This is not a duplicate of this question, since the OP had already connected to the internet.

I installed Windows 8 Consumer Retail and was not connected to the internet, and remain unconnected so it cannot automatically activate.

  • How long can I use Windows 8 this way (never connected to the internet) and without activating the license?

I want documentation links, not just an answer you think is true or read somewhere, back up any statements with clear documentation please.

Answers related to Vista-W7 activation or commands used in Vista-W7 to check license status are not acceptable as Microsoft completely changed activation technologies for windows 8.

Related Question here which shows some the limits in functionality in the New UI, I cannot find any limits using the desktop other than no Internet functions.

  • There is a very small if any grace period. unlike with Windows 7 you could go a good amount of time without activating, there is no such grace period with Windows 8. – Ramhound Nov 2 '12 at 19:48
  • "There is a very small if any grace period" - Which is? And what exactly happens when that time runs out? I think MS is being deliberately cagey about this, but I'm sure a section of people dedicated to ferreting such info. out will be letting us know before long. – Karan Nov 2 '12 at 19:49
  • @Karan - People could figure it out, just adjust the system clock forward, my understanding is there isn't one at all. It will give you notification requests to do so, if no key is provided, when Windows 8 is installed. – Ramhound Nov 2 '12 at 19:59
  • @Ramhound: See, I understand that MS requires key entry to decide whether to install Core/Pro. But for unconnected PCs that cannot activate, MS would be stupid if it simply told users "activate immediately, or you cannot use the OS at all". Obviously they'll nag users, but we need to figure out the exact details. As Moab said and I also discussed in that other thread, there seems to be no word from MS about this (yet). – Karan Nov 2 '12 at 20:01
  • Apparently you can install without a key – Moab Nov 2 '12 at 20:07

On an unactivated PC, you'll get regular notifications that you need to enter a valid product key. This message appeared in the upper left corner of the screen just now when I tried to visit PC Settings on an unactivated Windows 8 test PC. It didn't appear to block any functionality, nor did the notifications degrade any features. It appears to be strictly a speed bump. (I'll be looking into the exact implementation of activation and product key checking in the next few weeks.) Ed Bott.


I also found this but it was for Enterprise version, Microsoft has not documented any of the activation process for any versions so far, so its articles like this are the only information I can find as of this posting date.

Microsoft declined to comment when asked to explain the reasoning behind the activation changes to Windows 8. "We have no information to share," a spokeswoman said in an email Monday. Source

  • Thanks I just found that but is was done for Enterprise, not sure if activation is same for consumer versions.. – Moab Nov 2 '12 at 19:30
  • I had mentioned that Enterprise/Pro VL countdown and linked to the same page in my answer to that other question, in case you missed it. I haven't found anything yet regarding Core/Pro activation though. – Karan Nov 2 '12 at 19:47
  • Yes it was done for Enterprise, and since MS does not speak of activation technologies, we have to rely on people testing, and I cannot find testing for retail consumer products, in time someone will keep using one un-activated an unconnected from the internet to find out for sure what happens and when. Not sure we can trust the command line to reveal this since activation is being kept a secret by Microsoft. – Moab Nov 2 '12 at 20:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.