If you want to reinstall Windows 7, you need to know the product key. But if you no longer have it at hand, that's not a problem!

Since Windows XP, the product key has been a prerequisite for a legal Windows installation. This also applies to the still-popular Windows 7. The 25-digit combination of numbers and letters must be entered each time the system is reinstalled. If this does not happen, Windows will refuse activation on the PC.

In the current Windows 10, the key is stored in the BIOS or in your Microsoft account, among other things. You can find out how to read out your Windows 10 product key here. Quite different with Windows 7: There it is only in the Windows registry. This means: If the hard disk is formatted during a new installation, the key is lost. The key is also important when moving a Windows installation to a new computer.

Windows 7: You can find the product key here

Before you resort to technical aids, you should check whether you cannot find out the windows 7 ultimate product key in this way. This is often very easy, especially for laptop owners: the manufacturers often print the product key on a sticker on the underside of the laptop. Corresponding stickers are also often found on desktop PCs with pre-installed Windows 7. If the text is still legible, you can simply write down the key or take a photo.

If you bought Windows 7 as a box, you will find the product key in the user manual. If you bought a digital license, however, you received the product key for Windows by email. Some online shops may also offer access to the license data via access to your user account. If necessary, ask the dealer if you still have the contact details.

How to activate Windows 7 from the operating system:

  • Presses Windows + Pause to view basic information about the computer. Alternatively, you can find it under Control Panel, System and Security, System.
  • Scroll down and click the link under Windows Activation.
  • Click on Activate Windows Online Now in the new window, enter the key and follow the instructions. Finished.
  • If you don't have an internet connection, you will also see the option Show other activation methods. Use this to activate the operating system by phone, for example.
  • Then select the place that is closest to your current location in the drop-down list and click on Next.
  • Call the phone number provided and enter the installation ID, which is displayed on the screen, using the buttons on your phone.
  • You will then receive your activation code by phone, which you can type into blocks A to H below. Finally click on Next.

If you have misplaced your product key / license key or can no longer find it, you can bypass Windows 7 activation. To do this, some files that are responsible for Windows activation have to be renamed. Since these are protected by the system in advance, you have to change the owner of the respective files to the administrators group beforehand. After a Windows 7 restart, the operating system then displays the entry in the system properties: Status ID not available.

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