Windows 10 Reset Activation

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@George From experience I can say that this does work. I have updated to Windows 10 (in place upgrade), checked that it claimed to be activated, then done a clean install from a USB stick. Windows 10 activated with no intervention at all. — Mokubai ♦ May 22 ’16 at 18:30.

Active4 years, 9 months ago

I’m having a hard time finding and answer to this. If I had to hypotheitcally remove the Windows license key from a VM that’s been specifically setup for a partner, and it needs to be removed before the VM is handed over, how would I go about doing this? Naturally the built-in 30 day grace period has expired and I’m using an MSDN license key, but I need to remove the key before handing the VM off. The recipient can input their own license key. e.g. how do I reset the Activation Key Wizard’s nagging?


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This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • ‘Questions about general computing hardware and software are off-topic for Stack Overflow unless they directly involve tools used primarily for programming. You may be able to get help on Super User.’ — Deduplicator, durron597, JasonMArcher, Mark Rotteveel

If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  1. Open a command prompt as an Administrator.
  2. Enter slmgr /upk and wait for this to complete. This will uninstall the current product key from Windows and put it into an unlicensed state.
  3. Enter slmgr /cpky and wait for this to complete. This will remove the product key from the registry if it's still there.
  4. Enter slmgr /rearm and wait for this to complete. This is to reset the Windows activation timers so the new users will be prompted to activate Windows when they put in the key.

This should put the system back to a pre-key state.

Hope this helps you out!

Justin PearceJustin Pearce

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On Windows XP -

  1. Reboot into ‘Safe mode with Command Prompt’
  2. Type ‘explorer’ in the command prompt that comes up and push [Enter]
  3. Click on Start>Run, and type the following :
  • rundll32.exe syssetup,SetupOobeBnk

Reboot, and login as normal.

This will reset the 30 day timer for activation back to 30 days so you can enter in the key normally.

Kraang Prime

Kraang Prime

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