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Windows 11 won’t activate after Reset, Clean Install or Update

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If your Windows 11/10 won’t activate after Reset, Clean Install, or Update, then this article will help you to fix this issue. You cannot use all the features of the Windows 11 operating system until you activate its license.

Windows 11 won’t activate after Reset, Clean Install or Update

Windows 11 won’t activate after Reset, Clean Install or Update

If your Windows 11/10 won’t activate after a reset, clean install, or an update, one of these suggestions is sure to help you activate Windows:

  1. Are you using the right product key?
  2. Run the Activation Troubleshooter
  3. Rebuild the Tokens.dat file
  4. Uninstall Windows Product Key
  5. Activate via Phone
  6. Uninstall the Windows Update
  7. Contact Microsoft Support

Windows Activation helps verify that your copy of Windows is genuine and hasn’t been used on more devices than the Microsoft Software License Terms allow.

1] Are you using the right product key?

Microsoft Product Keys

Make sure that you are using the right product key to activate the Windows 11 operating system. Check where you have saved the license key to confirm that you are using the right key to activate your Windows license.

You can view your Windows license key via the Command Prompt. In most modern computers, the product key is injected into the computer motherboard at the factory. Therefore, you can run the required command to view the product key and see if the Command Prompt window displays the same. If it works, you will be able to know the right product key.

product key

Open the Command Prompt, copy the following command, and paste it into the Command Prompt window. After that, press Enter.

wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey

Read: How to check if the Windows Key is Genuine or Legit

2] Run the Activation Troubleshooter

Running the Activation Troubleshooter can help fix this issue; however, this Activation troubleshooter only appears when your Windows 11 won’t activate. The following instructions will guide you on this:

Windows Activation Troubleshooter

  1. Open Windows 11 Settings.
  2. Go to System > Activation.
  3. Expand the Activation state. If the activation state is Not active, you will see the Troubleshoot button there.
  4. Click on the Troubleshoot button to launch the Activation Troubleshooter.

After running the troubleshooter, see if the problem is fixed.

3] Rebuild the Tokens.dat file

The Tokens.dat file in the Windows operating system is a digitally signed file that stores most of the Windows activation files. Sometimes, the Tokens.dat file may get corrupted, which may cause Windows activation not to occur successfully. Rebuild the Tokens.dat file and then try to activate Windows again.

4] Uninstall Windows Product Key

uninstall windows product key 4

To view licensing status and Activation ID, open an elevated command prompt window, type the following, and hit Enter:

slmgr.vbs /dlv

You will see a Windows Script Host window open up giving you details about your Windows licensing and activation status. Here look for Activation ID and note it down.

Now in the same command prompt window, type the following and hit Enter:

slmgr /upk <Activation ID>

Here upk stands for uninstall product key.

Once you have uninstalled the product key, change your Windows key and see if the OS activates. You may do this via Windows Settings or use the following command:

slmgr /ipk <Windows Product Key>

Here ipk stands for install product key.

5] Activate via Phone

Activate Windows 11/10 by Phone

Try activating Windows via Phone. To activate Windows 11/10 by phone, open the Run box, and type slui.exe 4 to open up a box that will let you activate your Windows via the telephone. Follow the instructions once the wizard opens.

6] Uninstall the Windows Update

How to Uninstall Windows Updates in Windows 11

If Windows got deactivated after installing an Update, we suggest you uninstall the Windows Update and see. If that does not help, perform System Restore and see if that helps.

7] Contact Microsoft Support

Contact Support

If your Windows 11 still won’t activate, you can use the built-in Contact Support app to contact Microsoft Support.

This list of Windows Activation errors and Windows Upgrade & Installation errors may help you further troubleshoot the issue. Advanced users may want to see how to troubleshoot Windows Activation states.

Does Clean install of Windows 11 erase everything?

Yes, a Clean install of Windows 11 erases all your data. Make sure you back up your data before you proceed with the Clean Installation of Windows 11. To perform the clean installation, you need a bootable USB flash drive with the Windows 11 ISO file. Use any third-party tool like Rufus to make your USB flash drive bootable.

How to repair Windows 11 from BIOS?

You cannot repair Windows 11 from BIOS. To repair Windows 11, you can use the built-in repair tool called Startup Repair. You need to enter the Windows Recovery Environment to run the Startup repair. You can also repair Windows using SFC. DISM, FixWin, Reset PC and other tools.

Read next: We can’t activate Windows on this device as we can’t connect to your organizations server.

Windows 11 won’t activate after Reset, Clean Install or Update



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