UPDATE: July 2023 – If this does not work for you, you may find this updated article more useful: How To Easily Convert Windows Server Evaluation To Standard / Datacenter

If you are having problems activating Windows 10, Server 2016, Windows 8, or Server 2012 one of these three solutions below should get you through:

Command Line to Launch Activation GUI:

This is handy if the GUI won’t start and you want to skip some steps to get it to work.

  1. click START (gets you to the tiles)4-no-change-product-key-link-missing-dns-error-0x8007232b-dns-error-activate
  2. type RUN
  3. type slui 3 and press ENTER
    1. yes, SLUI: which stands for SOFTWARE LICENSING USER INTERFACE
      1. SLUI 1 brings up the activation status window
      2. SLUI 2 brings up the activation window
      3. SLUI 3 brings up the CHANGE PRODUCT KEY window
      4. SLUI 4 brings up the CALL MICROSOFT & MANUALLY ACTIVATE window
  4. Type in your product key
  5. Have a nice day.

Command Line to Activate Windows Through Command Line:

  1. Launch a CMD as an Administratorcommand-line-to-activate-windows-slmgr-slui
  2. Type: slmgr.vbs /ipk xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx
  3. Press Enter

If your key is valid and you are connected to the internet, it should activate within a second or two.

Call Microsoft Activation Center:

In Canada and the US, call the support line directly at 1 800-936-4900, otherwise, use this table of Microsoft Activation Phone Numbers to do the deed.

You also might find some of our previous posts on activation problems to be helpful:  urtech.ca/?s=activation


Elena Gilbert · August 15, 2022 at 6:09 pm

This is a great tutorial! I have been struggling to activate Windows 10 on my work computer for a while now. This is the solution I was looking for!

kucelkj · July 23, 2019 at 9:01 am

Thank you for good info and advice! -Ken

David Wagner · April 28, 2019 at 5:14 am

I did what JamieP suggested and it worked for me.

Using just SLUI (no option) from cmd line with Windows firewall turned off and it worked like a charm

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