How to find your Windows 10 product key

If you bought a new laptop or desktop within the last few years, it won’t come with a product key on a sticker or a Certificate of Authenticity (COA).

Moreover, among all device IDs, product IDs, etc. in the “About your PC” section of the system control panel, there is no information about your Windows product key. In this guide, we will show you how to find this key. Our guide is specifically for Windows 10 users, but the method and commands may work with or be similar to other versions of Windows.

Microsoft and its system partners stopped providing stickers and certificates with Windows product keys printed on them starting with the introduction of Windows 8.1. Since then, Microsoft activates Windows with a digital license, tied to your system’s hardware footprint.

On the one hand, it makes it easy to reinstall Windows from scratch – there’s no need to find and type in a 25-digit alphanumeric product key because it’s remembered by Microsoft’s activation servers. On the other hand, you might need your product key for some OS downgrade/upgrade projects you have planned.

So what if you have a PC with an activated copy of Windows 10 and you want to find that product key? A solution for everyone who requires a bit of command prompt typing is quite quick and easy if you follow our walkthrough below. Alternatively, you can search for the Windows 10 product key in RegEdit – or download a free app, run it and it will spit out your key. We will provide a short guide and link to these alternative processes in the FAQ at the bottom of this article.

Equipment used

  • Modern Windows 10 Desktop PC

The short version

  • Simultaneously press the Windows and R keys
  • Type cmd in the run dialog you invoked and hit the enter key
  • In the resulting cmd.exe window, type “wmic path softwareLicensingService get OA3xOriginalProductKey” without the quotes
  • Hit enter and you should see your Windows 10 product key revealed – copy it for posterity in your favorite notes app or just write it down somewhere
  1. Walk
    1

    Press Windows + R, then type “cmd” and click OK

    Hold down the Windows key and press R to invoke the Windows Run box. Now type “cmd” without quotes and press Enter key, or press OK Run Windows, CMD

  2. Walk
    2

    Type the long command carefully, precisely as shown (or copy and paste it)

    With the Command Prompt window open, copy and paste the following text, without the quotes, where the cursor is flashing: “wmic path softwareLicensingService get OA3xOriginalProductKey”Type the command wmic patch

  3. Walk
    3

    Your Windows 10 product key will be revealed

    Press Enter immediately after entering the long command above, and you will see two lines of text output. The first line says “OA3xOriginalProductKey” and the next line will be your 25-digit alphanumeric Windows 10 product key.Your Windows 10 product key

FAQs

The key discovery command prompt method did not work, do you have another method?

Yes, you can run RegEdit on Windows and then search (Edit menu > Find) for the term “BackupProductKeyDefault” without the quotes. After a few seconds (my fast modern PC took about 20 seconds, don’t worry if nothing seems to happen) you’ll see the 25-digit alphanumeric product key listed to the right in the BackupProductKeyDefault line.

I would prefer to download and run a simple application to dig up my windows key, do you recommend one?

See you at Magical Jellybean’s website and grab their ~9MB app. There is a free version that when run brings up a window displaying your Windows 10 product key, with no user interaction required.

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