Activation in Windows is the process of verifying whether the product key used with your copy is genuine or not. If you want to use Windows 7 or Windows 8 without any troubles, your installation needs to be activated. Luckily, the activation process is taken care of in the background, once you provide the product key. But activation can fail for many different reasons. With the help of this article, you should be able to learn in no time if you have problems with the activation of your Windows copy and what those problems are.
What You Earn from an Activated Copy of Windows
Having an activated Windows means being able to use it fully, without any error messages or warnings.
Also, you receive free access to extra software from Microsoft, like Microsoft Security Essentials, in Windows 7, or to useful features like synchronizing all your settings in Windows 8.
Last but not least, having an activated copy of Windows means your product key is legitimate and that you have purchased a genuine product and not an illegal copy.
Checking the Windows Activation from the Control Panel
If you prefer using the mouse, than the best way to check the status of the Windows activation is to use the Control Panel.
Open it and go to System and Security and then to System. The information you are looking for is shown at the bottom of the System panel.
In Windows 8, the path is the same and the System panel is almost identical, except some minor visual differences.
Look for the Windows activation section at the bottom. There you have a line sharing whether Windows is activated or not. You will also see a badge on the right, with the text "ask for genuine Microsoft software".
In Windows 8, you are not shown any badges. However, you do have a useful link that can provide more details about the status of the Windows activation.
Checking Windows Activation from the Command Line
If you don’t mind typing, there is a faster way to check the status of the Windows activation. You can run the "slui.exe" file, found in "C:\Windows\System32\".
In Windows 7 you can type "slui.exe" in the Start Menu search box or in Run window and launch the appropriate search result.
In Windows 8, type "slui.exe" while you are using the Start screen and press Enter.
This opens the Windows Activation window where you can see the current status.
In Windows 8, this window provides a lot more detail, including when your license expires.
If any any activation problems are detected, you are informed. Also, in Windows 8, there is a section with more details, including the appropriate error code (e.g. 0x8007232B). That code can be used to search for solutions on the web or get in touch with Microsoft support and solve the issues you encounter.
Activation is always something done in the background, that we ignore until we encounter issues. Luckily this article proved helpful in learning the status of Windows activation and how to find more information if you have problems with it.