Fix: Windows 10 Pro activation error 0xc004f014

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Managing Editor
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Upgrading from a regular Windows OS version to a Pro version can sometimes be quite tricky. Although the upgrade process itself is straightforward, there are various errors that could occur when users want to switch to Windows 10 Pro.

One of the most frequent errors is activation error 0xc004f014 that occurs when users enter the Pro key they received to complete the upgrade process.

Error 0xc004f014 prevents users from upgrading to Windows 10 Pro

Table of contents:

  1. Activate Windows with a phone call
  2. Use default product key
  3. Use Windows Activation troubleshooter
  4. Change the product key using Command Prompt

How to fix activation error 0xc004f014

Solution 1 – Activate Windows with a phone call

Windows 10 users are able to activate the OS using a free call regardless of the location. This is a great way to solve this, and similar Windows update errors. And that’s exactly what we’re going to try first.

Here’s how to activate your version of Windows 10 using a free call:

  1. Press the Win key to open the Run window.
  2. Type in slui 4 and press Enter.
  3. The window will open asking you to choose the region you’re residing in.
  4. Windows will now make an automated call.
  5. During the call, you’ll need to read your Installation ID. Once you read it, you’ll be provided with a Confirmation ID. 
  6. After that, you’ll have to read the Confirmation ID out loud, just to make sure you got everything right.
  7. Click the Activation button, and follow further instructions o finish the activation process.
  8. End the call and restart your computer.

Solution 2 – Use default product key

If you weren’t able to activate Windows using the call activation, let’s try with a default activation key. This is a key provided by Microsoft for situations like this. Basically, the default key activates Windows temporarily, allowing you to replace it with an actual product key later.

Here’s how to use the default product key to activate Windows 10:

  1. Create a text file on your desktop with the generic registration key for Windows 10 Pro, namely VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T, and your new Windows 10 Pro registration key.
  2. Disable all network devices on your computer. Right click on the Windows icon in the lower left corner of the screen > select “Network Connections” > right click on your Ethernet connection > select “Disable“. Repeat this process for your wireless connections.
  3. Reboot your computer.
  4. Open the text file from step 1 > select the generic registration key > press “CTRL-C
  5. Right-click on the Windows icon in the lower left corner of the screen > select “System” from the menu.
  6. Once the system window opens, down at the bottom right, click on “Change Product Key
  7. Paste the generic registration key that you copied in step 4.
  8. Click on the “Start Upgrade” button in the lower right corner > wait for the upgrade process to complete. Your computer will reboot several times during the process.
  9. Log back into your computer > repeat step 5. This time,  your “Windows Edition” should be “Windows 10 Pro“.
  10. Open the text file from step 1 > select your new Windows 10 Pro registration Key > copy it to the clipboard like you did in step 4.
  11. Re-enable your Ethernet/ wireless network connections.
  12. Repeat step 6. This time you should get a window with two buttons, one that says “Change Product Key” and the other says “Activate“. Click on the “Change Product Key” button.
  13. Paste your new Windows 10 Pro registration Key into the textbox > click “Next”.
  14. After a minute or two, a message will appear informing you that your copy of Windows 10 Pro is a legitimate copy.

Solution 3 – Use Windows Activation troubleshooter

One great thing about Windows 10 is that it features a built-in troubleshooter for almost any problem you could imagine. And activation errors aren’t an exception. So, if the previous solutions failed, let’s try with the troubleshooter.

Here’s how to use the Activation troubleshooter in Windows 10:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Navigate to Updates & Security Activation. 
  3. If your copy of Windows is not properly activated, you’ll see the Troubleshoot button. Click it.
  4. The troubleshooting wizard will now scan your computer for possible problems. If it finds the solution, just follow further instructions to activate Windows.

Solution 4 – Change the product key using Command Prompt

You can also use the Command Prompt to activate Windows 10. However, you should really think about it before you turn to this method. Activating Windows with the Command Prompt can take up to a couple of days, or it might get activated right away. You never know. So, if you’re willing to give your OS some time, you can try with the Command Prompt. If not, you should probably skip this solution.

Here’s how to activate Windows 10 using the Command Prompt:

  1. Go to Search, type cmd, and open the Command Prompt as Administrator.
  2. Type in the following command and press Enter: vbs -ipk xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx (of course, xxx stands for your product key)
  3. Wait for the process to finish.
  4. Restart your computer.

There you go, we hope at least one of these solutions helped you resolve the problem with Windows 10 activation error 0xc004f014. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, just let us know in the comments down below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2016 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.