Finding your product key is strictly related to the type of your Windows 10 copy. You can either purchase a digital license or a physical one. There is one more situation you need to consider for this version of Windows, as Microsoft offered a free upgrade to Windows 10 to all people who were already using Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 at the moment. Because of the many modalities of getting a copy of Windows 10, people often struggle with finding their product key. This article will explain in simpler words how to find yours, depending on how you got your Windows 10 copy. Here’s how:
For physical copies purchased from authorized retailers
The first and easiest situation is buying a physical copy from a shop that has a Microsoft authorization. The physical copy of Windows 10 includes a USB or a DVD, along with a manual for installing the Operating System. The product key comes in the box, either on a label or a card. In order to use the product key, you simply need to copy it from the label/card and insert it where it is needed. It would be a good idea to store the code digitally as well, to just copy and paste it next time you need it.
For new PCs that come with Windows 10 included
If you just bought a new PC and it has a pre-installed Windows 10 Operating System, the product key can be in two different places. The first situation is when your PC came with the Windows 10 box included in the packaging. In this case, you should follow the tips mentioned above, for physical copies. The second situation is when your PC has a Certificate of Authenticity attached to it. The COA contains the product key. In case you can’t find one of these files, contact the retail shop or the hardware manufacturer of the PC.
For digital copies purchased from the official Microsoft website
Buying a digital copy of Windows 10 is fast, but many people overlook a small detail: the product key is always provided in the email that the customer receives once he paid for the product. The digital copy of Windows 10 can only be activated using the email that you received for the license your purchased. In case you encounter problems with your digital copy, you can either see the activation guide for Windows 10 provided on the official Microsoft website, or you can contact Microsoft Support and discuss with a team member.
For copies obtained via a free upgrade
Finally, if you upgraded to Windows 10 for free because you already owned a Windows 7 or 8.1 copy at the time, you don’t possess a product key. Instead, you are provided with a digital license. More information about these digital licenses can be gathered by reading more about Windows 10 Activation at Microsoft.
Extra tip: contacting the manufacturer
If you can’t seem to find your product key but you still have other details about your Windows 10 license, you can always contact the manufacturer of the product directly. The same applies if you found your product key, but it is unusable because it suffered damage such as scratching or blurring.