Troubleshoot Windows 10/8/7 Activation States

If for some reason your Windows 10/8/7 online activation fails completely, you may see an Activate by Telephone option in the wizard. You can always use the Product Activation Wizard and use the Activate by phone or Contact customer support for help options to activate your Windows copy.

In case a connection to the Internet is not available or if you get any of the following messages, in spite of having a genuine key, phone activation is then the best choice:

The Windows product key you typed is invalid for activation

The Product key you typed cannot be used to activate Windows on this computer

Windows has many license states; from Licensed to Unlicensed and many in between:

Licensed: You see this status after a successful activation.

Initial Grace Period: This is the state after you have installed Windows, but have not activated it. You will be reminded to activate, or Windows will attempt to activate it online automatically.

Additional Grace Period: If major hardware changes are made to your computer, Windows may prompt you to reactivate Windows.

Notification Period:
Once the grace period expires, you will see a message that Activation is required.

Non-Genuine Grace Period: You may see this after Windows Genuine Advantage has determined that your Windows copy is not genuine.

Unlicensed: This appears for unlicensed copies.

Open C:\Windows\System32\slmgr\ and right click slmgr and open with Notepad.

Here, you can see many license states and what to do if you get these messages. Of course, the relevant messages are always displayed during Activation, but here you will be able to see all of the Windows 7 Activation states.

For example: L_MsgErrorText_11=”The machine is running within the non-genuine grace period. Run ‘slui.exe’ to go online and make the machine genuine.”

If in spite of having a genuine Windows license, you are having problems activating your copy, use this command (As an Admin) to reinstall license file:

cscript slmgr.vbs -rilc

At the end you should be able to see a message:

License files re-installed successfully.

This post will show you how to troubleshoot Windows 10 Activation Errors.

Further related Help articles:

  1. Rebuild the Tokens.dat file in Windows.
  2. You get to see a This copy of Windows is not genuine message in the bottom right side of your black Windows desktop?
  3. Go here if your Windows Activation Fails
  4. Microsoft Genuine Advantage Diagnostic Tool or MGADiag.exe helps analyze problems with Activations and Validation.
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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.