How to activate Windows 10 with generic keys

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how to activate windows 10 with generic keys
how to activate windows 10 with generic keys

Although this version of the Microsoft operating system is undoubtedly the most used version in the world, the truth is that there are still millions of users with previous versions on their computers. As everyone knows, to install this software completely and definitively it is necessary to activate the system using a key, which is the one provided to us when purchasing the corresponding license. However, there are many who are looking for a way to install Windows 10 without keys or through generic keys so as not to have to pay for the official license.

The truth is that the Redmond operating system license is somewhat expensive, which is why many users resort to purchasing a second-hand license online. However, it is advisable to know that this entails many risks, since it is likely that the license we acquire does not work, that it contains some type of malware that infects our computer with other objectives or even that our bank details could be stolen when it comes to Make the payment.

Windows product keys are a way to authenticate a copy of this software. When we enter a valid activation key, the system sends the key to Microsoft servers where it is authenticated. If the key is original, the copy will be activated without problems. It basically works like a pin that identifies an original product. So when you get a product key, make sure it’s from a trusted source so they don’t nullify the request from the servers.

Below we tell you the different alternatives that exist to activate Windows 10 legally with generic keys or without keys, so as not to have to pay for a license.

Keys or generic Microsoft keys

Windows 10 generic keys are licenses provided by Microsoft to offer the possibility of installing the operating system without having to purchase an official license. This will allow us to install, activate and use the system completely free of charge.

Keys for Windows

The keys or generic keys to install this software in its different versions are the following:

  • Windows 10 Home :

    • TX9XD-98N7V-6WMQ6-BX7FG-H8Q99
    • 4CPRK-NM3K3-X6XXQ-RXX86-WXCHW
    • KTNPV-KTRK4-3RRR8-39X6W-W44T3
    • TX9XD-98N7V-6WMQ6-BX7FG-H8Q99
    • YTMG3-N6DKC-DKB77-7M9GH-8HVX7
  • Windows 10 Pro :

    • VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T
    • 2B87N-8KFHP-DKV6R-Y2C8J-PKCKT
    • 8N67H-M3CY9-QT7C4-2TR7M-TXYCV
    • DXG7C-N36C4-C4HTG-X4T3X-2YV77
    • VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T
    • WYPNQ-8C467-V2W6J-TX4WX-WT2RQ
  • Windows 10 Home Single Language :

    • 7HNRX-D7KGG-3K4RQ-4WPJ4-YTDFH
    • NKJFK-GPHP7-G8C3J-P6JXR-HQRJR
  • Windows 10 Enterprise :

    •  NPPR9-FWDCX-D2C8J-H872K-2YT43
    • 2F77B-TNFGY-69QQF-B8YKP-D69TJ
    • CKFK9-QNGF2-D34FM-99QX2-8XC4K
    • DPH2V-TTNVB-4X9Q3-TJR4H-KHJW4 (Windows 10 Enterprise N)
    • NK96Y-D9CD8-W44CQ-R8YTK-DYJWX
    • RW7WN-FMT44-KRGBK-G44WK-QV7YK
    • WGGHN-J84D6-QYCPR-T7PJ7-X766F
    • WNMTR-4C88C-JK8YV-HQ7T2-76DF9
    • XGVPP-NMH47-7TTHJ-W3FW7-8HV2C
    • YYVX9-NTFWV-6MDM3-9PT4T-4M68B (Windows 10 Enterprise G)
    • 44RPN-FTY23-9VTTB-MP9BX-T84FV (Windows 10 Enterprise GN)
  • Windows 10 Education:

    • 6TP4R-GNPTD-KYYHQ-7B7DP-J447Y
    • GJTYN-HDMQY-FRR76-HVGC7-QPF8P
    • 2WH4N-8QGBV-H22JP-CT43Q-MDWWJ
    • 84NGF-MHBT6-FXBX8-QWJK7-DRR8H
    • 8PTT6-RNW4C-6V7J2-C2D3X-MHBPB
    • NW6C2-QMPVW-D7KKK-3GKT6-VCFB2
    • YNMGQ-8RYV3-4PGQ3-C8XTP-7CFBY
    • YVWGF-BXNMC-HTQYQ-CPQ99-66QFC
  • Windows 10 Pro for Workstations N:

    • 9FNHH-K3HBT-3W4TD-6383H-6XYWF
  • Windows 10 Pro for Workstations:

    • NRG8B-VKK3Q-CXVCJ-9G2XF-6Q84J

In addition, there is a general list that you can also try to activate the different versions of Windows 10 mentioned in the previous point. It is the following:

  • 334NH-RXG76-64THK-C7CKG-D3VPT
  • 44RPN-FTY23-9VTTB-MP9BX-T84FV
  • 9FNHH-K3HBT-3W4TD-6383H-6XYWF
  • DCPHK-NFMTC-H88MJ-PFHPY-QJ4BJ
  • MH37W-N47XK-V7XM9-C7227-GCQG9
  • W269N-WFGWX-YVC9B-4J6C9-T83GX
  • YYVX9-NTFWV-6MDM3-9PT4T-4M68B
  • NRG8B-VKK3Q-CXVCJ-9G2XF-6Q84J
  • PBHCJ-Q2NYD-2PX34-T2TD6-233PK
  • QFFDN-GRT3P-VKWWX-X7T3R-8B639
  • VKJG7-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T

With these keys, we can now install this version of the Microsoft operating system on our computer normally. When they ask us for the product key, we will have to indicate the corresponding generic key and finish the process. But, if you have doubts about inserting this key into your PC, we will explain the steps you will have to follow below.

As a curiosity, these same generic keys can also be used for the equivalent version of Windows 11. That is, if you have a generic key for Windows 10 Pro, it will also work for W11 Pro.

Are they safe?

Microsoft itself warns about the risks that buying second-hand software can entail. First, consider that the transfer of software licenses is subject to the consent of the copyright holder. And this is something that only happens in very specific cases. This is rare, but in the event that this is discovered, that is, the transfer is revealed to be illegal, the customer is prohibited from using the software until the corresponding license is acquired. You may even have to be held responsible for damages caused to the manufacturer. If we buy a new device, it should come with the corresponding licenses, but if we are not sure about this, just look for the Certificate of Authenticity, a label that accompanies all the developer’s original products.

This is why it is much more advisable and safer to install Windows 10 without using a license or using one of the generic keys offered by Microsoft itself. There are different ways to have this version of the Microsoft operating system on our computer and be able to try this version of the system, without having to first check out the box. Of course, it is also important to know that, in any case, we will encounter certain limitations when it comes to access to certain settings, which is something that you have to take into account if you opt for this option.

How to activate and change the password

The product key consists of the 25-character code used to activate the operating system. Obtained when purchasing a computer that includes the operating system, purchasing a copy from a retailer, purchasing a digital copy from an authorized retailer, having a volume licensing agreement or MSDN subscription, and purchasing a new or refurbished device, including if purchased at Microsoft Store online. Within them, there are the generic ones, which are the ones that interest us right now, unless we have one of the others for our team.

Taking into account the tools currently available, such as QR codes, it is a bit cumbersome to search for a 25-character code, instead of uploading an image or a barcode and letting the authentication system detect it as ours. For now, it is the only means we have for this, but this may change in the near future.

To activate Windows 10 with generic keys we must follow the following steps:

  • Go to the System Settings page (Win+I).
  • We navigate to the Update and security > Activation option .
  • Click on the Change product key option .
  • We enter the product key and click next.
  • We finish the process and the system will have been activated correctly.

 

How to check if I have Windows 10 activated

Furthermore, after having followed the steps we gave you previously to activate Windows 10 with these keys, it will never hurt to check if it has really been enabled correctly on the computer. So, to check if our system is activated or not , all we have to do is:

  • We open the Windows 10 Settings page.
  • We navigate to the Update and security > Activation option.
  • We look at the activation state:
    • Windows is activated . It is activated but your Microsoft account is not linked.
    • Windows is activated with a digital license . It is activated but your Microsoft account is not linked to the digital license.
    • Windows is activated with a digital license linked to your Microsoft account. It is activated and the account is linked to a digital license.
    • Windows is not activated . You may see an error message, you may need to purchase a license if you don’t have one.

If we find that it is correctly activated, it means that we have entered the keys correctly and that its activation has been correct. If not, we can try to activate it again with the generic Windows 10 keys indicated above. Now, even so, we may want to link our Microsoft account to the system, a measure that allows us to make the files and documentation that we have available compatible. To do this, you must follow the following steps:

  • We log in as  administrator  to add our Microsoft account.
  • From the activation page we select Add an account.
  • We enter our account and password and click on  Log in.
  • On the activation page it should already appear that the software is activated  with a digital license linked to our Microsoft account.

There is an alternative way to check if our software is activated or not, and in fact it is a somewhat faster way than the previous one. It is true that in order to access it we have to access the Command Prompt, but you will only have to type a simple command to know the status of your operating system, nothing more. Keep in mind that in order to access this command you must do so by running the Command Prompt as administrator , otherwise it is quite likely that this command will not work for you. Bottom line: again you must prove that you have access to those privileges through authentication.

To do this, all we will have to do is follow the following steps:

  • Access the Command Prompt by typing it in the PC search engine:
    • You can also press the shortcut Windows+R and type CMD in the window that appears by pressing Enter when finished.
  • In the Command Prompt, type the following command “ slmgr /xpr “.

Once this is done, a notification will appear in the center of the screen that will indicate the status of the software, that is, whether it is activated or not. This notification will be deleted when you click on the accept button or the X at the top right. This command to find out the activation status of the operating system will help you both for version 10 of this and for the new Windows 11.

Use Windows without a product key

You can use Windows without a product key. A product key helps authenticate your copy of the software. This way, Microsoft can ensure that we have paid for the operating system. Although Microsoft requires that all systems be activated with a true license, the company does not enforce the requirement in a way that renders the operating system unusable.

For example, if it is being used without activation, the operating system will remind us to activate the copy by placing an ” Activate Windows ” sticky watermark in the lower left corner of the screen. And, furthermore, not all customization options will be available.

In a certain sense it gives us the option to continue using the program only in “lower quality”, without the customizations available. If this doesn’t bother you and you don’t need to customize it as you please, there won’t be any problems. Therefore, although you can use Windows without having to purchase a product key or license, it is best to purchase a genuine product key to get the most out of this operating system.

How to install Windows 10 without keys

During previous versions of the Microsoft operating system, it was essential to have a key to install and activate Windows on our computer. If we did not have the activation key that we obtain after purchasing the system license, then we had no choice but to use the generic keys for the corresponding version of the system.

However, with the arrival of Windows 10, Redmond added the option to complete the system installation without having to indicate the activation key. In this way, they offer the possibility of testing, for an unlimited time, this version of the system completely free of charge.

To do this, simply click on the option that allows us to indicate that we do not have a product key or that we want to enter it later when it asks us to enter the product key. This will allow us to complete the installation without having to enter any password and we will be able to test this version of the system.

Once the installation process has started on the computer, by using the USB device (or DVD), which we have previously prepared as explained above, there will come a time during the installation in which it is recommended that we do not activate the WiFi wireless network, nor Let’s connect our PC to the network via Ethernet cable. At that time, this key will stop working, many features will be lost and the classic message will appear in the lower right corner as a watermark reminding you of the need to activate Windows.

This is because we may encounter the “problem” that during the process they force us to register with a Microsoft account. On the contrary, if we do not have our computer equipment connected to the network, as if we do not have a password, this system allows us to continue with the installation process of our operating system, and we will be able to create a standard user without any problem. Later, if we consider it appropriate, we can convert this account into a Microsoft account or not, as appropriate.

When we are in our Windows environment with the process completed, we can connect the PC to the network. At this point it does not ask us to link the account, and now we have to take the opportunity to update everything, starting with the drivers that may not have been detected yet, such as those for the touchpad, the sound card, etc. We simply enter Windows Update, and we download and install the updates, some manually, and others automatically. When everything works, we can proceed to enter our product key if we want, or wait for the trial period to end.

Risks and limitations of using Windows 10 without keys

Being a Windows 10 pirate user or using the operating system without a password is a decision that entails risks and consequences . And this is something that we must take into account if we want to save money, since, at different times, cheap is expensive. Next, we are going to review some of the most important ones:

  • Access potentially dangerous sources or websites to download it.
  • We cannot know if the file contains a virus or malware before downloading and installing it on our PC.
  • In case it does not come hacked as standard, we must have some technical knowledge to do it.
  • We run the risk that the PC will not be updated and that it will not work correctly or be unable to use certain functionalities.
  • There is a possibility that we will not receive all existing updates.
  • Over time, the system can detect that something is wrong and take over some of its functions on its own.

All of this will end up undermining the functionalities of the software, which will make it slower, cause more errors and complicate our work. Or, in the worst case, if we have downloaded a virus without knowing it, everything we have can be lost. On the other hand, you should keep in mind that when you complete the installation of the system without having entered the official product key, the first thing you will see is a message in which you will be asked to activate Windows 10, and which will take you to the registration page. settings for you to start the process. However, this is not the only limitation you may encounter, as you will not have access to certain options on the settings page nor will you be able to change your wallpaper, for example.

Likewise, you will not have the possibility to modify the system colors, the default theme or choose from the diversity of existing fonts. You will also encounter the limitation of lock screens (you will not be able to modify it) and you will not be able to modify the personalization settings of the Start menu. Additionally, you will be denied access to some taskbar settings. They may not seem like serious consequences, but they do end up hindering smooth functioning since it is a cascade effect to which new small problems are added each time that end up causing a conflict greater than the sum of its parts.

That said, it is therefore advisable to avoid using pirated software to download, install and use Windows 10 on your computer. Of course, in case we don’t want to go through the ‘official’ box in the Microsoft store either, there are always intermediate options, as we are going to review below. They are intermediate alternatives that can reduce expenses without paying the toll of losing benefits.

Other options to activate Windows 10

Below we review other alternatives that exist to activate Windows 10. In this case, to the question of whether it is legal to buy cheap keys online, we must answer yes, but with nuances that we must take into account at all times before purchasing them. Basically, those who sell them are resorting to a legal loophole that is based on a ruling handed down by the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg in 2012.

This ruling indicates that the licenses acquired by a user are their property, whether they are purchased with physical or digital media. So, the law is made, the trap is made. Below we delve into this point and also review other alternatives to consider to get Windows 10 without having to pay for a full license.

OEM keys

This is where the OEM keys come into play , the license to use Windows that is created so that computer manufacturers can pre-install it on all their computers. In theory, OEM keys should be used only by the company that acquired them , but they are often purchased en masse and then resold or leaked.

If Microsoft discovers that the owner of an OEM key is selling the keys, the agreement between the two companies would end and the company could invalidate the use of this key permanently, so if you have acquired one of these resold keys you could lose it forever. And it is not unusual for this to happen.

If you want to prevent this from happening, the simplest solution (although not the cheapest) is to buy Retail keys . These keys are completely legal and unlike OEM keys, they can only be used on one device. Although they can be transferred to another team in case we want to change, it can never be active on two or more at the same time.

Websites to buy cheap Windows 10 keys

Once it has been established that it is legal (but with nuances) to buy cheap keys sold on the Internet, we can move on to talk about some of these websites that sell them. This is the case of pages like Kinguin, Gamivo and G2A , among others. All of them are specialized in selling video game keys at lower prices than those of online and physical stores. Beyond this service, they also market and do business with software keys, and this system was not going to be an exception.

On paper, all the keys sold on these websites work and serve both to activate Windows 10 and to make it work as if we had purchased the key from the official Microsoft store. In fact, the technological colossus will even offer us technical assistance if we have problems using one of these keys sold on these pages, no matter how strange the latter may sound.

After all, we are talking about pages with fame and popularity within the technological world, so quality is, a priori, assured. In fact, there have been cases in which some of these keys have been replaced after it was found that they did not work. So you can be sure if you decide to choose to make your key purchase in any of these online stores.

Retail keys

Retail keys are those obtained with a commercial copy purchased in a store or on an online site. These keys come in the box if you purchase a boxed copy of the system, or you receive them via email if you purchase a digital one.

There are several places that are reliable when it comes to purchasing this type of license, such as the Microsoft Store itself , a place where we can buy Retail keys for Windows 10, in any of its versions, from Home to Pro. But, you must remember that this type of Low-cost licenses are designed so that they can only be used on a single computer. That is to say, if we have used it to activate the software on a specific PC, if we are going to change computers in the future, you must be clear that you will not be able to use this same license. The licenses we have here are totally legal as it could not be otherwise. In addition, we will not have any operating problems and if we do, it is Microsoft itself that knows about the guarantee. Another positive part of these licenses that we are telling you about is that, if we change computers or have to reinstall the operating system, we will not have any problems with the license, since it is associated and linked to our Microsoft account .

But it is not the only one we can recommend. There are others to buy Windows licenses, such as Revolutionsoft, which has some special features such as selling reused European retail licenses, in accordance with the law, and does not sell the same license to more than one client. And this is important since the license can be associated with your Microsoft account, when you try to install it you may see the message “this license is already being used”, and your problems begin. It is something that in this store, 100%, is not going to happen to you.

Although it may seem shocking to you, we can also buy Retail boxes in shopping centers such as El Corte Inglés, PCComponentes, MediaMarkt or Carrefour . It is important to make sure that they have been opened and that the original seal is maintained, just in case, but it is true that these boxes come with completely legal licenses and that they will have the same effect as the ones we have told you about from the Microsoft Store.

Although there are well-known stores such as Amazon that also sell these licenses, we cannot advise you to buy there, since they are normally sold by stores outside the platform and there have already been too many cases of not being licenses of that type or of not they work. Therefore, it is important that when deciding to install Windows 10 without keys you must carefully analyze what your possibilities are to obtain the features you need from the operating system without paying more or without being deceived.

In addition to generic keys, there are other alternatives to legally have Windows 10 without having to pay for a license. Below we explain them to you so that you can assess whether any of these alternatives or options adapt to your needs.

Insider Program

One of the best options if you want to obtain it legally (but can’t or want to pay for a license), as we mentioned above, is to join the Insider program. Joining the program is very simple and the procedure will not take you much time. First, you will have to download and install this software on the computer where you want to use it. You can do both without needing a license, since you can download the operating system on the Microsoft website. Next, you will have to skip the “enter license” step when you install it.

Once you have accessed, you will have to open the settings panel by pressing the Windows key + I. Then, you will have to click on “Update” and then on “Security” . After completing this step you must select the  Windows Insider Program in the left menu, and finally click on the Get Started option to start getting Insider builds.

Affordable volume licenses

Surely many of you have worked and studied with a Windows license provided by the University, or directly with the faculty’s computers. But where do these licenses come from? This system also offers licensing options for sectors (Education, Public Administration, and non-profit). These Microsoft Volume Licensing Program contracts offer flexible, affordable solutions that fit your organization’s size and purchasing preferences.

In the case of Programs for educational institutions, difference between the size of said institutions:

For small and medium-sized academic organizations :

  • Open Value for Academic : Offers simplified asset management, predictable software costs, and deferred payments. Software Assurance is included.
  • Open Value Subscription for Education Solutions: Lower upfront costs and access to Microsoft software licenses and cloud services, including student usage benefits, through subscription-based licensing.
  • Microsoft Cloud Solutions Provider : Pay-as-you-go model. A cloud solutions provider that will help midsize organizations determine the best cloud solution and will offer assistance with purchasing, implementation, and use.

For medium and large academic organizations :

  • Enrollment for Education Solutions : Coverage secured through an annual user count, offering the ability to order additional products as needed, with free licensing options and enhanced student usage benefits. In addition to extensive access to cloud services.
  • Select Plus for Academic : Used to purchase Microsoft software licenses at any department or subsidiary level, while obtaining the same benefits as an organization. This modality offers the flexibility to acquire licenses as needed, with a single contract with no specific end date, and a single affiliate customer ID to streamline account management. It has Software Assurance optionally.

Cheap licenses for SMEs

Microsoft is aware that Windows has become a fundamental tool for society. For this reason, it also has an Open Value program aimed at companies and not only academic entities as we have mentioned before. It has similarities to the offering available to academic entities, but the pricing and approach are customized for businesses.

The Microsoft Open Value program is created for small or medium-sized businesses, businesses that have few computers, but need good support. From Microsoft they want to help all those entrepreneurs so that they can have access to the most advanced Windows technology under a licensing program that is much more affordable than usual.

Two different proposals are offered within this plan for companies:

  • Open Value : license costs are reduced, support and service customization are provided. Microsoft is committed to preparing staff members to make full use of this system, thereby increasing productivity while reducing costs.
  • Open Value Subscription : a different way of approaching the service, since the right to install licenses under subscription format is given to the company. The minimum contracting period is 3 years for companies and 1 year for government organizations.

To access both plans you must be interested in a minimum of five licenses . In both cases, additional services are incorporated and the possibility of adding Microsoft software that is supported, above all, in the cloud environment.

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Abraham
Expert tech and gaming writer, blending computer science expertise