I have Visual Studio 2015 Pro with retail key. I have built new PC and moved there. I was hoping VS has attached the key to my Microsoft account but it hasn't.

I cannot find the key.

I still have the old PC running. Is there any way I can recover the key from the registered Visual Studio or from my Microsoft account?

both PCs run Windows 10 and being used under same Microsoft account, if it helps

  • Check i this location HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\VisualStudio\14.0\Registration. check under PIDKEY
    – vembutech
    Feb 9, 2017 at 12:59
  • PIDKEY is empty.. Feb 9, 2017 at 17:34
  • Have you tried MagicJellyBean finder? Mar 13, 2017 at 10:03
  • solved it by finding old email with the KEY.. I don't like installing free exe like MJB - it works as I heard. But simply don't install anything unless its totally unavoidable. Apr 6, 2018 at 12:34
  • See also: stackoverflow.com/q/50480361/45552 Nov 7, 2018 at 16:05

1 Answer 1


You should be able to find the activation key under the registry path HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Licenses\4D8CFBCB-2F6A-4AD2-BABF-10E28F6F2C8F\07062 . The value is encrypted though, so you need to decrypt it with the CryptUnprotectData method in the Win32 API.

I have created a small tool that simplifies this and should allow extracting product keys for Visual Studio 2015, 2017 and 2019 (only tested for 2019 professional so far):


  • 1
    Thank you! I tried accessing the PIDKEY located at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\VisualStudio\14.0\Registration\xxxxx first (because it's listed everywhere) but that didn't work. This, however, did the trick.
    – Burhan
    Jul 16, 2021 at 16:23

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