After going for the free upgrade option for Windows 10, many users still want to keep Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 version on their systems. The reason includes less complexity of Windows Update and software conflicts, which makes Windows 8 a more reliable OS. Now, if you are using Windows 7, it is not always mandatory to have a product activation code for upgrading to Windows 8.
However, if you are using any other older Windows OS, it will require an appropriate Windows 8 product key for activating this version.
Now, if you want more information on how to activate Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 on your computer, keep reading this article. Here, we will discuss step-by-step instructions for activating product key for these Windows versions. Also, we will cover a few tips that enable the users to install Windows 8/8.1 if the product key is missing somehow.
Why Windows 8 Product Key is Necessary for Installing Windows 8
While installing Windows or any other OS version, it requires a proper activation key for registering the product on the computer. As the security features are quite advanced in versions like Windows 8, 8.1, and 10, the installation is not possible without entering the product key.
So, if you are looking for installing Windows 8, you need to obtain the correct activation code. Since this article is going to cover the details on the Windows 8 product key, you can go through the technical details in the information below.
The Correct Format for Windows Product Activation Key
Before discussing the stepwise sequence to activate Windows 8 using the product key, let’s discuss what is it and how it looks like. Basically, the product key for Windows 8 consists of 25 characters code, which is provided by Microsoft. In case, you lack this serial key, you won’t be able to activate Windows 8 without the help from technicians.
You will see that this Windows 8 product key looks have this format: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX.
When you purchase a licensed version of Windows 8, the manufacturer provides the code along with the installation CD/DVD. Whereas, for those who order this product from online, they will receive the activation key in the form of a downloadable program. In some cases, the key is provided to you via email as well.
Now, if you are unable to locate the serial key to activate Windows 8, there are a few tips to obtain the product code. There are ways that can activate the Windows version even if the user has not purchased the activation key.
However, you need to consult a reliable Windows solution provider to obtain working keys at no additional cost.
Things You Need to Consider While Selecting Windows Systems with Working Serial Key
In order to ensure that all the product features of Windows 8 or 8.1 are available to users, a genuine version is essential. Hence, your requirement is a reliable source that can offer only original Windows OS along with its product activation key.
To know where to approach for obtaining genuine Windows 8 product key, go through the following points
You can visit an electronic shop on an online website that provides pre-installed Windows 8 or 8.1 version. By purchasing a product from such sources, it ensures that your device has an original activation code for the Windows version.
If you want to obtain a system with activated Windows product key, you can select a refurbished PC. In case your system is already running Windows 7 with proper activation code, you can switch to Windows 8.
However, you need to check whether your old system can upgrade to the new version using the Windows 8 product key. You can also consult a professional to downgrade from an activated version of Windows 10 to Windows 8. This can eliminate the need to spend the extra amount for purchasing a new serial key to activate Windows 8.
Instructions to Locate the Windows 8 Product Key and Activate the Software
The serial key to activate Windows 8 is a vital aspect of the system. Hence, any tempering can result in deactivating the license from Microsoft and make Windows inactive.
Now, if you want to know the step-wise details on how to find the activation code for Windows, check out the following information.
Steps to Find Windows 8 Activation Key
If you want to obtain the product key for Windows 8 irrespective of its edition, there are many programs to assist you. However, you can search the internet or a third-party solution to download and install this software.
But, this applies to users who already are using Windows-based computers and need to activate the license after it has expired.
So, try to install a reliable audit program for your computer that comes with the feature of key finding tool. As it is impossible to determine the actual location of the Windows 8 product key in the registry, this kind of software can be useful.
Now, after you select an appropriate key finder tool for your system, follow the installation process to launch it. Then, install the audit program from a different brand than the one providing the key locating software.
Steps to Activate Windows 8 Serial Key
After installing both these programs on your computer, restart your Windows and go to Desktop. Then, locate the icon for ‘My Computer’ and right-click on it. Next, click on the ‘Properties’ option and wait for the new dialog box.
Now, navigate to the tab for ‘Windows Activate Now’ and try to access the section of Software License for Windows 8. This is where you will have to enter the combination series of 25-characters indicating the serial key for Windows.
Many times, users are unable to load these programs to find the Windows 8 serial number. Hence, they can go through the product documentation page or obtain the serial key in the form of a sticker on their Windows devices. Otherwise, they can make use of the trial product keys available on various sites for activating Windows 8.
Instructions to Run Windows 8 Without Entering the Serial Key
Sometimes, users can experience various issues due to lack of proper Windows 8 product key in their machines. This can mainly happen when you are having the ISO image file for Windows 8.1, which doesn’t activate without serial key. Hence, if you want to bypass the step to enter the product key and install Windows 8 or 8.1 for trial purpose, it is possible.
So, let’s take a look at the steps that will enable you to skip the process of typing product key while carrying out the Windows 8.1 setup.
Prerequisites Before Windows 8.1 Installation without the Product Key
In order to apply this method, you need to extract the files from the Windows 8.1 ISO image. Then, locate the edition configuration filename ei.cfg and make some modifications in it. In case you are not a tech-savvy person, you can directly approach a professional to crack the code and launch Windows 8.1. Otherwise, open the file and make sure that it has enough details about the Windows version you are using.
By providing the information here, it will ensure that Windows Setup doesn’t look for a product key during activation. Now, follow this step by step guidance in order to activate Windows 8.1 on your PC without serial key.
Before you proceed to the instructions part, make sure to back up all the valuable data on your PC. Also, this entire activation and installation process of Windows 8.1 will require above 3GB of free space. In addition to this, your device needs to have a direct power supply along with stable Internet connectivity.
Now, apply the following instructions for launching Windows 8.1 without the need of Windows 8 product key.
Steps to Install Windows 8.1 After Bypassing Activation Key
The following points cover the step-wise guidance to run Windows 8.1 without any need to type the product key.
Step 1: Extract the Edition Configuration File
In case you are making use of a USB drive for storing the Windows 8.1 installation media, browse to that folder after inserting the device. Otherwise, for those using CD/DVD for installing Windows 8.1, locate the ISO file in the disc. You can use a utility program that can access the ISO image file without tampering its structure.
Now, let’s assume that you are accessing the Windows 8.1 installer from the USB drive. Hence, open the accurate location and locate the file for ‘ei.cfg’ from the list of items in the folder.
Step 2: Launch Text Editor to View ei.cfg File
In order to view the contents in this specific file, you will need a text editor program on your computer. Hence, you can use software like Notepad or Notepad++ for seeing the texts in ‘ei.cfg’ file.
Due to any reason, if this file doesn’t exist on your PC, you need to create a separate text document. Also, try to rename this file and name it as ‘ei.cfg’.
Next, with respect to the Windows version or edition provided to you as the installer, you will have to amend the file. For users who want to activate Windows 8.1 Professional edition, you can copy the following text and paste it in your ei.cfg file. But, remember to clear the already existing content from this file before pasting the following texts.
Make sure to save the above lines in the edition configuration file and launch the setup for Windows 8.1. Now, you will notice that the installer is not asking for any kind of product key for activating Windows 8.1.
However, if you want to install Windows 8 without a serial key, the instructions and texts for ei.cfg can vary accordingly. So, if you have any queries regarding the Windows 8 product key or the steps in this article, you can consult a Windows expert.