I bet you know what is Windows product key right? No? Basically, it is how to ensure the copy of Windows that is installed on your computer is genuine. When you installed and activated the Windows, the key will be sent to Microsoft for verification. If it is not in their record, the activation will be denied.
Nowadays, the majority of computers or laptops are already pre-installed with Windows copy. The product key for this kind of Windows copy is commonly referred to as an OEM key, OEM product key, or OEM license.
On the other hand, if you purchased a copy of Windows, then you manually installed and activate it. This is commonly referred to as Windows retail license. This is the key that you need to keep safe, in case you need it for future installation.
Note: The following methods will show you how to find a Windows 10 OEM key and retail license. This method works on Windows 10 and above.
How to find Windows 10 OEM product key
To view an OEM key, or OEM product key, you can use Command Prompt.
- To open Command Prompt, click Start and type
cmdin the search bar and hit Enter.
- Once Command Prompt windows appears, enter the following command (or copy and paste the following command)
wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey
- The OEM key will be displayed right under the command you entered. You should see a string of letters and numbers consists of 25 characters long.
How to find Windows 10 retail license
To view Windows retail license, you need to install a free application from Microsoft Store called ShowKey Plus.
- To open Microsoft Store, click Start and type
Microsoft Storein the search bar and hit Enter.
- In the Microsoft Store search box, enter
ShowKeyPlusand hit Enter.
- On the ShowKeyPlus app page, click Install button.
- Once done installed, the button will change to Open button. Click Open button.
- ShowKeyPlus will display currently installed key and OEM key:
- Installed Key: This is the Windows retail license (if you are using pre-installed Windows, this key will be same as OEM key below)
- OEM Key: This is the OEM key
For retail license, better to save it somewhere for your future installation. And please remember to not share this key with anyone.
However, for the OEM key, you probably don’t need it as it is already tied to the hardware. Whenever you installed a copy of Windows, it will automatically detect the OEM key and activate your Windows.
If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment below.