At times, your computer will report that Windows needs activation again, despite it being already activated. This happens across the various versions of Windows 10 regardless of whether Windows was pre-installed or obtained through an upgrade.
Once the alert pops up, it proceeds to request that you go to Settings and activate Windows afresh. Fortunately, it’s possible to sort out Microsoft’s licensing issues including this one. This article will show you how to solve this weird error and its primary causes.
Why the issue arises
- An Incorrect activation key: Your PC will suddenly seem to invalidate your Windows license if you have been using an invalid key. For example, volume license keys are meant specifically for corporate systems and may work temporarily then fail in personal machines.
- Hardware changes: A major hardware upgrade, like replacing your gaming motherboard might cause this issue.
- Windows reinstallation: Your computer may ‘forget’ its licensing after reinstalling Windows.
- An update: Windows even occasionally deactivates itself after an update.
Windows needs activation, but it’s already activated
- Reactivate your Windows
- Run the Windows 10 Activation Troubleshooting Utility
- Sign in to your Microsoft account and activate Windows 10
- Contact Support
1. Reactivate your Windows
If Windows needs activation again, you can try to fix this problem by reactivating Windows 10. To do that, follow these steps:
- Click Start and type cmd in the Windows 10 search box.
- Find the cmd option from the listed results and right-click on it. Choose run as administrator.
- Remember to click Yes when and if prompted by UAC (User Account Control).
- Type the following command in the Command Prompt window then hit Enter: wmic path SoftwareLicensingService get OA3xOriginalProductKey
This will reveal the original product key. Copy it then proceed as follows:
- Click on the Start button and choose Settings.
- Go to the Update & security tab and click Activation.
- Now select Change the product key and type the previously copied product key.
- Tap on Next to activate.
- ALSO READ: FIX: Unable to change Windows 10 Product Key
2. Run the Windows 10 Activation Troubleshooting Utility
Having issues with Windows needs activation again message? If that’s so, you’ll be pleased to hear that you can use Activation Troubleshooter to help troubleshoot and resolve lingering activation issues on Windows 10 version 1607 or later. The tool is easy to use and quite effective. Try to run it.
- Click the Start button and select Settings (as seen earlier).
- Again go to the Update & Security tab.
- Choose Activation and click on Troubleshoot.
If it doesn’t return any error message, the Troubleshooter tool should activate your Windows 10 in no time.
3. Sign in to your Microsoft account and activate Windows 10
If your Windows 10 license is linked to the digital license/digital entitlement on your device, you will have to sign in to your Microsoft account then reactivate Windows using the troubleshooter. This is for situations where the problem arises after a considerable hardware change such as changing the CPU.
- Sign in to your PC as an administrator.
- Confirm that this administrator account is your Microsoft account as well.
(Click Start then choose Settings followed by Accounts and check Your info). There will be the name Administrator under your username and an email address.
- Now go back to the activation page via the Start button > Settings > Update & Security and finally Activation.
- Again select Troubleshoot. Click I changed hardware on this device recently and then select Next in case the troubleshooter returns the error Windows can’t be activated on your device.
4. Contact Support
If your computer still claims that Windows needs activation again after trying all the above solutions, then contact Microsoft’s official support team and explain your situation to them.
They are usually very helpful and will verify if your Product Key is genuine and allocate you an ID to help you reactivate Windows 10.
There you go, these are a couple of solutions that you can try if Windows needs activation again.
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