Windows subscription activation - Windows Deployment (2023)

  • Article
  • 12 minutes to read
  • Applies to:
    Windows 10, ✅ Windows 11

The subscription activation feature enables you to "step-up" from Windows Pro edition to Enterprise or Education editions. You can use this feature if you're subscribed to Windows Enterprise E3 or E5 licenses. Subscription activation also supports step-up from Windows Pro Education edition to Education edition.

If you have devices that are licensed for earlier versions of Windows Professional, Microsoft 365 Business Premium provides an upgrade to Windows Pro edition, which is the prerequisite for deploying Windows Business.

The subscription activation feature eliminates the need to manually deploy Enterprise or Education edition images on each target device, then later standing up on-premises key management services such as KMS or MAK based activation, entering Generic Volume License Keys (GVLKs), and then rebooting client devices.

This article covers the following information:

  • Subscription activation: An introduction to subscription activation for Windows Enterprise.
  • Subscription activation for Education: Information about subscription activation for Windows Education.
  • Inherited activation: Allow virtual machines to inherit activation state from their Windows client host.
  • The evolution of deployment: A short history of Windows deployment.
  • Requirements: Prerequisites to use the Windows subscription activation model.
  • Benefits: Advantages of subscription-based licensing.
  • How it works: A summary of the subscription-based licensing option.
  • Virtual Desktop Access (VDA): How to enable Windows subscription activation for VMs in the cloud.

For more information on how to deploy Enterprise licenses, see Deploy Windows Enterprise licenses.


Organizations that use the Subscription Activation feature to enable users to upgrade from one version of Windows to another and use Conditional Access policies to control access need to exclude the Universal Store Service APIs and Web Application, AppID 45a330b1-b1ec-4cc1-9161-9f03992aa49f, from their device compliance policy using Select Excluded Cloud Apps. For more information about configuring exclusions in Conditional Access policies, see Application exclusions.

Subscription activation for Enterprise

Windows Enterprise E3 and E5 are available as online services via subscription. You can deploy Windows Enterprise in your organization without keys and reboots.

  • Devices with a current Windows Pro edition license can be seamlessly upgraded to Windows Enterprise.
  • Product key-based Windows Enterprise software licenses can be transitioned to Windows Enterprise subscriptions.

Organizations that have an enterprise agreement can also benefit from the service, using traditional Active Directory-joined devices. In this scenario, the Active Directory user that signs in on their device must be synchronized with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) using Azure AD Connect Sync.


Subscription activation is available for qualifying devices running Windows 10 or Windows 11. You can't use subscription activation to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11.

Subscription activation for Education

Subscription activation for Education works the same as the Enterprise edition, but in order to use subscription activation for Education, you must have a device running Windows Pro Education and an active subscription plan with an Enterprise license. For more information, see the requirements section.

Inherited activation

Inherited activation allows Windows virtual machines to inherit activation state from their Windows client host. When a user with a Windows E3/E5 or A3/A5 license assigned creates a new Windows 10 or Windows 11 virtual machine (VM) using a Windows 10 or Windows 11 host, the VM inherits the activation state from a host machine. This behavior is independent of whether the user signs on with a local account or uses an Azure AD account on a VM.

To support inherited activation, both the host computer and the VM must be running a supported version of Windows 10 or Windows 11. The hypervisor platform must also be Windows Hyper-V.

The evolution of deployment


(Video) How to deploy Windows 11 21H2 (Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and Windows Deployment Services)

The original version of this section can be found at Changing between Windows SKUs.

The following list illustrates how deploying Windows client has evolved with each release:

  • Windows 7 required you to redeploy the operating system using a full wipe-and-load process if you wanted to change from Windows 7 Professional to Windows 10 Enterprise.

  • Windows 8.1 added support for a Windows 8.1 Pro to Windows 8.1 Enterprise in-place upgrade. This process was considered a "repair upgrade", because the OS version was the same before and after. This upgrade was a lot easier than wipe-and-load, but it was still time-consuming.

  • Windows 10, version 1507 added the ability to install a new product key using a provisioning package or using MDM to change the SKU. This process required a reboot, which would install the new OS components, and took several minutes to complete. However, it was a lot quicker than in-place upgrade.

  • Windows 10, version 1607 made a large leap forward. You could just change the product key and the edition instantly changed from Windows 10 Pro to Windows 10 Enterprise. In addition to provisioning packages and MDM, you can inject a key using slmgr.vbs, which injects the key into WMI. It became trivial to do this process using a command line.

  • Windows 10, version 1703 made this "step-up" from Windows 10 Pro to Windows 10 Enterprise automatic for devices that subscribed to Windows 10 Enterprise E3 or E5 via the CSP program.

  • Windows 10, version 1709 added support for Windows 10 subscription activation, similar to the CSP support but for large enterprises. This feature enabled the use of Azure AD for assigning licenses to users. When users sign in to a device that's joined to Active Directory or Azure AD, it automatically steps up from Windows 10 Pro to Windows 10 Enterprise.

  • Windows 10, version 1803 updated Windows 10 subscription activation to enable pulling activation keys directly from firmware for devices that support firmware-embedded keys. It was no longer necessary to run a script to activate Windows 10 Pro before activating Enterprise. For virtual machines and hosts running Windows 10, version 1803, inherited activation was also enabled.

  • Windows 10, version 1903 updated Windows 10 subscription activation to enable step-up from Windows 10 Pro Education to Windows 10 Education for devices with a qualifying Windows 10 or Microsoft 365 subscription.

  • Windows 11, version 21H2 updated subscription activation to work on both Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices.


    Subscription activation doesn't update a device from Windows 10 to Windows 11. Only the edition is updated.


Windows Enterprise requirements


The following requirements don't apply to general Windows client activation on Azure. Azure activation requires a connection to Azure KMS only. It supports workgroup, hybrid, and Azure AD-joined VMs. In most scenarios, activation of Azure VMs happens automatically. For more information, see Understanding Azure KMS endpoints for Windows product activation of Azure virtual machines.


As of October 1, 2022, subscription activation is available for commercial and GCC tenants. It's currently not available on GCC High or DoD tenants. For more information, see Enable subscription activation with an existing EA.

(Video) Windows 2019 Server : How to Install Volume Activation Tool/Deploy Windows and Office KMS Keys

For Microsoft customers with Enterprise Agreements (EA) or Microsoft Products & Services Agreements (MPSA), you must have the following requirements:

  • A supported version of Windows Pro or Enterprise edition installed on the devices to be upgraded.
  • Azure AD available for identity management.
  • Devices must be Azure AD-joined or hybrid Azure AD joined. Workgroup-joined or Azure AD registered devices aren't supported.

For Microsoft customers that don't have EA or MPSA, you can get Windows Enterprise E3/E5 or A3/A5 licenses through a cloud solution provider (CSP). Identity management and device requirements are the same when you use CSP to manage licenses. For more information about getting Windows Enterprise E3 through your CSP, see Windows Enterprise E3 in CSP.

Windows Education requirements

  • A supported version of Windows Pro Education installed on the devices to be upgraded.
  • A device with a Windows Pro Education digital license. You can confirm this information in Settings > Update & Security > Activation.
  • The Education tenant must have an active subscription to Microsoft 365 with a Windows Enterprise license, or a Windows Enterprise or Education subscription.
  • Devices must be Azure AD-joined or hybrid Azure AD joined. Workgroup-joined or Azure AD registered devices aren't supported.


If Windows 10 Pro is converted to Windows 10 Pro Education by using benefits available in Store for Education, then the feature will not work. You will need to re-image the device using a Windows 10 Pro Education edition.


With Windows Enterprise or Education editions, your organization can benefit from enterprise-level security and control. Previously, only organizations with a Microsoft Volume Licensing Agreement could deploy Education or Enterprise editions to their users. With Windows Enterprise E3/E5 or A3/A5 being available as an online service, it's available in select channels thus allowing all organizations to take advantage of enterprise-grade Windows features.

To compare Windows 10 editions and review pricing, see the following sites:

  • Compare Windows 10 editions
  • Enterprise Mobility + Security Pricing Options

You can benefit by moving to Windows as an online service in the following ways:

  • Licenses for Windows Enterprise and Education are checked based on Azure AD credentials. You have a systematic way to assign licenses to end users and groups in your organization.

  • User sign-in triggers a silent edition upgrade, with no reboot required.

  • Support for mobile worker and "bring your own device" (BYOD) activation. This support transitions away from on-premises KMS and MAK keys.

  • Compliance support via seat assignment.

  • Licenses can be updated to different users dynamically, which allows you to optimize your licensing investment against changing needs.

How it works


The following examples use Windows 10 Pro to Enterprise edition. The examples also apply to Windows 11, and Education editions.

The device is Azure AD-joined from Settings > Accounts > Access work or school.

You assign Windows 10 Enterprise to a user:

Windows subscription activation - Windows Deployment (1)

When a licensed user signs in to a device that meets requirements using their Azure AD credentials, Windows steps up from Pro edition to Enterprise. Then all of the Enterprise features are unlocked. When a user's subscription expires or is transferred to another user, the device reverts seamlessly to Windows 10 Pro edition, once the current subscription validity expires.

(Video) 2. How To Install Windows 10 using Windows Deployment Services


Devices running a supported version of Windows 10 Pro Education can get Windows 10 Enterprise or Education general availability channel on up to five devices for each user covered by the license. This benefit doesn't include the long term servicing channel.

The following figure summarizes how the subscription activation model works:

Windows subscription activation - Windows Deployment (2)


  • A Windows 10 Pro Education device will only step-up to Windows 10 Education edition when you assign a Windows 10 Enterprise license from the Microsoft 365 admin center.

  • A Windows 10 Pro device will only step-up to Windows 10 Enterprise edition when you assign a Windows 10 Enterprise license from the Microsoft 365 admin center.


Scenario #1

You're using a supported version of Windows 10. You purchased Windows 10 Enterprise E3 or E5 subscriptions, or you've had an E3 or E5 subscription for a while but haven't yet deployed Windows 10 Enterprise.

All of your Windows 10 Pro devices will step-up to Windows 10 Enterprise. When a subscription activation-enabled user signs in, devices that are already running Windows 10 Enterprise will migrate from KMS or MAK activated Enterprise edition to subscription activated Enterprise edition.

Scenario #2

You're using Azure AD-joined devices or Active Directory-joined devices running a supported version of Windows 10. You configured Azure AD synchronization. You follow the steps in Deploy Windows Enterprise licenses to get a $0 SKU, and get a new Windows 10 Enterprise E3 or E5 license in Azure AD. You then assign that license to all of your Azure AD users, which can be Active Directory-synced accounts. When that user signs in, the device will automatically change from Windows 10 Pro to Windows 10 Enterprise.

Earlier versions of Windows

If devices are running Windows 7, more steps are required. A wipe-and-load approach still works, but it can be easier to upgrade from Windows 7 Pro directly to Windows 10 Enterprise edition. This path is supported, and completes the move in one step. This method also works for devices with Windows 8.1 Pro.


The following policies apply to acquisition and renewal of licenses on devices:

  • Devices that have been upgraded will attempt to renew licenses about every 30 days. They must be connected to the internet to successfully acquire or renew a license.

  • If a device is disconnected from the internet, until its current subscription expires Windows will revert to Pro or Pro Education. As soon as the device is connected to the internet again, the license will automatically renew.

  • Up to five devices can be upgraded for each user license. If the user license is used for a sixth device, on the computer to which a user hasn't logged for the longest time, Windows will revert to Pro or Pro Education.

  • If a device meets the requirements and a licensed user signs in on that device, it will be upgraded.

Licenses can be reallocated from one user to another user, allowing you to optimize your licensing investment against changing needs.

When you have the required Azure AD subscription, group-based licensing is the preferred method to assign Enterprise E3 and E5 licenses to users. For more information, see Group-based licensing basics in Azure AD.

(Video) Windows and Office deployment intro

Existing Enterprise deployments

If you're running a supported version of Windows 10 or Windows 11, subscription activation will automatically pull the firmware-embedded Windows activation key and activate the underlying Pro license. The license will then step-up to Enterprise using subscription activation. This behavior automatically migrates your devices from KMS or MAK activated Enterprise to subscription activated Enterprise.

Subscription activation doesn't remove the need to activate the underlying OS. This requirement still exists for running a genuine installation of Windows.


Firmware-embedded Windows activation happens automatically only during Windows Setup out of box experience (OOBE).

If the computer has never been activated with a Pro key, use the following script from an elevated PowerShell console:

$(Get-WmiObject SoftwareLicensingService).OA3xOriginalProductKey | foreach{ if ( $null -ne $_ ) { Write-Host "Installing"$_;changepk.exe /Productkey $_ } else { Write-Host "No key present" } }

Obtaining an Azure AD license

If your organization has an Enterprise Agreement (EA) or Software Assurance (SA):

  • Organizations with a traditional EA must order a $0 SKU, process e-mails sent to the license administrator for the company, and assign licenses using Azure AD. Ideally, you assign the licenses to groups using the Azure AD Premium feature for group assignment. For more information, see Enable subscription activation with an existing EA.

  • The license administrator can assign seats to Azure AD users with the same process that's used for Microsoft 365 Apps.

  • New EA/SA Windows Enterprise customers can acquire both an SA subscription and an associated $0 cloud subscription.

If your organization has a Microsoft Products & Services Agreement (MPSA):

  • New customers are automatically emailed the details of the service. Take steps to process the instructions.

  • Existing MPSA customers will receive service activation emails that allow their customer administrator to assign users to the service.

  • New MPSA customers who purchase the Software Subscription Windows Enterprise E3 and E5 will be enabled for both the traditional key-based and new subscriptions activation method.

Deploying licenses

For more information, see Deploy Windows Enterprise licenses.

Virtual Desktop Access (VDA)

Subscriptions to Windows Enterprise are also available for virtualized clients. Enterprise E3 and E5 are available for Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) in Microsoft Azure or in another qualified multitenant hoster (QMTH).

Virtual machines (VMs) must be configured to enable Windows 10 Enterprise subscriptions for VDA. Active Directory-joined and Azure Active Directory-joined clients are supported. See Enable VDA for Subscription Activation.

Connect domain-joined devices to Azure AD for Windows experiences. For more information, see Plan your hybrid Azure Active Directory join implementation

Compare Windows editions

Windows for business

(Video) Install and configure WDS(Windows deployment service) on Windows server 2019 - Deploying Windows 10


Why does my PC keep telling me to activate Windows? ›

This error occurs when a Volume License (a license that was bought from Microsoft by an organization to install Windows on multiple devices) was used on more devices than the Microsoft Software License Terms allow. To fix the problem, you might need to use a different product key to activate Windows on your device.

How do I get rid of Windows activation warning? ›

Click on the Make the computer easier to see link under the Explore all settings section. Scroll down until you see Remove background images (where available) and place a checkmark in the box to enable the feature. Click Apply and enjoy your watermark-free desktop.

What is subscription activation? ›

The subscription activation feature enables you to "step-up" from Windows Pro edition to Enterprise or Education editions. You can use this feature if you're subscribed to Windows Enterprise E3 or E5 licenses. Subscription activation also supports step-up from Windows Pro Education edition to Education edition.

How do I activate Windows Activation Server? ›

Open the command prompt, type slmgr /ipk followed by the 25-digit KMS host product key and press Enter. Then, use slmgr /ato to activate the host key.

What is the trick to activate Windows 10? ›

Summary: Steps to activate Windows 10 with a product key

STEP 1: For installation of Windows 10, enter your product license key. STEP 2: Press the Windows key, go to Settings > Update and Security > Activation. STEP 3: Press the Change Product key. STEP 4: Enter your product key into the pop-up box and press Next.

What happens if Windows is not activated? ›

Not activating windows will not cripple your ability to use the software. In fact, the only difference between an activated and unactivated Windows operating system is the ability to customize the look and feel of your user interface.

How do I permanently activate Windows 10 for free? ›

Here's how to go about it.
  1. Run CMD As Administrator. You can activate your Windows PC using Windows 10 activation txt with the help of command prompt. ...
  2. Install KMS Client key. Enter the command slmgr /ipk yourlicensekey and click ENTER button on your keyboard to execute the command. ...
  3. Activate Windows.

How to activate Windows without product key? ›

If you have a digital license for your device, you can reinstall the same edition of Windows 10 on this device without entering a product key. Make sure that Windows 10 is activated before you try to reinstall it. To find out, select the Start button, and then select Settings > Update & Security > Activation .

What is the difference between license and subscription? ›

A license differs from a subscription in that it is purchased once and has a lifetime duration. A subscription is a continuous use of the program with automatic purchase of licenses and their activation for a specified period of time. Subscription can be deactivated at any time in the "Subscriptions" section.

What is subscription process? ›

In a subscription model, customers are charged on a recurring basis for a product or service. They choose how long and how often they want to receive each offer, and most subscriptions provide the option to renew or cancel at any time. Think of a subscription as a contract between you and the customer.

What is subscription licensing? ›

Customers can purchase subscription licenses for various time periods, and are entitled to use the software during the agreed upon time period. The subscription payment includes software licenses, access to support services, and new versions of the software as they are released.

Can you activate Windows with PowerShell? ›

Type Start PowerShell in the Command Prompt window to start Windows PowerShell. 2. Type Install-WindowsFeature WAS and press Enter to install the Windows Process Activation Service.

Can you activate Windows in Boot Camp? ›

Make sure Windows is activated in Virtual Machine. Restart your Mac and boot to Boot Camp directly. Go to Settings -> Update & Security -> Activation -> click on Activate button.

How to activate Windows license using KMS server? ›

Install a new server, install the KMS role, enter the KMS host key, activate — and everything is ready to go! Instead of a KMS activation, in the AD domain you can use the Active Directory optimized version — ADBA (Active Directory Based Activation);

How can I permanently activate Windows 10 for free with CMD? ›

How to Activate Windows 10/11 with CMD
  1. You have to open the command prompt on your system first. Then, click and start and simply type "CMD". Now, run it as administrator.
  2. Type the following command. slmgr /ipk. slmgr /skms Slmgr /ato. Now press enter. This command will activate your Windows 10/11.
Oct 27, 2022

What happens after 30 days of not activating Windows 10? ›

Well, they will continue to function and receive updates but you won't be able to customize the operating system. For instance, lock screen and background and wallpaper settings will be grayed out.

How do I permanently remove the Windows 10 activation watermark? ›

Method 1: Using Product Key

#2) Click on “Activation” as shown in the image below and then click on “Change product key.” #3) A dialog box will open. Enter the product key and click on “Next”. Locate Windows 10 and install it on the system, restart the system and Activate Windows Watermark issue will be fixed.

How long can Windows stay unactivated? ›

For how long can I use Windows 10 without a key? You can use an unactivated Windows 10 for one month after installation without any restrictions. Once the one-month grace period expires, you'll need to activate the OS with a product key to avoid using Windows 10 with limited features.

Can you legally run Windows without activation? ›

Although it's not going to be pretty, and it's definitely not going to be perfect, you can actually use Windows 10/11 forever without activating it. Microsoft allows users to download, install and use the operating system indefinitely without having to enter a valid product key or digital license.

Is it safe to use unactivated Windows? ›

Microsoft regularly releases updates to add new features to the operating system and make it safer. While Microsoft does make updates available to non-activated Windows, free users often don't receive security updates. This means unlicensed users will always be at risk of viruses or hackers infiltrating their systems.

Will Windows 10 be free forever? ›

The free upgrades will continue into 2022. If you're still running Windows 7 but want to upgrade to Windows 11, you'll first need to upgrade to Windows 10 to be eligible.

How many times can you activate Windows 10 digital license? ›

Since it is a digital license you can activate the Windows anytime on your computer there is no limit , keep in mind that one license is for 1 computer, you cannot activate it in multiple computers at the same time.

Is it possible to activate Windows 10 permanently? ›

Simply access "Update & Security" option from the "Settings" menu and then click the "Activation" tab and follow the on-screen instructions to complete. This is not the only handy and affordable way to activate Windows 10 permanently.

What happens if I install Windows 10 without a product key? ›

Even if you don't have a product key, you'll still be able to use an unactivated version of Windows 10, although some features may be limited. Inactivated versions of Windows 10 have a watermark in the bottom right saying, “Activate Windows”. You also can't personalize any colors, themes, backgrounds, etc.

How to activate Windows 10 Pro for free without product key? ›

This opens in a new window.
  1. Step 1.1: Open Command Prompt as administrator. ...
  2. Step 1.2: Install KMS client key. ...
  3. Home: TX9XD-98N7V-6WMQ6-BX7FG-H8Q99. ...
  4. Step 1.3: Set KMS machine address. ...
  5. Step 1.4: Activate your Windows. ...
  6. Step 2.1: Copy the code below into a new text document.
  7. Step 2.2: Paste the code into the text file.

What are the three types of subscription? ›

Types of subscriptions
  • Fixed usage subscription. The fixed usage subscription model offers a set price for a fixed quantity of goods or services over a set time frame. ...
  • Unlimited usage subscription. ...
  • Pay-as-you-go-subscription. ...
  • Freemium model.

What are the 4 types of software licenses? ›

What are the different types of software licenses?
  • Public domain. This software is freely available. ...
  • Lesser general public license. Developers can link to open source libraries within their software and use any licensing type for the code.
  • Permissive. ...
  • Copyleft. ...
  • Proprietary.

What are the three types of licensing? ›

How to decide between types of licensing agreements
  • Patent Licensing. Patents cover science and innovation. ...
  • Trademark Licensing. Trademarks are signifiers of commercial source, namely, brand names and logos or slogans. ...
  • Copyright Licensing. ...
  • Trade Secret Licensing. ...
  • Exclusive. ...
  • Non-exclusive. ...
  • Sole. ...
  • Perpetual.
Oct 24, 2019

How do you implement subscriptions? ›

How to add a subscription model to your business:
  1. Determine if a subscription model is the best fit. You should sell products or services that fit into one of three broad types. ...
  2. Create your membership model. Start with how much you'll charge. ...
  3. Set terms and conditions. ...
  4. Prepare inventory. ...
  5. Spread the word.
Sep 30, 2020

What are types of subscriptions? ›

A subscription for a fixed set of goods or services.
  • Periodicals, such as a newspaper or magazine, have several types of subscriptions: Paid circulation. Non-paid circulation. Controlled circulation.
  • Subscription boxes contain a variety of consumables. Community-supported agriculture. Meal delivery service.

How do you automate a subscription? ›

How to Automate Your Subscription Management Processes
  1. Set up automated billing and payment operations. ...
  2. Launch your subscription model. ...
  3. Integrate your subscription management platform with the rest of your tech stack. ...
  4. Start creating workflows that replace manual tasks and automate subscriptions.
Nov 12, 2021

How does subscription-based licensing work? ›

A subscription-based license is like renting. You pay a certain amount each month, and the fee includes any maintenance or upgrades to the software. Given all the downsides of a perpetual license vs.

How does a subscription policy work? ›

What in the world is a subscription policy? In a nutshell, it is a policy where two or more insurance companies agree to rating and coverage, at a split percentage between the insurers, to total one hundred percent of the required limits.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of software subscription licenses? ›

Subscription-based Software Licensing Pros and Cons
  • Lower Upfront Costs. ...
  • Lower IT resource needs and staying current. ...
  • The subscription cost includes support and upgrades. ...
  • Module-based complexity is simplified. ...
  • Usability and Access. ...
  • Higher Total Cost of Ownership: ...
  • Integrations: ...
  • Summary.
Jul 8, 2021

How do I get rid of office activation pop up? ›

Method 2. Stop Office Asking for activation by Removing "Let's get started" screen at Office Startup.
  1. Close all Office programs.
  2. Open the Registry Editor. ...
  3. Once you are inside the Registry Editor, navigate to following locations. ...
  4. Right-click at the OEM key and click Delete.

How do I stop Microsoft activation Wizard from popping up? ›

How to Get Rid of MS Windows Office Activation Wizard
  1. Open Microsoft Word using the "Microsoft Word" link in the "Microsoft Office" folder of your "Start" menu. ...
  2. Click the "Office" logo button, followed by "Word Options."
  3. Click "Resources." Click "Activate."

How to remove the message your Windows license will expire soon? ›

How do I fix the Your Windows license will expire soon error?
  1. Restart the Windows Explorer process. 1.1 End and restart the process. ...
  2. Change your Group Policy. Press Windows key + R and enter gpedit. ...
  3. Disable a few problematic services. Press Windows key + R and type services. ...
  4. Create a backup for the registry and modify it.
Nov 28, 2022

Why does Office 365 keep asking me to activate my subscription? ›

This can happen if you don't uninstall the pre-installed version of Office on your new PC before installing a volume license version of Office. To stop the prompts for activation, make sure your Office uses volume licensing and then update the registry.

Can I still use Microsoft Office without activation? ›

To fully use Office, you must activate Office. If you do not activate the product after you install it, the Office programs can be started only in reduced-functionality mode.

What happens if you don't activate Office? ›

If Microsoft 365 can't activate, it eventually becomes unlicensed and all editing features of Microsoft 365 are disabled. Microsoft can become unlicensed for a number of reasons. For example, if your Microsoft 365 subscription expires, you must renew your subscription to restore all features of Microsoft 365.

Why does Microsoft activation Wizard keep popping up? ›

Then you can go to Control Panel > User Accounts > Credential Manager > Click Windows Credentials > Under Generic Credentials, remove ALL credentials related with Office. If the suggestion above doesn't work, you can use Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant to check it will help you troubleshoot it.

How long can I use Windows 11 without activation? ›

Although it's not going to be pretty, and it's definitely not going to be perfect, you can actually use Windows 10/11 forever without activating it. Microsoft allows users to download, install and use the operating system indefinitely without having to enter a valid product key or digital license.

What happens if I don't activate Windows 11? ›

If you don't activate Windows 10/11, Windows may only download critical updates for your device. Some updates like optional updates or security updates may be missed. Your computer may miss some latest downloads, services, apps, or driver updates from Microsoft.

How can I activate Windows 11 permanently for free? ›

Activate Windows 11 CMD (with KMS)
  1. Launch Command Prompt as an administrator in Windows 11. ...
  2. Install a license key: type the command slmgr /ipk kmsclientkey and press Enter. ...
  3. You need to set a KMS server by using the command slmgr /skms yourserver. ...
  4. Type slmgr /ato and press Enter to activate Windows 11.
5 days ago

What will happen if Windows license expires? ›

Once the license expires, Windows will reboot automatically about every three hours and anything you're working on when it reboots will be lost. After two weeks longer, Windows will stop booting at all. AT that point, you'll need to purchase another license and reinstall Windows.

What does it mean when my laptop says my Windows license will expire? ›

If this is an Activation Message that expiration message always means that someone has activated Windows with a Volume License Key meant only for business or organizations that activate a large number of PC's, which need to check in with the organization's server regularly to reactivate or they expire.


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