The Windows 7 product key is the same as the Windows 7 serial or CD key identification. It is designed primarily to prevent counterfeiting and piracy while providing the user an option to reinstall the system in the event of a system crash. Typically the product key can be found on a decal placed on your computer, in the windows package or with the product manual that accompanied the Windows 7 software.
The product key number for Windows 7 will be displayed via an alphanumeric pattern of 25 characters. The 25 characters are then distributed into 5 groups of 5 characters a piece. It will have the following placeholder format:
If you cannot find your product key there is a way to recover the data through some free software programs. In a nut shell the free data recovery programs are able to extract the stored product key from the Windows registry. Typically this would be very difficult exercise since the data is encrypted but via the free program the operation is handled easily.
Again, if you cannot locate the product key code then here are the 3 steps to decipher the key due to its encryption:
- Pick one of the three Finder software Packages below that supports Windows 7.
- Follow the finder software instructions provided; download and run the key finder application.
- After running the software make sure to “write the product key code down exactly as the program displays” (25 Characters) for use when reinstalling Windows 7.
3 Free Finder Software Packages:
Note: The above software downloads are not endorsed in any way by Microsoft or this website. Please know that user discretion is always required. Remember if one program does not work then download another. It is important to always be cognizant that you are downloading the right program. The above finders for Windows 7 product keys can produce product keys for any version of Windows 7 (Ultimate, Enterprise, Professional, Home Premium, Home Basic, and Starter). Locating the product key for the Windows 95 or Windows 98 operating systems will not work in Windows 7. You can locate the product ID number but will be unable to find the actual product key used for installation(Windows 95, Windows 98). Please know that you do not have to pay for the premium version to retrieve your Windows 7 key from the features list for the software product key finder packages noted.
Basically, the product key recovery process is a simple exercise which should require about 15 minutes. The above finders are easy to install and run. Simply launch the program and the key will be shown. There are numerous other online free and premium software packages available. The same steps apply to simply download the software (zip file); run the program by following the steps and the product key will be unveiled to you. Please note that by not specifying the exact digit or letter character code will make the process in-operative.
Other Helpful Tips to Obtaining a Product Key:
Feel free to go to the Microsoft website to see visually review the product key stickers to know what you are looking for.
All is not lost if you can’t locate your product key as you have the ability to purchase a new one
Should an error screen occur that your product key is not valid during the Windows 7 install please access the following link:
If you need to install Windows 7 for either of the two options: A) I can’t find my Windows 7 product key, B) I can’t determine via a product key finder, then…
Additional Info About Product Keys – Did You Know?
ü Product Keys are needed to activate the Window 7 software and format the Windows 7 system
ü Product keys are not the same as the product ID found in the System Information page. If you get this error message – “Windows Activation error 7: invalid product key”…try reinserting the 25 character Product key
ü Product keys activate the 64-bit or 32-bit editions for Windows 7
ü Product keys are unique to the Windows 7 package purchased so it cannot be used to activate other editions. In essence, product keys are not interchangeable.
ü Product keys are per PC. Thus, if you have more than one PC you will need to buy additional Windows 7 software packages for each one. A Family Pack Windows 7 edition is available for multiple computers. As a result, it is possible to activate up to 3 computers by using one edition of Windows 7 Family Pack and its product key.
ü Product keys can be ordered via Microsoft @ (800) 936-5700 for a fee between $40 – $60 USD (paid support line) and $10 to get a new product key created. Please note that you must have the original installation disc for Windows 7 and it cannot be already installed on your PC. The support team will help you in the activation process with the new product key.
Product Key Recovery End