While newer computers, now seem to store the Windows Product Key in the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). It does no harm to make a note of your Product Key before you wipe your computer and reinstall Windows. So in this video, we take a look at how from the Windows Terminal (PowerShell) we can recover our Windows Product Key.
Note: The Windows Product Key is only necessary to activate Windows. However, it is possible to run an un-activated version of Windows which will be missing key features and important updates. Then with Windows installed on your computer you can purchase a product key through Windows online.
Quick reference notes:
- From the Windows desktop, right click on the Windows button, and from the quick menu choose Windows Terminal
Note: The names PowerShell and Windows Terminal now seem to be used interchangeably, but basically refer to the same thing. It’s also worth noting, that you should not need to open a Windows Terminal with administrators privileges in order to run this command.
- When the Terminal window opens type the following:
(Get-WmiObject -query 'select * from SoftwareLicensingService').OA3xOriginalProductKey
- When you press Enter on your Keyboard, the Product Key for your computer will be displayed.
Note: There are two types of Activation method, a Product Key and a Digital license. If your computer is using a digital license the command above will not display a key. This is because the license key has been digitally registered to the hardware you are using. So if you need to do a clean install of Windows and you have a Digital license, when reinstalling Windows select the option “I am Reinstalling Windows on this PC‘ and your computer will use the license its already been issued by Microsoft.
- To gracefully close the Terminal Window type:
- When you press Enter on your keyboard the Terminal window will close.