Finding the physical location of your Windows 11 product key can be problematic. However, with just a few commands, your product key can be revealed without hassle.
The physical location of your Windows product key is often found on a sticker placed in hard-to-reach places on your PC. However, with a few commands and a bit of know-how, you can use the operating system to reveal your Windows 11 product key. The overall techniques for finding a product key are pretty much the same as for Windows 10, but there there are subtle differences.
TO SEE: Quick Glossary: Metaverse (TechRepublic Premium)
This tutorial will update how to find your Windows 11 product key using the operating system itself and not relying on the sticker placed randomly somewhere on your PC.
3 Easy Ways to Find Your Windows 11 Product Key
Be warned: these techniques are best used for Windows 11 PCs running the operating system since purchase or for Windows 10 PCs upgraded to Windows 11 through the patch process. Product keys for enterprise PCs are distributed differently and may not be revealed using these methods.
1. Use Command Prompt in Windows 11
The most direct method to find your Windows 11 product key is from the command line. Open the Windows 11 search tool and type “command”. Search for command prompt (Figure A) in the search results and click the Run as administrator link to access the command prompt screen.
Type or paste this command at the prompt and press the Enter key:
wmic path softwareLicensingService get OA3xOriginalProductKey
The command will reveal your original Windows 11 product key right on the command prompt screen.
2. Use PowerShell in Windows 11
If you prefer to use PowerShell, the process is similar, but the commands are different. Open the Windows 11 search tool and type “powershell”. Find PowerShell in the search results (Figure B) and click the “Run as administrator” link.
At the PowerShell prompt, type or paste this command, then press Enter:
powershell "(Get-WmiObject -query ‘select * from SoftwareLicensingService’).OA3xOriginalProductKey"
The command will reveal your original Windows 11 product key right on the PowerShell prompt screen.
3. Use Registry File in Windows 11
The Windows 11 product key is stored in the Windows registry file, so it is possible to find the product key there if you navigate to the right place. Open the Windows 11 search tool and type “regedit”. Select the Registry Editor application from the results and click the “Run as administrator” link. Using the left pane of the editor, navigate to this key:
As you can see in Figure C, the BackupProductKeyDefault key will reveal a valid Windows 11 product key. (Note that this key may be different from the key revealed by the Command Prompt or PowerShell.)
Quit Registry Editor when you’re done.
There are third-party vendors offering apps that can locate and display your Windows 11 product key for you, but the techniques explained above seem to suggest that these apps may not be worth the hassle or potential security issues. Also remember that if you purchased Windows 11 from the Microsoft Store, your account order history will also contain product key information.