Activating Windows 10 allows you to verify that your copy of Windows is licensed and hasn’t been used before on another device. This is crucial to prevent counterfeiting of Microsoft products. There are several ways to activate your license and in this guide, we’ll be showing you how to activate Windows 10 using CMD.
Using CMD you can activate Windows 10 with a few simple commands and is generally used for volume activation of Windows(mostly for enterprise use). Just follow the guide below and you’ll no longer have to see that pestering “Activate Windows” message that keeps popping up.
What You’ll Need Before Activating Windows?
Generally, there are two ways to go about activating Windows 10. Namely, you’ll either need to obtain a digital license or a 25-character product key. The digital license method doesn’t require you to enter a product key. Additionally, digital licenses are linked to your Microsoft account, so when you’re connected to the internet and logged into your account your operating system is automatically activated.
On the other hand, when using a product key you’ll have to manually activate Windows either by going into the settings and entering the key or by using Windows’ command line. A product key is a 25-character code that looks like this:
PRODUCT KEY: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX
Usually, when you install Windows for the first time, you’ll be asked to enter this 25-character key. However, at that time, you have the option of skipping this step. If you don’t want to use a command prompt, one method to activate Windows is by going into Settings>Update & Security>Activatation>Update Product Key, select “Change product key” and then enter your unique 25-character product code. The second method is to use the command prompt, which is a quick and easy way to activate Windows with a few simple lines of code. We’ll be discussing the latter method in detail in the next section.
How To Activate Windows 10 Using Command Prompt?
For new PC users, CMD may appear to be a daunting and difficult way to activate Windows 10. However, contrary to popular belief, Command Prompt makes your life so much easier. You essentially have access to the entire operating system in one application and activation of Windows can be done under a minute. In most cases, Command Prompt is generally used to activate a bulk set of Windows computers in large corporations and enterprises. After you’ve obtained your 25-character license key, follow the steps below to activate Windows 10 using CMD;
- Search for Command Prompt in your start menu. Right-click the application and select “Run as administrator”.
- Next copy and paste the following code into the command prompt: “cscript slmgr.vbs /ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX” (Replace the ‘X’ values with your corresponding 25-character license. After hitting enter, your command prompt should display the following message: “Installed product key XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXX successfully.”
- Next, you want to enter the code: “cscript slmgr.vbs /skms kms.lotro.cc”. This command will install KMS (Key Management Service) Host Key. KMS allows you to activate Windows using command prompt on the current computer you’re on, as well as other computers running Windows 10 against this KMS host.
- Lastly, the final line of code you’ll want to enter is: “cscript slmgr.vbs /ato”. The /ato command makes Windows attempt to activate by whichever key was installed in the second step. The response after entering the command will show the activation state and details about the Windows version.
That’s all there is to it, just three simple commands! If you’re trying to set up “Volume Activation” for a large set of computers using Windows 10, we recommend you read the official Microsoft documentation for KMS.
How To Check If My Windows 10 Has Been Activated?
After you’ve completed the activation process through Command Prompt, you’ll want to double-check that you’ve activated your Windows 10 license successfully. One way to do this is by going to Settings>Update & Security>Activation. Your Windows 10 Edition, alongside its Activation status, will be displayed.
If you prefer to use Command Prompt, you can do that as well. All you need to do is enter the command: slmgr /xpr and hit Enter. After a few seconds, a small window labeled “Windows Script Host” will appear. This window will state the edition and activation status of your Windows license. If activated successfully, it should read “The machine is permanently activated”.
How To Link Windows 10 License To Your Microsoft Account?
It’s recommended that after you activate your Windows 10 license, you link it to your Microsoft account. This is useful as it allows you to reactivate Windows 10 on any new hardware. To do this, you must be the administrator of your PC and have an existing Microsoft account. If you don’t have an account already, sign up for one here. Next, open Settings>Accounts>Your info and then select “Sign in with a Microsoft account instead”.
Follow the steps to complete setting up your account. This includes entering the password for your computer and setting up a 4-digit PIN. After completing this step, you can head on over to Settings>Update & Security>Activation and the Activation status should display “Windows is activated with a digital license linked to your Microsoft account”.
That wasn’t so hard now, was it? Activating Windows 10 using CMD (Command Prompt) is probably one of the quickest and easiest ways to do so. It’s especially useful if you’re trying to activate Windows on several computers at once from one KMS host. If you have any questions or concerns, please leave them in the comments below. We’ll be glad to assist you!