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How to Retrieve Software Product Keys on Windows | ProduKey


ProduKey, a software utility developed by NirSoft, is a lightweight and powerful tool designed to help users retrieve product keys for installed software on their computers. Primarily used for recovering Windows and Microsoft Office product keys, ProduKey proves invaluable for users who need to reinstall software or transfer licenses to a new machine. This in-depth review will explore the features, usability, advantages, and potential limitations of ProduKey.


Product Key Retrieval:

ProduKey’s core function is to scan a computer and retrieve product keys for installed software. It supports a wide range of Microsoft products, including various versions of Windows (from Windows 98 to Windows 10) and Microsoft Office (from Office 2000 to Office 2019 and Office 365). The software also retrieves keys for other Microsoft products like SQL Server and Exchange Server.

Ease of Use:

One of the standout features of ProduKey is its simplicity. The interface is straightforward, displaying a list of installed software along with their associated product keys. Users can quickly find the information they need without navigating through complex menus or settings.

Multiple Retrieval Methods:

ProduKey offers several methods for retrieving product keys:

Local Computer: The default method, which scans the local machine for installed software keys.

Remote Computer: Users can retrieve product keys from remote computers on the same network, provided they have the necessary administrative access.

External Drive: ProduKey can scan external drives or Windows installations on different partitions, making it useful for recovering keys from non-bootable systems.

Command Line Options: Advanced users can utilize command line parameters to automate the retrieval process or integrate ProduKey into scripts.

Export and Backup:

After retrieving the product keys, users can export the information to various formats, including text files, CSV, HTML, and XML. This feature is particularly useful for creating backups of product keys for future reference.


ProduKey’s user-friendly interface makes it accessible to both novice and advanced users. The main window lists all detected software products along with their product IDs, installation folder paths, and, crucially, the product keys. Users can sort and filter the list to quickly locate specific keys.

The software is portable, meaning it does not require installation. Users can run it directly from a USB drive or any other external storage, making it a convenient tool for IT professionals and technicians who need to retrieve keys from multiple machines.


Lightweight and Fast:

ProduKey is a small application, typically less than 100 KB in size, and it operates very quickly. It can scan and retrieve product keys in a matter of seconds.

Free and Reliable:

As with many NirSoft utilities, ProduKey is free to use. Despite its simplicity, it is a reliable tool that performs its intended function effectively.


ProduKey supports a wide range of Windows operating systems and Microsoft software products, ensuring broad applicability for different user needs.

Potential Limitations

Limited to Microsoft Products:

ProduKey excels at retrieving keys for Microsoft products but does not support keys for non-Microsoft software. Users looking to recover keys for third-party applications will need to use alternative software.

Administrative Access Required:

To retrieve keys from remote computers or external drives, users need administrative access. This requirement is standard for key retrieval tools but may limit usability in certain scenarios.

Security Concerns:

While ProduKey itself is safe and widely used, it can potentially be flagged by antivirus software as a “potentially unwanted program” (PUP). This is because it accesses sensitive areas of the Windows registry to retrieve keys. Users should download it directly from the NirSoft website to avoid malicious versions.

ProduKey is an essential tool for anyone needing to recover product keys for Windows and Microsoft Office. Its lightweight design, ease of use, and versatility make it a valuable addition to any tech toolkit. While it has some limitations, particularly in its support for non-Microsoft products, its strengths in simplicity and efficiency more than compensate. For both home users and IT professionals, ProduKey offers a straightforward, reliable solution for product key recovery

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