FIX: Windows 10 Activation Error 0xc004f050

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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Windows 10 was offered as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8 users, and most users have switched to Windows 10 without any problems.

However, it seems that some users cannot activate their copy of Windows 10. Users have reported activation error 0xc004f050 on Windows 10, so let’s see how to fix this error.
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Error 0xc004f050 usually means that your CD key isn’t working, and in most cases, Microsoft blames this problem on server capacity.

So the most common solution is to wait for a few days, usually about 48 hours before trying to activate your copy of Windows 10.

Despite being patient users haven’t been able to fix this error and they are still getting 0xc004f050 activation error on Windows 10.

We’ve written extensively about windows activation errors before. Bookmark this page in case you need it later.

How to fix error 0xc004f050 in Windows 10

  1. Upgrade to Windows 10, and then perform a clean install
  2. Confirm your product key
  3. Use the Windows 10 activation troubleshooter
  4. Reactivate Windows after a hardware change

1. Upgrade to Windows 10, and then perform a clean install

When switching to Windows 10 many users make a mistake of performing a clean install instead of an upgrade.

With all previous versions of Windows we were thought to perform a clean install, but things work a little differently with Windows 10.

The proper way to install Windows 10 is to upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8 first and then to perform a clean install. As for the upgrade you can use Media Creation Tool to upgrade.

It’s important not to do clean install first because Windows 10 will check if your Windows 7 or Windows 8 is genuine.

If you own a genuine copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8, after you upgrade to Windows 10 your operating system will be activated and labeled as genuine.

This is why it’s crucial that you upgrade and not perform a clean install when switching to Windows 10.

After you’ve upgraded to Windows 10, you can easily format your hard drive and perform a clean install as long as your Windows 10 gets activated.

This might be a big confusing for some people, but the best way to fix activation error 0xc004f050 on Windows 10 is to do an upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8 to Windows 10 and then perform a clean install.

2. Confirm your product key

If this error occurred after you upgraded from an older Windows 10 version to the latest Windows 10 release, try reconfirming your product key.

  1. Go to Start > type ‘settings’ > launch the Settings page
  2. Navigate to Update & Security > select the Activation option
  3. In the Windows activation window > select Change product key
  4. Enter your administrator password if prompted > Continueconfirm windows 10 product key
  5. Type your product key > hit Next
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

Solution 3 – Use the Windows 10 activation troubleshooter

You can also fix activation issues by using Windows 10’s dedicated troubleshooter. As you already know, Windows 10 features a series of troubleshooting tools that allow users to quickly fix technical issues with a simple click.

To use the Windows 10 activation troubleshooter, go to Start > Update & Security and click on Activation.

Scroll down a bit and you’ll find the activation troubleshooter. Launch it and follow the on-screen instructions to fix error 0xc004f050.

windows 10 activation troubleshooter

Not a fan of Windows Troubleshooter? Try one of these troubleshooting tools!

Solution 4 – Reactivate Windows after a hardware change

Error 0xc004f050 is more common than you may think among users who recently upgraded their hardware. For example, Windows 10 perceives motherboard replacement as a major change.

Usually, when the OS detects such major hardware changes, it stops working.

Fortunately, if error 0xc004f050 occurred after you replaced your motherboard, you can fix using three solutions:

  • Install Windows 7 or Windows 8 again and upgrade to Windows 10
  • Purchase the Windows 10 license key
  • Install Windows 7 or 8 on new hard drive and upgrade to Windows 10

For more information, check out this step-by-step guide.

If you have any other Windows 10-related issues you can check for the solution in our Windows 10 Fix section. We hope that the solutions listed above helped you fix error 0xc004f050.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2015 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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  • This information is not entirely correct!
    Doing a clean install after doing the upgrade will result in Windows 10 ‘NOT Activating’ because the clean install wipes all the information required for activation just as it does if you do a clean install instead of the upgrade.
    This would now require you to re-install your previous version of Windows and start the upgrade all over again. You cannot perform a clean upgrade ‘EVER’ after the original Upgrade has been performed because this results in the information that Microsoft look for to see if Windows has been ‘Activated’ being deleted.
    The only way to do a ‘Clean Install’ is when you ‘Upgrade!’
    You are given options on how the upgrade will be installed. You can choose to have the ‘Upgrade’ proceed and ‘Windows 10’ will leave everything intact and just replace your current version of Windows or you can at that time choose to do a ‘Clean Install’ and everything will be lost. This is the ‘ONLY TIME’ you can do a clean install and ‘Windows 10’ will activate.
    Presently Microsoft are not giving out any keys except with the purchase of a NEW copy of Windows 10 so any clean install other than at the time of the upgrade currently is not going to result in any activation o Windows. You cannot go back and upgrade again and do a clean install after the initial upgrade. You cannot do a clean install from a disc as it will request and require a key.
    The only time you can doa clean install is at the time you do the upgrade. This results in a folder called WINOLD being left on you C drive containing your previous version of Windows. This folder can be deleted by cleaning unwanted system files. The option to delete old versions will only be available the second time you do this procedure.