FIX: Windows 10 Activation error 0xc0020036

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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  • Windows Activation errors can be quite serious since they can leave you with an unregistered OS.
  • As such, the article below will teach you how to fix the Windows 10 Activation error 0xc0020036.
  • This article is just one of many included in our dedicated Windows Activation Errors Hub.
  • For more help, we advise you to visit our Windows 10 Errors page too.
Windows error 0xc0020036
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Numerous users have posted on the Microsoft forum about an activation error 0xc0020036. That’s an activation error that can arise for some users after installing new Windows 10 build updates.

When that issue arises, some users need to reactivate Windows 10 after a new build version has been installed. When they try to reactive the platform, the 0xc0020036 error will pop up.

Thus, users can’t activate (or reactivate) Windows 10 with product keys when the issue arises.

Check out these potential fixes for error 0xc0020036

1. Re-enter the product key

First, make sure you’re trying to activate the platform with the correct product key.

  1. Click the Type here to search button to open that utility.
  2. Enter cmd in the Type here to search box.
  3. Right-click the Command Prompt to select a Run as administrator option, which will open an elevated Prompt window.
  4. Type this command into the Command Prompt, then press the Enter key:
    • wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey

wmic path command Windows 10 Activation Error 0xc0020036

  1. Note down that key, or you can copy it to clipboard with the Ctrl + C hotkey.
  2. Next, press the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut.
  3. Enter ms-settings:activation in Run, and press the OK button.
  4. Click the Change product key option.
  5. Thereafter, input the product key.

2. Clear the product key

Some users might need to clear a current product key and re-enter it to fix error 0xc0020036 .

  1. To do so, open an elevated Command Prompt window.
  2. Input this command and press Enter: slmgr /upk.
    slmgr /upk command Windows 10 Activation Error 0xc0020036
  3. Then enter slmgr /cpky, and press the Return key.
  4. Close the Command Prompt, and restart Window.
  5. Re-enter the product key as outlined for resolution one.

3. Scan system files

Error 0xc0020036 can also be due to corrupted system files, which the System File Checker can resolve.

  1. Open the Command Prompt’s window as an administrator.
  2. Then input DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth in the Command Prompt, and press the Enter key.
  3. Next, enter sfc /scannow and press Return to initiate a System File Checker scan.sfc /scannow command Windows 10 Activation Error 0xc0020036
  4. Once done, restart Windows if the scan repairs files.

4. Edit the registry

Some users have confirmed they’ve fixed 0xc0020036 by editing the sppsvc key.

  1. Open the Run accessory.
  2. Input regedit and click OK to open the Registry Editor.
  3. Open this key in the Registry Editor:
    Computer > HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Services > sppsvc.

    The sppsvc key Windows 10 Activation Error 0xc0020036

  4. Double-click the Start DWORD for the sppsvc key.
  5. Select Hexadecimal as the Base format.
  6. Then enter 2 in the Value Data box to replace any other value there.
    The Edit DWORD window Windows 10 Activation Error 0xc0020036
  7. Click the OK button to exit the window.
  8. Close the Registry Editor.
  9. Click Restart on your Start menu.
  10. Then try reactivating Windows 10.

Those are some of the resolutions that might fix error 0xc0020036. They’re not guaranteed fixes for all users, however, so you might still need to get in touch with Microsoft support to reactivate Windows 10.

Microsoft’s Global Customer Service page provides a full list of regional numbers for the big M’s support service.

Let us know which of the methods worked for you in solving this activation error by leaving us a message in the comments section below.

FAQ: Learn more about Windows 10 Activation errors

  • What are Windows Activation errors?

In a general sense, activation errors are what happens when something goes wrong while registering your OS with a license key.

  • How do I prevent a Windows 10 Activation error?

One way to make sure you will never encounter activation errors is to have genuine installation media.

  • How can I fix an activation error?

One way to fix activation errors fast is to use a registry optimizer since registries are at fault most of the time.

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Editor's Note: This article was originally published in March 2020 and was revamped and updated in July 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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