Fix: Windows 10 Deactivated Itself After Update

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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Have you updated your operating system to Windows 10 and it quickly deactivated itself after some time? If so, don’t worry: you’re not the only one. Turn out this is a big issue with Windows 10 but luckily, this article will show you how to quickly fix this problem.

Even if you go to Windows 10‘s activation window, you will not be able to activate your current product key and will most likely get one of these error messages: “The key can’t be used to activate this edition of Windows. Please try a different key” or “The key didn’t work, please check it and try again, or try a different key”. Follow the steps listed below to fix this issue on Windows 10.

Tutorial on how to fix Windows 10 if it deactivates itself after update

  1. Run an SFC scan
  2. Validate your product ID via Command Prompt
  3. Reset your PC
  4. Use System Restore
  5. Clean install Windows 10
  6. General activation solutions that may help you

Solution 1 – Run an SFC scan

  1. Press and hold the “Windows” and the “Q” button.
  2. Now that you have the Charms bar in front of you, click the “Search” feature.
  3. In the search box, write “Command prompt” without the quotes.
  4. After the search is finished, right-click the “Command prompt” icon and select the “Run as administrator” option.
  5. In the Command prompt window, write the following without quotes: “sfc /scannow”sfc
  6. Press the “Enter” button on the keyboard.
  7. Let the “Sfc scan” finish and close the Command Prompt window.
  8. Reboot your Windows 10/8.1 system to see if the issue persists

Solution 2 – Validate your product ID via Command Prompt

  1. Press and hold “Ctrl” and “Esc” on the keyboard to open the “Apps” window.
  2. In the “Apps” window, click on a blank portion in the window.
  3. Click on “All apps” feature you have in the menu that appears.
  4. Click or tap on the “Control Panel” icon.
  5. Click or tap on the “System” feature.
  6. Now in the System feature, you should have your product ID at the bottom left side of the screen.
  7. Write down the Product ID on a paper including the “-“ lines between the letters and numbers.
  8. Press and hold the “Windows” button and the “Q” button.
  9. After the Charms bar opens, left click or tap on the “Search” feature.
  10. In the search box, you will need to write “Command Prompt”.
  11. After the search is finished, right-click the “Command Prompt” icon and left click on the “Run as administrator” option.
  12. In the command prompt window, you will need to write the following: “slmgr/ipk >followed by Product ID<”
    Note: instead of the “Followed by Product ID” in the command above you need to write the product ID that you’ve written down in the steps above.
  13. Press the “Enter” button on the keyboard.
  14. You should now have a window in front of you displaying an activation prompt.
  15. Write “slui” without the quotes in the Command Prompt window.
  16. Press the “Enter” button on the keyboard.
  17. Check the “Command Prompt” window after you typed the command above if it is the same product key as the one you entered above.
  18. Close the “Command Prompt” window.
  19. Reboot your Windows 8.1/Windows 10 device.
  20. Check to see if your Windows 8.1/Windows 10 product was activated.

Solution 3 – Reset your PC

  1. Move the mouse cursor over to the upper right side of the screen.
  2. After the Charms bar opens up, left click or tap on the “Settings” feature.
  3. Left click or tap on the “Change PC settings” feature.
  4. Left click or tap on the “Update and Recovery” feature.
  5. Left click or tap on the “Recovery” icon > go to Reset this PCreset PC to activate product ID
  6. From here follow the instructions on the screen in order to do a refresh of the operating system.
  7. Reboot your Windows 10 device after you are done and check if you still have the same issue.

READ ALSO: Unable to activate Windows 10 Creators Update [Fix]

Solution 4 – Use System Restore

  1. Move the mouse cursor over to the upper right side of the screen.
  2. Left click on the “Search” feature.
  3. In the search box write the following: “Control Panel”.
  4. Left click or tap on the “Control Panel” icon.
  5. Now that you have the “Control Panel” window in front of your left click or tap on the search box inside that window.
  6. Write “Recovery” in the search box.recovery control panel
  7. Left click or tap on the “Open system restore” feature.system restore
  8. From here you will need to follow the instructions on the screen to restore your operating system to how it was in a previous time of your choosing.
  9. After the restore is done you will need to restart your operating system once more and check to see if you still have this activation issue.

Solution 5 – Clean install Windows 10

If all the above methods failed to solve your issue, you will need to initiate a fresh install of Windows 10.

Note: Before you do a fresh install, make sure to write down every application you had in order to install them again after the fresh install is completed.

For more information on how to clean install the OS, check out these articles:

Solution 6 – General activation solutions that may help you

However, if you don’t want to resort to complex and irreversible solutions yet, such as clean installing Windows 10, follow the steps listed below. Indeed, few users confirmed that these methods worked for them, but the fact is that some of these solutions may help you activate the OS. You’ve got nothing to lose if you try them out.

Launch the Activation Troubleshooter

If the digital license activation failed after Windows deactivated itself, you can run the Activation Troubleshooter. This tool will check for activation conflicts and hopefully resolve them. Here is how to run it:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Open Update & Security.
  3. Click on Activation.
  4. Click on Troubleshooter.

troubleshoot windows 10 activation

This will start the procedure and the tool will look for your license. If the license is available, the system will be automatically activated after the process is finalized.

READ ALSO: Fix: Windows Defender is deactivated by Group Policy

Run a full system scan

Malware may cause various issues on your computer, including activation errors. If malicious codes were already present on your PC before you hit the upgrade button, chances are that they may be blocking the Windows 10 activation process.

Perform a full system scan in order to detect any malware running on your computer. You can use Windows’ built-in antivirus, Windows Defender, or third-party antivirus solutions.

Here’s how to run a full system scan on Windows 10 Creators Update:

  1. Go to Start > type ‘defender’ > double click Windows Defender to launch the tool
  2. In the left side panel, select the shield iconscan for malware
  3. In the new window, click the Advanced scan optionscan for malware
  4. Check the full scan option to launch a full system malware scan.

Update your OS

Even if you just upgraded your PC to the latest OS version, do check for updates to make sure that you’re running the latest Windows OS updates on your machine.

To access the Windows Update section, you can simply type “update” in the search box. This method works on all Windows versions. Then go to Windows Update, check for updates and install the available updates.

scan for malware

READ ALSO: Microsoft says it won’t force users to upgrade to Windows 10 ever again

Check your disk for errors

Some users reported they were able to activate Windows 10 after they checked their disk for errors. Of course, perform this check on the disk where you installed the OS.

On Windows 10, you can run a disk check using Command Prompt.

Start Command Prompt as administrator and type the chkdsk C: /f command followed by the Enter. Replace C with the letter of your hard drive partition where you installed the OS.

scan hdd for errors

As a quick reminder, if you do not use the /f parameter, chkdsk displays a message that the file needs to be fixed, but it does not fix any errors. The chkdsk D: /f command detects and repairs logical issues affecting your drive. To repair physical issues, run the /r parameter as well.

scan hdd for errors

Clean your temporary files and folders

The simplest and quickest manner to delete your temporary files and folders is to use Disk Cleanup. As you use your computer or browse the Internet, your PC accumulates various unnecessary files.

These so-called junk files may affect your computer’s processing speed, causing apps to respond slowly and may also trigger various error codes. In rare cases, they can even push Windows 10 to deactivate itself. Clean your temporary files on the disk where you installed the OS.

Here’s how to use Disk Cleanup on Windows 10:

1. Go to Start > type Disk Cleanup > launch the tool

run disk cleanup

2. Select the disk that you want to clean > the tool will them tell you how much space you can free up

run disk cleanup

3. Select “Clean up system files”.

Contact Microsoft Support

If all the above methods failed to this problem and you can’t use your key to activate the OS, try contacting Microsoft Support. You can either chat online with a Microsoft Support Engineer or directly call Support.

Did you manage to fix this issue? Let us know in the comment section below!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2014 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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