How To Find Your Windows 8 or 8.1 Product Key

Extract Your Lost Windows 8 Product Key From the Registry
Updated July 14, 2015.

As you may be finding out, probably half way through reinstalling Windows 8, you must have your product key to continue the installation.

Windows 8, as well as most operating systems and other software, require the entry of unique product keys, sometimes called serial numbers, during installation.

Usually, your Windows 8 product key will be with the email you received after buying Windows 8 for download, or with your packaging if you purchased it in a box with a disc.

If Windows 8 came preinstalled on your computer, your product key should be on a sticker on your computer or with your documentation. It should look a lot like the image you see here.

Fortunately, if you can't find documentation of your Windows 8 product key, you may be able to extract it from the Windows Registry using a program called a product key finder.

Important: A product key finder program will only find your valid Windows 8 key if Windows 8 is installed and working, and if you've manually entered the Windows 8 product key in some previous installation. See my Windows Product Keys FAQ and Key Finder Programs FAQ pages for more help.

Note: You can find your Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 product key this way, no matter what edition of Windows 8 you're using.

Finding your Windows 8 product key with a key finder is easy and should take less than 15 minutes:

How To Find Your Windows 8 or 8.1 Product Key

  1. Download Belarc Advisor, a free PC audit program with full Windows 8 support that also functions as a key finder tool. Unfortunately, manually locating the Windows 8 product key in the registry isn't possible so you'll need to use a program like this.

    See my List of Free Key Finder Programs for more tools like Belarc Advisor but please try it first since I've confirmed that it correctly finds Windows 8 product keys.

    Note: Any product key finder that advertises support for Windows 8 will work for either edition: Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro, as well as either edition of Windows 8.1.
     
  1. Install Belarc Advisor, following the instructions given during the installation.

    Note: If you choose a different keyfinder, please know that some are supported by optional add-on programs so be sure to uncheck those options during the program's installation if you don't want them. A few of them require no installation at all.
     
  1. Run Belarc Advisor (the initial analysis may take a little while) and note the Windows 8 product key displayed in the Software Licenses section.

    The Windows 8 product key is a series of 25 letters and numbers and should look like this: xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx.
     
  2. Write down the Windows 8 key exactly as shown for use when reinstalling Windows 8.

    Important: Make sure each and every letter and number is written exactly as shown. If even one digit isn't transcribed correctly, the key won't work to reinstall Windows 8.

More Windows 8 Product Key Ideas

If you need to install Windows 8 but wasn't successful finding your Windows 8 product key with a product key finder program, you have two more choices:

You can request a replacement product key or you can purchase a new copy of Windows 8.1 from Microsoft, or another retailer like Amazon, which will of course come with a new and valid product key.

Requesting a replacement Windows 8 product key is going to be much more cost effective than buying an entirely new copy of Windows 8, but you may have to do that if the replacement doesn't work out.

Need More Help With Your Windows 8 Product Key Problem?

See Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more. Be sure to let me know what you've already tried so we can work from there.

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the drawing shed is a contemporary arts organisation set up in 2009; It is led by visual artists Sally Labern and Bobby Lloyd who practice both collaboratively and autonomously, using diverse media and engaging with ideas led work around creating ‘communities of the imagination‘ and issues of resilience,  resistance,  commonality,  class, and displacement. Based on two housing estates in Walthamstow, East London, from where they bridge on and off, the work is inter-generational and inter-cultural and involves diverse partners and communities which include teenage girls, boys, women, mixed gender adult groups and older people.

the drawing shed’s three trademark mobile spaces, established in 2009/10/11 as an artist-led resource, form a central platform for our creative practice and are at the heart of the drawing shed. These three mobile studios – the drawing shed, ClayOven and PrintBike (sponsored by Brompton) - live in the drawing shed’s three garages on The Drive housing estate E17, courtesy of the estate managers, Ascham Homes, from where the artists have run arts projects on the local estates, at Forest YMCA, and in settings across London since 2009. Through these mobile projects, the drawing shed is able to go to where people are rather than waiting for them to arrive, also using online tools, such as Twitter, where and when it fits. Bridging in and out of the durational project on the estates, social media, printmaking, festival, pop-up cinema, food, film, installation, ‘public’ intervention and live art writing are used to create art works, share ideas,  develop community-based performance and an inter-community dialogue.

the drawing shed works closely with University of East London (IHHD) on the relationship between creativity, networks and community cohesion. We have five years of diverse experience using our mobile studios to deliver contemporary arts projects that engage people on various levels always extending a real but critical dialogue. The artists often develop long-term relationships with individuals which allow complex and rich collaborations to emerge as trust develops. Integral to our work is a strong focus on developing dialogue that includes elements of friction and contested ideas, and the celebration of difference through the content of visual arts projects. Alongside this, we also respond as individuals and in collaboration to commission briefs for site specific and other work that extends our ideas and practice. While the work is led by Labern and Lloyd as lead artists, other artists are brought into the team for their willingness to engage with the unpredictable.

Funded by Arts Council England (ACE) in addition to local council ward funds and charitable trusts, the drawing shed has worked with diverse partners including: Well London with the Institute of Health and Human Development at University of East London (UEL/IHHD) and London Sustainability Exchange; Arts Council England (ACE); Goldsmiths College, University of London; Forest YMCA; Allies and Morrison; Dohaland; University of Qatar; Pentonville Prison; BAAT; A New Direction; Local Authorities; primary & secondary schools, including Walthamstow School for Girls; Walthamstow International Film Festival and E17 Art Trail; New Work Network; London Arts and Health Forum (LAHF); Live Art Development Agency; Studio Polpo; Immediate Theatre; Proboscis; Campaign for Drawing (Big Draw national award winners 2009), Heart in the Community (Public Health/Social Action for Health), Pakistani Community Forum, Well London Phase Two/UEL, and most recently in 2014 for Text Festival with Bury Art Museum and Sculpture Centre with The Public Typing Pool and residency, Bury Light Nights with the commission ‘Artificial Sunshine‘ and Wandsworth Arts Council and Public Health, for Some[w]Here research. 

 

 

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