Troubleshooting Windows 10 activation: listing or error codes and correcting

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Have you upgraded to Windows 10 and cannot use all features due to activation errors? Some common activation errors may appear on your newly installed Windows 10. Learn what this activation error means, common Windows 10 activation errors, and how to correct them.

When you upgrade to Windows 10, the new operating system takes the product key and activation details from your old operating system. These are then stored with your PC data on Microsoft servers. If you clean the Windows installation the first time, you may experience activation problems. If this is the first time you upgraded, enabled Windows 10, and then installed on the same PC, there is no activation problem because the operating system retrieves the activation details from Microsoft servers.

Windows 10 activation troubleshooting

We were unable to activate Windows 10

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Windows 10 is not activated after the free Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 Update


If you encounter an inactive state after your free upgrade to Windows 10, follow these instructions:

  1. and check if a valid license is available for your device. If no valid license is available, you must purchase Windows from the store.

If there is no on your activation page, contact your organization’s support.

True validation detects manipulated Windows binaries. (Error Code: 0xC004C4AE)

If you are using a third-party application to add a display language that is not currently supported by Windows, you can see the error above. To fix the problem, restore your PC at an earlier time to undo the changes you made to Windows.

The software license service has determined that this specified product key may only be used for upgrades and not for own installations. (Error Code: 0xC004F061)))

The above activation error occurs if an earlier version of Windows was not installed on your PC before you entered a product key for the upgrade.

A network problem occurred when activating your Windows copy. (Error Code: 0xC004FC03)(2)

This activation error occurs when your PC is not connected to the Internet or when your PC’s firewall settings prevent Windows from terminating the online activation process. In this case, make sure you are connected to the Internet and that the firewall is not trying to prevent Windows from activating. If you still experience this problem, you can try to activate Windows by phone.

The activation server reported that the product key exceeded its share limit. (Error Code: 0xC004C008)(2)

The error occurs if the product key you are trying to use has already been used on another PC or is used on more than one PC than permitted by the terms of the Microsoft software license. To solve this activation problem, purchase a product key for each of your PCs to activate Windows on them.

You can purchase a product key in the Windows store by following these steps:

  1. , and follow the displayed instructions to purchase Windows.

This product key did not work (Error Code: 0xC004C003)

The above activation error occurs frequently when you use an invalid product key. You must purchase a new product key. If you purchased a PC with Windows preinstalled, you must ask the PC manufacturer for the original key.

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