Windows

How to use Software Licensing Management Tool (slmgr) to install and uninstall Windows product key

Activation is the process by which your Windows device is licensed and considered genuine. Activation helps verify that your copy of Windows is genuine and hasn’t been used on more devices than the Microsoft Software License Terms permits. See the following guide on how to find your Windows 10 Product key and how to replace your windows license via the Graphical User Interface (GUI), “check Windows 10 activation status and change your product key“. The Software Licensing Management Tool (slmgr) commands are used to enable advanced Windows activation tasks (change, uninstall, or install) your product key. See this guide on other methods to find your Windows product key, how to activate DriveLock License on Windows Server, and how to find your Windows 10 Product key.

The "slmgr" is a Visual Basic Script (VBScript) in Windows. The primary aim of this tool is for volume activation.  The following figure below describes the syntax of the slmgr.vbs script.

Slmgr ipk: Ipk means, “Install Product Key”. If you intend activating Windows via the command-line, this can be realized by running the syntax “Slmgr -ipk” followed by your product key. To do this, launch the Windows Command Prompt with Administrative rights as shown below.

– This will open the command line interface, enter the command and your product key as shown below.
– Press enter when you are done. You should get a prompt showing the product key status is valid or invalid.

Slmgr dlv: After running the above command “Slmgr -ipk” to activate Windows, you can run the “Slmgr dlv” to see whether your Windows license is activated. If this is the case, the window that opens shows the entry Licensed under License status. To do this, launch the command prompt with Admin privileges.

Slmgr dti: In the course of no internet connection or you are working in an isolated environment and you wish to activate your Windows PC, this can be achieved with the “slgmr -dti” command. This will ensure your Windows is activated offline without an Internet connection. To do this, enter the command in the command prompt with administrator privilege as shown below.

Slmgr upk: You can also uninstall Windows keys using the slmgr.vbs script. This is useful if you want to transfer the key from one PC to another.

Slmgr rearm: The command can be used to extend (delay) Windows activation. As described in the table above, it resets the evaluation period and licensing status, and activation state of the computer. To do this, launch the Windows Command Prompt with Administrative rights

In the Command Prompt Window, please enter the following key: slmgr -rearm

You will have to restart your system in order for the changes to take effect. This command can be run about 3 times consecutively after the original activation period has expired and this amounts to a period of 120 days.

Slmgr -xpr: To display the expiration date of the current license, run the following command. This is only useful for a Windows system activated from an organization’s KMS server, as retail licenses and multiple activation keys result in a perpetual license that won’t expire.
– As you can see below, I do not have a license and my Windows is currently in the “Notification Mode”. What this means is that the windows system has changed to being in a “grace period” and the system is running without being fully activated. See Slmgr rearm above for how to extend your license validity.

Slmgr /dli: This will display the current license information with activation status and partial product key as shown below. – As you can see below, I do not have a license and my Windows is currently in the “Notification Mode”. What this means is that the windows system has changed to being in a “grace period” and the system is running without being fully activated.

Perform slmgr (Windows Activation) actions on remote devices
You can also remotely administer computers on your network by using the following syntax below. The square brackets [] enclose optional arguments, and angle brackets <> enclose placeholders. When you type these statements, omit the brackets and replace the placeholders with your values. The following figure below describes the syntax of the slmgr.vbs script. Use any syntax of your choice.

slmgr.vbs [<ComputerName> [<User> <Password>]] [<Options>]
slmgr.vbs computername username password /option

I am certainly not sure if the image above did a good in explaining these commands, kindly see the following table below for more slmgr syntax.

The slmgr syntax
ItemExplanation
MachineNameThe machine to administer. Defaults to the local machine if omitted.
usernameThe username of an administrator account on the remote machine.
passwordThe password for username.
/atoActivate Windows license and product key against Microsoft’s server.
/atp Confirmation_IDActivate the product with a user-provided Confirmation_ID
/cdnsDisable DNS publishing by the KMS host.
/ckhcDisable KMS host caching.
/ckmsClear the name of KMS server used to default and port to default.
/cpkyDelete the Windows product key from Windows Registry.
/cpriSet the KMS priority to low.
/dliDisplay the current license information with activation status and partial product key.
/dlvDisplay additional license information. Similar to /dli but more detailed.
/dtiDisplay Installation ID for offline activation.
/ipk keyChange the Windows product key. Replaces the current product key if present.
/ilc fileInstall a license file.
/rilc Reinstall system license files.
/rearmReset the evaluation period/licensing status and activation state of the computer. Use /rearm-app to specify an app, or /rearm-sku for a specific sku.
/skmsSet the Volume Licensing KMS server and/or the port used for KMS activation.
/skhcEnable KMS host caching (enabled by default). This blocks the use of DNS priority and weight after the initial discovery of a working KMS host.
/sai intervalSets the interval in minutes for unactivated clients to attempt KMS connection.
/spriSet the KMS priority to normal (default).
/sprt portSet the port on which the KMS host listens for client activation requests (default TCP port is 1688).
/sdnsEnable DNS publishing by the KMS host (default).
/upkUninstall the currently installed Windows product key and return the license status back to a trial state.
/xprShow the expiry date of the current license or indicate whether activation is permanent.

I hope you found this blog post helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment session.

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