SOLVED: Where Are The License Keys For Server 2016 Virtual Machines AVMA?

If you have Server 2016 Data Center your server likely came with a single COA (Certificate of Authenticity) sticker containing a single DataCenter CD Key.  If you then try to use that Key to activate new Server 2016 or Server 2012 Standard VM’s it will fail.  This is because Server 2012 R2 and Server 2016 VM’s use a different activate process than previous versions of Windows Server.

amva-vm-hyperv-activation-componentServer 2012 R2 and Server 2016 now use “Automatic Virtual Machine Activation” or AVMA which means that the VM’s have a special driver loaded that lets them confirm the host version is licensed and activated properly.  If it is, the VM’s will use the following “free” Product Keys:

Windows Server 2016 EditionAVMA key


Windows Server 2012 R2 EditionAVMA key



To get this function to work, your VM needs to have the DATA EXCHANGE, Integration Service enabled, which most do by default.

If you want to enter a Product Key using PowerShell use the following command:

slmgr –ipk <productkey>

for example:




  1. Suresh August 11, 2020 at 6:56 am

    Thanks a lot

  2. codey spades April 3, 2020 at 12:02 am

    for 2016 standard:

    dism /online /set-edition:ServerStandard /productkey:WC2BQ-8NRM3-FDDYY-2BFGV-KHKQY /accepteula

  3. Naibaf July 18, 2019 at 7:29 am

    Thanks so much! excellent post!.
    But, 2016 standard key does not work.

  4. james October 31, 2018 at 6:48 am


Questions or Comments?