How to deactivate and uninstall Windows Product Key

Before you sell or dispose of your computer, you would probably back up your data and then format the drives. But there is something you must do if you wish to dispose of it without uninstalling the Windows operating system. After you back up your data, you should uninstall the Windows Product Key. In this tutorial, we will see how you can deactivate and uninstall the Windows Product Key. Although the screenshots I have used are from one of my Windows 7 laptop, this applies to Windows 10/8 as well.

We will have to make use of Windows Software Licensing Management Tool or slmgr.vbs, which is a command line licensing tool. It is a Visual Basic script, used to manage and configure licensing in Windows OS.

Uninstall Windows Product Key

To begin with, you will need to know the Activation ID of your Windows installation. To view licensing status and Activation ID, open an elevated command prompt windows, type the following and hit Enter:

slmgr.vbs /dlv

To get all the Activation IDs for all the installed version of Windows, you can use:

slmgr.vbs /dlv all

The /dlv parameter will display detailed license information for the installed operating system. Specifying the all parameter displays all applicable installed products’ license information.

You may click on any of the images to see the larger versions.

uninstall windows product key 1

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.

uninstall windows product key 2

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

slmgr /upk <Activation ID>

Here upk stands for uninstall product key. The /upk parameter uninstalls the product key of the current Windows edition. After a restart, the system will be in an Unlicensed state unless a new product key is installed.

If you entered it wrongly by mistake, you will see the following error message – Product key not found.

uninstall windows product key 3

If you entered it correctly you will see the message – Uninstalled product key successfully.

uninstall windows product key 4

Now if you check your Windows activation status in the Control Panel, you will see Not available.

uninstall windows product key 5

Once you have done this, you could sell or dispose off the laptop and use the Windows Product Key elsewhere, provided its licensing terms allow it. If it is a Retail key, you could do so, but if it is an OEM key, it would be tied to the machine.

Re-install Windows Product Key

In case you wish to reinstall this key, you can again take the help of slmgr. Type the following command in a Command Prompt (Admin) and hit Enter.

The /ipk parameter will install a 5×5 product key. Here ipk stands for install product key. If the key is valid and applicable, the key is installed. If a key is already installed, it is silently replaced. If the key is invalid, an error is returned.

slmgr /ipk <Windows Product Key>

uninstall windows product key 6

Do note that now you have to use your genuine Windows Product Key or License. It is the 25 character Product Key or Software License that we have to use here. It is this serial that is required during installation/activation of Windows, and proves your ownership. If you did it correctly, you will see Installed product key successfully message.

deactivate and uninstall Windows Product Key

Now if you open your Control Panel you will see Windows is activated message.

uninstall windows product key 7g

Additional parameters you may find useful:

  1. The /cpky option removes the product key from the registry to prevent this key from being stolen by malicious code.
  2. The /rearm option resets the activation timers.

Additional links that may interest you:

  1. How to find Windows Product Key
  2. SkipRearm lets you use Windows without activating.
Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.


  1. Stephen

    I have always used “slmgr.vbs -ipk” and product key

  2. could this be used to transfer keys to another computer?

  3. Steve S.

    I imagine if your version of Windows is a retail version, this would let you transfer it to a new computer (if you built a new one with a new motherboard and/or processor for example). However, it probably won’t work with OEM versions of Windows.

  4. Muhammad Abdullah

    Great informative content, Anyway recently, Being Searched on Google, I just got a product key from: ODosta Store
    It worked perfectly. I’m so excited to share my experience here.their customer service is top class and I will definitely be recommending the site and I will be using the site again.

  5. bourhila montasir

    OOK BUT AM GETTING AN error 5 demands a higher privilege what is it talking about am the admin??

  6. Adrian Groza

    You have to run the command prompt with the Run as administrator option.Despite the fact that you are the admin of the pc (default user account in w10),in reality there is another account that is some kind of super-administrator.

  7. bourhila montasir

    Yes I’m feeling kind of stupide now not knowing that these cmds requires run as administrator

  8. Dianajewh Hoffmantjm

    Go to google search ” Vanskeys . com ” to get windows 10 key.

  9. Adrian

    I have had to change my MB and win 10 now says Its not activated, can I use any activation code to activate or must I do a clean instal

  10. Simone Antonelli

    You have to use the serial of the version you have upgraded

  11. Aurelia Walsh

    I just get windows key go site vanskeys. 100% genuine it provide.

  12. Stephen

    lol price are so high, look at g2a, kinguin and plati

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