I just upgraded from Win 8.1 to Win 10 and I was trying to find the product key for the new Win 10 OS.

I found product ID but I am not completely sure whether "product ID" and "product key" is the same thing. The link "change product key" suggests that it is but I would like to have it confirmed.

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Can anyone please confirm or clarify?


  • 2
    Any number of tools will give you the product key, which can't actually be used for anything, but you asked. Numerous questions exists on how to get a Windows product key. Product ID is not the product key. Everyone who upgrades to Windows 10 gets the same product key.
    – Ramhound
    Jul 31, 2015 at 1:17

4 Answers 4


You can use NirSoft ProduKey to retrieve the product keys stored on your computer.


By definition, a traditional "clean install" will not have access to anything "on" your computer.

What happens is your key is stored in your MS account (at the MS servers) and that key is tied to your hardware hash for use with this machine only when your clean install "calls home" to activate... This is the old "Windows Product Activation" machinery moved to "The Cloud".

You needed an older key at first (long ago) for the "basis" of your upgrade and THAT was on your computer but this new system moves you forward to the "next step" or level...

Note: An "END USER" "Needing a key" with an OEM-SLP machine was not required "ever"... (Some exceptions or special cases exist.) That is another whole different family or license channel. This is also called BIOS locked...

  • (1) But what if I don’t remember the credentials for my Microsoft account?  (2) “not … ever” + “some exceptions or special cases exist” = “sometimes”. Jul 28, 2017 at 19:31

After doing some more digging online, I found the following post explaining the role and purpose of the product key.


Based on this article, I should be good to go as the product key is supposed to be stored on my machine now (after the OS upgrade) and I shouldn't need to type in the key for a clean install (from now on).

  • 1
    just make sure you do not change ANY hardware before fully completing the re-installation.
    – simpleuser
    Aug 14, 2015 at 19:41

Belarc Advisor can be downloaded and will retrieve all product keys on your PC and automatically export it to a HTML file (which also contains checks for vulnerabilities).


I have tested NirSoft ProduKey but Windows defender registered it as a threat as so I prefer Belarc Advisor.

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