The Windows Product Key is a unique string of 25 letters and numbers used to identify your copy of Windows. The product key is also needed each time you reinstall the operating system or make other significant changes to your computer. Unfortunately, unless you have access to the original packaging, it’s difficult to know your Windows Product Key if you don’t have it written down somewhere handy.

In this tutorial, we will cover how to find your Windows product key, whether your product key can be used for more than one PC, and how you can use a product key once it’s on a PC. We will also discuss the difference between different product licenses.

There are three Windows license types: OEM, Retail and Volume. Here is what they are and how they differ.

What is Windows OEM Licence:

The Windows operating system on computers from HP, Dell, Acer, and other companies comes with a built-in product key that can be used immediately. This is called the “OEM key” (original equipment manufacturer). It saves you time because your computer already knows how to do it. You can also reinstall Windows on that PC as often as you want. However, OEM licences are locked to the motherboard and can only be used on one computer.

What is Windows Retail Licence:

A Windows Retail license is the license you receive when purchasing Windows OS through Microsoft Store or an authorised retailer. Windows Retail license can be transferred from one computer to another if you deactivate the old one. There are no hardware limitations.

What is Windows Volume Licence:

Volume licenses are purchased mainly by large corporations, educational institutes, and government agencies. It allows businesses to activate multiple computers with a single master product key rather than having to enter a unique key for each computer individually. The licence can therefore be used an unlimited number of times on different computers. However, it cannot be transferred with a system when sold to a new owner, nor can it be activated on devices not associated with the organisation.

How to find what Windows are you running

Press the Windows key and R on the keyboard. There will be a small box on your screen. Enter “winver” and hit the enter key.

Winver Windows Version check
Winver Windows Version

How to find out your Windows 11/10 Product Key

To find out your Windows key and version, type “cmd” in the search box in your taskbar. Make sure to run this as administrator, which will open up a command prompt window.

Click on Search icon of your windows Taskbar

Type “slmgr.vbs /dlv” or “slmgr.vbs /dli” and press enter.

Check your Windows Licence Expiry

This will open the Windows Script Host window, where it will tell us that we are running Windows Professional Edition and that this is a retail key. Retail keys allow you to reuse them repeatedly, but they can only be used on one computer at a time.

Windows Licence Version Retail

How to Check Your Windows Licence Key Expiry

Command: slmgr /xpr

Check your Windows Licence Expiry
Windows Licence Expiry Script

This command will tell you how long your activation for this key will last. It is handy if you have a volume key that would only be active for a few days before it deactivates

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