Gone are the days when your PCs had the Certificate of Authenticity (CoA) sticker on them on which the product key was printed. When you bought your Windows 8 or 8.1 PCs, you probably didn’t find any such sticker because Microsoft has cut back on this practice. This is a way to prevent theft; previously, people could just take a look at the sticker on your laptop and find out the product key. While this is great for preventing theft, it creates a problem for you as you need the 25-digit product key if you are reinstalling the operating system.
If you want to download Windows 8 or 8.1 installation media from Microsoft, it is necessary for you to have a product key. You have to have a valid Windows 8 product key in order to do that. It is also handy if you want to do a fresh installation of Windows for getting rid of the excess that comes with your PC. So, how do you find your product key? Here are some ways you can do so:
Embedded in UEFI Firmware
A product key is encrypted in the UEFI firmware of PCs that come with Windows RT, 8 and 8.1. When the same version of Windows 8 or 8.1 is installed on a device that came with it, you don’t need the product key because it will be automatically activated and applied. However, this only happens when the same copy of Windows is being installed so you need to install the original version. But, for a different version installation, you need another method for getting the product key.
Running Windows System
The Window’s interface typically does not display the Windows 8 product key as it is hidden. Nonetheless, a third party application can be used for viewing the product key stored and it can be copied down and used. There are various utilities available that can be used for finding the product key.
Purchase Confirmation Email
If you have bought Windows 8 or 8.1 directly from Microsoft, you will automatically receive the product key for your Windows. How? Microsoft will send you an email at the time of purchase in which they will provide you with the Windows 8 product key. You can use it when you are re-installing your operating system.
A retail Window Box
When you don’t purchase your Windows online and buy a retail, boxed copy, you will be provided with the key. There will be a card in the box that will have the product key. It will typically have a picture of a key printed on it.
These are some of the ways you can find your Windows 8 product key. Once you have the key, you will have no trouble in re-installing the operating system if you wish or installing another. Likewise, you will be able to download whatever media you want from Microsoft’s page without any hassle. You can simply enter the product key and go on with it.