Microsoft is pioneer in this, but hundreds of companies do this – they protect their software from unauthorized copying and installing by asking the user to type in the product key before they can start using the product. Some product come with a free trial and upon expiry of the same – user needs to key in a new product key.
It is common to buy a lot of products over a period of time and activate the product in your computer, but when you change your computer after say 5-6 years, you start scrambling to find the product key, without which the product won’t work on your new computer. Also, since many companies use the product key to verify your eligibility for installation and support, it becomes equally important for you to know how to access it if you didn’t save it properly or don’t recall where you saved it.
How to Find Your Windows Product Key
If you bought a retail copy of Windows software, you can look for the sticker inside the jewel case, or on its back. The key consists of 25 alphanumeric characters, usually split into groups of 5, for example: xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx. If your PC came with Windows pre-installed, the key is usually on the Microsoft sticker on the case.
If you can’t find your product key, but the software is installed, you can try Product Key Finder. which can locate the keys for Windows and many installed programs from the registry.
Download and install Product Key Finder. Launch it and Product Key Finder opens a dialog that shows the product keys for several packages installed on your system, but by no means all of them. The Microsoft keys are shown, as are a few other software packages such as applications from Adobe. In our tests, the results were quick and the information was correct.