Windows 8.1 Retail/OEM Checking whether your Product is Activated and Product Activation

Checking if your Product is Activated

The easiest way of determining whether your Windows 8.1 is activated is by right clicking the start button (or pressing [Windows] and [x]) and then selecting system:


The Windows 8.1 Edition installed will be listed at the top.

The system properties screen will give you your activation status at the bottom. If your Windows 8.1 is activated as it should automatically be in most cases, you don’t need to do anything else regarding product activation.

Online Product Activation

In this case the system is not activated. Select activate Windows and input your product key.

System Properties 2

Select Activate Windows and input your product key.

Activate Online 2

If activation is successful you will then be told Thanks, you’ve finished. Press close and restart your computer.

If the key has been activated too many times you may be prompted for phone activation.

If your key is rejected and is correct you may need to input it via the command prompt.

Online Activation 3

You may verify the activation by closing the system properties Window and then launching it to look at it again.

System Properties 2 - Copy

Phone Activation

If your computer is offline or the key has been activated too many times within a given time interval you may then be prompted for phone activation.

Once your product key has been input you may begin phone activation by pressing [Windows] and [r] to bring up the run command and type

slui 4


You will be prompted for your country and given a number to call aswell as an installation ID:

Phone the number and input all the numbers of the installation ID into the phone as instructed.

Phone3 The phone will give you back a confirmation ID. Input all these numbers into the screen below as instructed. Then press Activate Windows.Phone4 You will then be told Thanks, you’re finished.

Online Activation 3

You may verify the activation by looking at the system properties again

System Properties 2 - Copy

25 thoughts on “Windows 8.1 Retail/OEM Checking whether your Product is Activated and Product Activation

    1. If you need help, you need to at least provide some basic information.
      You mention nothing about your license type, whether it was a preinstalled OEM or Retail license. I get plenty of people asking me for a product key. I don’t have Windows 8.1 product keys to give out. If its a retail you should have this with your packaging or confirmation email otherwise need to buy a new one. This website does not give out license keys.

      You also mention nothing about the installation media you used for installation. The newer installation media sorting out some issues with the old installation media.

      If the license is OEM it should be automatically input during installation if the correct installation media is used.

  1. Hi, I have just bought a new PC from a custom PC building site and bought it without and operating system, I was wondering how, if at all I could go about using my Windows 8 OEM version from my laptop which is a HP Pavilion g6-2213sa

      1. I used the media creation tool and saved straight to usb but that was windows 8.1 should i update my current laptop to 8.1 from 8 before trying to enter my product key on the custom pc with the generic key

      2. The media does not discriminate between Windows 8.0 and Windows 8.1. Its a waste of time to update to Windows 8.1 via the Store if you are going to instead directly clean install Windows 8.1.

        If you have chosen the correct edition which matches the system properties e.g.

        For Windows 8 Professional or Windows 8.1 Professional use the Windows 8.1 Professional .iso.

        For Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 use the Windows 8.1 .iso.

        For Windows 8 Single Language or Windows 8.1 Single Language use the Windows 8.1 Single Language .iso.


        The product key will automatically be input and Windows will automatically be activated when online (when the correct .iso is used).

  2. I bought My PC from a guy who built it himself. It came with Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center. I bought it towards the end of last summer and I was recently getting the message that my windows was about to expire or something. So now it says it is expired or whatever and I cant contact the person I bought the computer from to get the product key. I have been told that I have a Volume license and that nobody can help me out. Also I can not activate online. I dont know why, it just does not work.

    1. If a volume license key is used, you will not be able to use it to activate… You are not part of the organisation the Volume License key was assigned to. Its likely a leaked Volume License Microsoft has banned.

      You will need to get a genuine Windows 8.1 license or alternatively install Windows 10 Technical Preview and wait till its finally released to see if you take advantage of any promotional deals.

  3. Hi, I have a dell xps and i formatted the recovery partition. I did this since my hard drive got converted to dynamic and so I had to format. So i reinstalled a fresh windows 8.1 pro using one of those ‘dummy keys’. A website i went to said my computer would activate itself via the bios once windows was installed but it didn’t. So i entered the original W8 product key (whcih i got using one of those utilities from my original W8 install) and it wont activate. I get the error code: 0xC004F074. The slui 4 method give me an error: Can not activate windows by phone, contact your system administrator.

    Any help would be amazing.

  4. hi, I’ve bought windows 8 from RETAIL & upgraded into 8.1 pro. Now I can’t activate windows. I used run command it says can’t activate windows by phone, contact administrator for more info. So how can I solve this issue, help me out please

  5. I purchased a computer about 3+ years ago from Office Depot with Windows 8.1 preinstalled.
    I have just begun receiving messages that say “Activate Windows” – Go to PC Settings – I do that, an then it takes me back to my screen I was on… I checked and looked under “Windows Activation” and it says it is not activated. What do I need to do – I have been using this computer regularly for the 3+ years without any problems.

  6. hello,I bought my dell pc inspiron i5 3521 and windows was preinstalled on it and no cd was provided to me,now it says that my licence will expire on 19 june,what should i do?

  7. Hi Philip,
    I have got the reinstallation media(DUSB) from DELL as my hard drive failed.
    I installed the OS but windows was not activated. Still the build number is displayed at the bottom right corner. I tried to activate it via phone, but Microsoft rejected the Installation ID saying it as invalid. Further when contacted Microsoft Support Personnel, he confirmed the same and told to get the product key from DELL to activate windows.

    System configurations:
    Win 8 Home edition Single Language preinstalled in DELL. (I hope this is an OEM license).

    what are possible options for me to activate Windows ?

    Arun PR.

    1. Its possible that Dell sent you the wrong Edition of Windows 8.1 e.g. Windows 8.1 Single Language opposed to Windows 8.1.

      The first step is to identify whether RWEverything picks up a UEFI BIOS SLP key:
      If it does you need to look at the affixed sticker to your Dell:
      Then try for instance WIndows 8.1 and then Windows 8.1 Single Language to see if you are prompted for a product key.

      If you succeed you should take the free upgrade to Windows 10:

      If you don’t succeed you should use 10130 as an intermediate step to get Windows 10 Pro:

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