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Microsoft Confirms Windows Activation Issues


This issue appeared after Microsoft started blocking old keys

Microsoft closed a long-standing loophole that allowed customers to activate Windows 10 and 11 using old Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 keys about a month ago. Furthermore, the company disabled the free upgrade path, making it impossible for users of pre-Windows 10 versions to update to newer releases without paying Microsoft for a new license. It now appears that the change is causing havoc in systems that should not be affected.

Several reports claim that some customers lost activation after changing PC components or performing a BIOS update. Worse, the digital licenses associated with their Microsoft Accounts no longer activate the operating system, forcing them to purchase a new key or resort to dubious activation methods. It’s worth noting that Microsoft Support confirmed that a hardware change should not prevent you from using your license key.

“Automatic activation would not work, so I contacted customer support. They told me because my Windows 10 license had been upgraded from Windows 7, and that they had discontinued support for Windows 7 product keys, that they could not continue my license for Windows 10 Pro after the hardware change. They also acknowledged that changing the hardware is not a violation of the Windows license so there is no reason my Windows 10 license should be revoked or altered in any way.”

Bill Babonas, Windows’ principal product manager, confirmed to The Verge that the company is aware of the issue and is investigating potential solutions:

“Microsoft is aware of these customers’ reports and is investigating. Customers who are experiencing technical difficulties should contact customer support.”

Go to Settings > System > Activation > Activation State to check your Windows Activation status. You can use Windows 10 or 11 without activation for a while longer while Microsoft works to resolve the issue.