How to activate Windows 8

Written by: Oliver Krautscheid - Published: Wednesday, November 16th, 2011 - Comments

If you’re wondering how to properly activate Windows 8, read this guide. We also tell you about frequent activation problems e.g. error code 0xC004F061

How to activate Windows 8

Yes, you have to activate your copy of Windows. Only certain developer versions of Windows 8 are pre-activated for a certain time

Quick Links:

Activating Regular Copy

If you want to see your activation code follow this. This is how you would normally activate Windows 8

1. First click on Start to open the Metro desktop, then open the Control Panel by clicking on the blue tile

Open Windows 8 Control Panel

2. If Windows 8 is not currently activated the first option within the Control Panel should allow you to activate it. If you don’t have a connection, you can activate by phone.

activate windows 8 by phone

3. If the option is NOT there, scroll down within the Control Panel and click on More settings allows you to activate Windows 8

More settings

4. Now, it should open the classic Control Panel. Click on System and Security

5. Click on System

windows 8 system settings

6. Now at the bottom click on View Details in Windows Activation

7. If Windows 8 is not activated you will be able to activate Windows 8 there or see the last numbers of your current product key

Keep in mind, you can’t activate Windows 8 on a virtual machine without internet connection.

If you are installing Windows 8 on a real PC, the chances are good that Windows 8 will automatically ask you to activate Windows 8. Let us know if you run into any activation errors. I had some trouble with the slui.exe in Windows 7, so it’s possible the error is still there and the slui.exe is still causing problems in some cases, we’ll see.

Problem: Activations Fails

A popular reason why the activation fails is that you used the key to activate too many machines. Usually a key is only valid for one machine, unless you have a special volume licensing key that allows activation via MAK or KMS

Problem: Error Code 0xC004F061 When Activating Windows 8

If you see error 0xC004F061 when activating your copy, you have a wrong key. The error means that you did not have any other Windows versions on your system and you are not entitled to use an upgrade key – if you are 100% sure you have upgraded from a previous version, contact Microsoft’s support page

Volume Licensing: Activating Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 Enterprise (KMS/MAK)

Obviously, activating the Enterprise version is a little different if you want to activate multiple machines

  • Windows 8 Pro Supports: KMS server/ Active Directory Based activation
  • Windows 8 Enterprise Supports: KMS / ADBA / MAK

Technet Subscribers may need a volume license key to activate certain ISO files that can be downloaded from the Technet website. Only the regular Windows 8 ISO can be activated with a regular or Pro key.

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Written by: Oliver Krautscheid
I am the founder of and In my free time I love blogging about everything digital. I have a passion for programming, design, domains, stocks and internet marketing .. and alternative rock! So, let's rock!

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