I know that tools exist to check that a Windows Product Key works, but these programs are typically freeware and I am not convinced that they will not collect my keys. I am looking for an official way to verify that a product key that I have will activate a particular Windows 11 edition. I want to either run a command or send a request to a Microsoft API that will tell me if a key will work without actually using it to activate Windows on the host machine.

I know that slmgr /ipk [key] will attempt activation with the provided key, but I do not want to consume the product key.

2 Answers 2


You should first know that Microsoft provides no service to verify the authenticity of the Windows Product Key, but no legal responsibility is assumed for you if Windows was activated through a stolen product key.

The fact that your Windows is activated and its serial key was accepted by the Microsoft activation servers, and re-verified on each boot, is already a good sign. If your serial is used in parallel on another computer, Windows will deactivate it on your computer.

There is one type of serial that can be used on multiple computers, which is the Volume Licensing serial. These kind of serials are the most commonly used by dishonest vendors.

To verify your type of serial, run a Command Prompt (CMD) as Administrator and enter this command : Slmgr /dli. The result might look like this:

enter image description here

The license type can be one of the following :

  • Retail : The license was purchased either online or at a store
  • OEM : Original Equipment Manufacturer has installed the serial and it's licensed only on that computer
  • Volume : License usually purchased in bulk by large companies, educational institutes, or government.

Verify that your license type matches how you got the computer, and if it matches then there is an excellent chance that it is authentic.

  • 1
    The problem with this approach is that I am having activation issues. This command shows details for the currently activated key only. I need to see what Windows edition another key is for (a key that won't activate on this machine). I would like to ensure it is authentic before I reinstall Windows. Jun 17, 2023 at 23:55

the previous answers are correct. The only detail missing is the "original" MS API reference along with its detailed explanation:

Source link ---> Quote / URL to the Microsoft article/paragraph

There it says that:

Specifying the parameter displays the license information for the specified edition that is associated with that Activation ID.

I haven't tried it yet, but I quoted its original makers to clarify the OP (@JeremyEastham) doubt whether it may or not work. Indeed, you would have to specify the Activation ID parameter for that command to work. If, @JeremyEastham has already, unsuccessfully, tried that full command (with the additional argument) then Microsoft should be notified of this anomaly.


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