windows 7 product key activation

activate-windows-7

How to Activate Windows 7

When you buy a copy of Windows 7 in a shrink-wrapped box, you’re allowed to install it on one — and only one — PC. To ensure that you stick to that guideline, you’re required to activate Windows 7 within 30 days of installation.

  • Click Start and type activate in the search box. Click Activate Windows in the results list.

You can also begin the activation process by clicking the Activate Now pop-up in the notification area of the taskbar. The easiest way for you to activate is online.

  • When prompted, type the unique 25-character product key that’s printed on the case of your Windows 7 CD.

After you send your activation key, the Windows 7 Product Activation program examines your PC and then mixes up the serial numbers with the product key to come up with a unique 50 characters installation ID. It then checks with Microsoft to see if anyone else has tried to activate that same copy of Windows 7.

  • If there are no conflicts, Microsoft sends back a 42-character confirmation ID and stores both numbers on your PC.
  • If your product key has already been used, Microsoft will give you a message saying that you’ve exceeded the number of activations allowed for that key. You’re asked to enter a different product key and then click Retry.