The 4 best ways to check activation status of Windows PC

Shaant Minhas

windows 11 desktop

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Unless you plan on using a handicapped version of Windows for life (and lose access to many handy features in the process), activating your Windows will be as good as getting regular updates.

Moreover, as is the case for many things in Windows, there’s more than one way to go about this. Which one should you prefer? While there’s no ‘best’ way for this, we’ll lay down all the prominent forms of checking Windows activation on your computer, and you can then make your pick from there.

We’ll start with the easiest one first and then go from there.

1. Use the Settings app

The Windows Settings menu is a single place to access all settings and features at a single location. It’s not surprising, then, that you can also use it for verifying your Windows activation. 

Here’s how you can open Windows Settings and verify the activation of your Windows:

  1. Head to the Start menu search, type in ‘settings’, and select the best match. Alternatively, press the Windows Key + I shortcut.
  2. Head to System > Activation.

 activation settings on windows

In the Activation menu, look for the Activation state setting on the menu. As you can see in my example, it’s been set to Not active, which means the Windows still has to be activated.

2. Command Prompt

If a simple point-and-click user interface isn’t your thing, you must have been using the command prompt already. Luckily, amongst other things you can also use it to check your Windows activation status. Here’s how:

  1. Type in ‘cmd’ in the Start menu search bar and launch the command prompt as administrator.
  2. In the command prompt, type in the following command and hit Enter:
    slmgr.vbs /xpr

That’s it—your activation status will be instantly shown on the command prompt.

3. Control Panel

Most often used for controlling and changing your PC’s system settings, you can also use the Control Panel for checking your Windows activation state.

Here’s how you can open the Control Panel and get stared:

  1. Head to the Start menu search bar, type in ‘control panel’, and select the best match.
  2. Select System and Security > System.
  3. Scroll down and click on the Product key and activation.

You will get the activation status of your PC on the next window.

4. Use the Run dialog box

The Run dialog box is a simple tool to help you run programs and execute scripts by simple commands with even simpler inputs. First introduced with Windows 95, it has since become a handy tool on Windows environment for many enthusiasts.

To launch the Run dialog box and check your Windows activation status, follow the steps below:

  1. Press the Windows Key + R shortcut or head the Start menu search bar, type in ‘run,’ and select the best match.
  2. In Run dialog box, type in ‘slmgr.vbs /xpr‘ and hit Enter.

You’ll see the following dialog box when your Windows is not activated:

windows script host dialog boxWhen you activate your Windows 11, the message in front of Windows(R), Core edition will permanently change to “The machine has been activated”.

Best ways to check activation of Windows PC

These are some of the best ways to verify your activation status on Windows. While you can use your Windows for almost all uses cases, even when it’s not activated, activation brings handy features.

Better personalization options, sync and cloud integration, and compatibility are just some of the best possible good effects of Windows activation. A post on Windows community blog goes on to explain other handy features of activating your Windows.