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 permit. 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“.
Moreover, the Software Licensing Management Tool (slmgr) commands are used to enable advanced Windows activation tasks (change, manage, 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.
Software Licensing Management (slmgr) commands
The “slmgr” is a Visual Basic Script (VBScript) in Windows. Its main purpose is for volume activation. The following figure below describes the syntax of the slmgr.vbs script.
To begin, “Ipk” means “Install Product Key.” If your goal is to activate Windows through the command-line, you can achieve this by executing the syntax “Slmgr -ipk” followed by your product key.
In order to proceed, launch the Windows Command Prompt with Administrative rights as demonstrated below. Since our objective is to utilize the command prompt for tasks such as installing, managing, and uninstalling Windows product keys, it’s crucial to follow these steps.
This will open the command line interface. Here, you can enter the command along with your product key as demonstrated below.
Press enter when you are done. At this point, you should receive a prompt indicating whether the product key status is valid or invalid.
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.
Also, see how to fix “Error 0x8007232B: Can’t activate Windows on this device as we can’t connect to your organization’s activation server“, and how to enable Amazon S3 default bucket encryption using S3 Console.
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.
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.
Extend (delay) Windows activation
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.
To display the expiration date of the current license, run the following command. This information is specifically relevant to a Windows system activated through an organization’s KMS (Key Management Service) server.
Retail licenses and multiple activation keys typically result in a perpetual license that doesn’t expire.
However, as you can see below, I do not have a license, and my Windows is currently in “Notification Mode”. This situation implies that the Windows system has entered a “grace period,” and it’s currently running without full activation. For a solution, see Slmgr rearm above for how to extend your license validity.
In contrast, on my second device, I have an Evaluation license and you can see the expiry date as shown below.
Upon executing the command, this will display the current license information with activation status and partial product key as shown below.
However, it’s important to note that, as you can see below, I do not have a license, and my Windows is currently in “Notification Mode”.
This situation indicates that the Windows system has entered a “grace period,” and it’s currently running without full activation.
Perform slmgr (Windows Activation) actions on remote devices
You can also remotely administer computers on your network by using the following syntax below. It’s important to note that 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. Feel free to utilize 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
|Some slmgr syntax|
|MachineName||The machine to administer. Defaults to the local machine if omitted.|
|username||The username of an administrator account on the remote machine.|
|password||The password for username.|
|/ato||Activate Windows license and product key against Microsoft’s server.|
|/atp Confirmation_ID||Activate the product with a user-provided Confirmation_ID.|
|/cdns||Disable DNS publishing by the KMS host.|
|/ckhc||Disable KMS host caching.|
|/ckms||Clear the name of KMS server used to default and port to default.|
|/cpky||Delete the Windows product key from Windows Registry.|
|/cpri||Set the KMS priority to low.|
|/dli||Display the current license information with activation status and partial product key.|
|/dlv||Display additional license information. Similar to /dli but more detailed.|
|/dti||Display Installation ID for offline activation.|
|/ipk key||Change the Windows product key. Replaces the current product key if present.|
|/ilc file||Install a license file.|
|/rilc||Reinstall system license files.|
|/rearm||Reset 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.|
|/skms||Set the Volume Licensing KMS server and/or the port used for KMS activation.|
|/skhc||Enable 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 interval||Sets the interval in minutes for unactivated clients to attempt KMS connection.|
|/spri||Set the KMS priority to normal (default).|
|/sprt port||Set the port on which the KMS host listens for client activation requests (default TCP port is 1688).|
|/sdns||Enable DNS publishing by the KMS host (default).|
|/upk||Uninstall the currently installed Windows product key and return the license status back to a trial state.|
|/xpr||Show the expiry date of the current license or indicate whether activation is permanent.|
I hope you found this blog post on how to manage Windows product key helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment session.