key that is factory "injected" into the motherboard and a downgrade license for Windows 7.

For more information about Windows 7 and previous versions of Windows, see the Microsoft site.

Additional information

Refer to the following information to resolve issues with Windows activation, such as "Windows is Not Genuine" errors.

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

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Last Published Date

16 Mar 2021



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