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Windows Product Key Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Summary: This article describes how Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7 product keys work, and how to identify a Windows 11, Windows 10, or Windows 8.1 Genuine computer.

This article may have been automatically translated. If you have any feedback regarding its quality, please let us know using the form at the bottom of this page.

Article Content


Symptoms

Cause

Video (English Only) - OEM Windows 10, and Windows 11 Activation (Official Dell Tech Support)


Where is the Windows 11, Windows 10, and Windows 8.1 Product Key?

Factory-installed Windows 11, Windows 10, and Windows 8.1 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, Windows 10, and Windows 8.1 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, Windows 10, or Windows 8.1 may carry a logo on the palmrest. This logo verifies that the computer is a Genuine Windows 11, Windows 10, or Windows 8.1 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.


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 other versions of Windows, see the Microsoft Knowledge base article Find your Windows product key.


Additional information

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

Resolution

SLN290004_en_US__1Windows
More information and support for your Windows operating systems can be found on our Windows Support webpage.

Out of Warranty support Out of warranty? No problem. Browse to the Dell.com/support website and enter your Dell Service Tag and view our offers.

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

Article Properties


Last Published Date

10 Jan 2022

Version

11

Article Type

Solution