To activate Windows 10, every user will need a product key. Every legitimate version of the software has one, but often times, users will need the product key later down the road, only to find that they’ve lost it or tossed it. For this week’s tip, we’ll describe a way to link your software’s product key to a Microsoft account so that you’ll never lose it again.
Step One: Get a Microsoft Account
In order to link your Windows 10 product key to your Microsoft account, you’ll have to have a Microsoft account. If you don’t have an account under the Microsoft umbrella (hotmail, live, outlook, etc.) and depend on another platform such as Google or Apple, have your IT administrator set up a Microsoft account for you. This way you can know you have an authorized account that is ready to go.
Step Two: Link the Product Key to Your Account
Now that you have a Microsoft account that is authorized by your organization’s IT administrator, you can log in and navigate to Settings in the Windows 10 Start Menu. Click on Update & Security, and then on Activation.
The Activation page will read “Windows is activated with a digital license”. If it doesn’t, you can stop because your product key doesn’t enable you to digitize your license and you won’t be able to link your Microsoft account with Windows 10. If this happens to you it is important that you keep your Windows 10 product key on file.
If you have a digital license, you then have to change your type of account to successfully link your Windows 10 product key to your Microsoft account. To do this, open Settings and then click on Accounts. You will then click on Your Info. Find the hyperlink on the page that reads “Sign in with a Microsoft account instead” and click on that.
You will then sign in using your Microsoft account using your username and password and click the Sign In button at the bottom of the screen. Enter your Windows password if it is different, otherwise click Next and it will ask you to Set up a PIN. If you don’t want to set up a PIN, you can click on the “Skip this step” hyperlink on the left side of the box.
Step Three: Verification
To check to see if this process has been successful, open your Settings, click on Update & Security, click on Activation, and you will see “Windows is activated with a digital license linked to your Microsoft Account” under the Activation subheading in the main box under Windows.
To protect your software and yourself, knowing the best practices of software management is important. If you would like to know more great tips and tricks in Windows 10, visit our blog regularly.
Seán is the Managing Director at Aniar IT Services and has been working in IT for over 20 years
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