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It is exactly 5 years, 9 months, 3 weeks, and 6 days since Microsoft released Windows 8.1; give or take a few hours. The operating system was meant to be a quick fix to the terrible release that was Windows 8, a major let down to users. Especially against the backdrop of stable releases like the Windows 7 and Windows XP. But that is a feature for another day, today I would like to show you how to recover your Windows Serial Keys on Windows 8.1.

There are many scenarios when this information may be useful: perhaps you had to clean install Windows 8.1 after your computer suffering a major virus attack, the OS system became corrupted, your hard drive failed and you had to switch to another one. Whatever the case, we are going to show you how you can recover the Windows serial keys.

FYI Windows 8.1 is no longer available officially from Microsoft Store

Microsoft is really drumming up support for Windows 10 that is bulldozing users to abandon the earlier versions in favor of it. The company gave a deadline of July 2019, from which Windows 8.1 will no longer be available for download from its store.

That means if you want a clean install of Win 8.1 you must use the installation disk or find a disk image somewhere online. If you can find Windows Vista, online, finding Win 8.1 will be easier.

How to retrieve the Windows 8.1 Serial Key guide

The Windows Serial Key (also referred to as Product Key) looks something like XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX. It is a unique combination of letters and numbers generated by Microsoft to authenticate if users are running a genuine copy of their products; genuine products come with full features and functionalities. However, if the product is found to be fake or unlicensed, Microsoft can bar the user from accessing certain features and functionality including lack of security updates and patches.

Though you may install Windows on your computer and keep using it by getting a crack somewhere online. Microsoft will figure out you are not using a licensed copy and will bar you from receiving updates. Not forgetting that irritating watermark that will be on the bottom left of your screen.

That is why you need to re-enter your Windows Serial Key if you clean install Win 8.1. If you bought the OS from an authorized seller, it will have been in the form of a DVD, the serial key should be on a card inside the box that came with the disk. If you bought it online, the code will be in the confirmation email of the Windows purchase.

If all the above options are not available, you can try retrieving the serial key from the Windows Registry. That is a database where all the critical information about the Windows copy are kept; information about the apps, hardware, and general system information.

To access the Windows Registry, press the Start Key followed by R to open the Run box. Type Regedit and hit Enter to open the Windows Registry editor. Go to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion

Then lookout for the Productld key and select Modify. You should be able to see numbers and letters written in the following fashion XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX. Carefully copy it, making sure not to change it in any way what’s so ever.

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