computer tech supportWhen seeking tech support from Reddit at, be in the know that a Windows product key is available only at As a matter of fact, the people at Microsoft Support warn that getting a product key from any other website or from a peer-to-peer (P2P) network could put your computer in harm’s way of a malware attack.

A Windows 10 product key is a code comprising 25 characters presented in this format xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx that functions as an activator of the Windows 10 software about to be installed in the user’s computer.

However, the need for a Windows 10 product key depends on how and from where the Windows 10 software was purchased. Windows users should have awareness that when Microsoft launched Windows 10 in 2016, activation was simplified by requiring only a digital license, which came with the Windows Terms of Agreement.

Apparently, the product key became less important as it was essential only in certain circumstances and use cases.

In essence, the digital license replaced the product key because buyers of a new Windows 10 become holders of a digital license that is linked to their respective Microsoft account. Actually, digital licenses are also linked to user hardware.
Moreover, the link automatically connected their Windows 10 account to the Internet.

Use Cases when a Windows 10 Product Key is Necessary in Activating the OS

There are certain circumstances when a purchaser of a Windows 10 does not receive a digital license upon purchase. Some users are using hardware that has not been linked to a product key albeit using an older version of Windows OS, which they want to upgrade to Windows 10.

In such use cases, a new product key has to be purchased from the Microsoft Store by choosing the option “Buy Product Key.”

Microsoft will send the product key by way of email that also confirms that the new product key related to the new Windows 10 OS has been linked to the buyer’s existing hardware

Some older versions of MS Windows were disk-based, and came in boxes or packages containing a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) card where the product key can be found hidden by a grey scratchable matter. If a user is unsure about his product key, he can check it in the Product Key Table found in the Windows 10 Activation thread.

After confirming the authenticity of the product key, he still has to buy a new product key from the Microsoft Store; but this time he must choose the option “Replace Product Key.” Doing so will remove the old product key in the Product Key Table and will be replaced by the newly purchased 25-character code. Through this option. Microsoft also sends information about the product key and the related confirmation.

Bear in mind that product keys and digital licenses are linked to the computer hardware of a user and his or her Microsoft account. This denotes that a single Windows 10  purchased from the MS Stores cannot be installed in multiple computers using only one digital license or product key. In such cases, a license or product key will have to be purchased for every computer.

computer hardwareWhen a computer breakdown required the replacement of hardware such as the motherboard, the Windows technology running on that computer will fail. Replacing hardware also requires buying either a digital licence or product key, as determined by the method by which the Windows OS was purchased.