Sometimes you may need to install Windows 10 in a virtual environment like Hyper-V or VirtualBox for evaluation purposes, and don’t want to activate Windows. In most cases, you should be able to skip the product key page during setup and complete the installation successfully. However, in some cases although the reason is not clearly known, Windows 10 Setup won’t allow you to skip the Product keys page.
In that situation, you can use the generic product keys for Windows 10 officially released by Microsoft. These generic keys work with any ISO or DVD/USB Windows setup media.
Generic Product Keys for Windows 10
If you have upgraded to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or 8 using the digital entitlement free upgrade scheme, your system is automatically assigned a generic key during upgrade. When you use tools like ProduKey, MagicalJellyBean Keyfinder or a custom script to view the product key, only the generic key is shown and not the key from your previous (Windows 7/8) installation.
Here is the list of generic keys for various Windows 10 Editions.
|Windows 10 Edition||Generic Keys|
|Windows 10 Home||YTMG3-N6DKC-DKB77-7M9GH-8HVX7|
|Windows 10 Home N||4CPRK-NM3K3-X6XXQ-RXX86-WXCHW|
|Windows 10 Pro||VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T|
|Windows 10 Pro N||2B87N-8KFHP-DKV6R-Y2C8J-PKCKT|
|Windows 10 Pro for Workstations||DXG7C-N36C4-C4HTG-X4T3X-2YV77|
|Windows 10 Pro N for Workstations||WYPNQ-8C467-V2W6J-TX4WX-WT2RQ|
|Windows 10 Pro Education||8PTT6-RNW4C-6V7J2-C2D3X-MHBPB|
|Windows 10 Pro Education N||GJTYN-HDMQY-FRR76-HVGC7-QPF8P|
|Windows 10 Education||YNMGQ-8RYV3-4PGQ3-C8XTP-7CFBY|
|Windows 10 Education N||84NGF-MHBT6-FXBX8-QWJK7-DRR8H|
|Windows 10 Enterprise||XGVPP-NMH47-7TTHJ-W3FW7-8HV2C|
|Windows 10 Enterprise N||WGGHN-J84D6-QYCPR-T7PJ7-X766F|
|Windows 10 Enterprise S||NK96Y-D9CD8-W44CQ-R8YTK-DYJWX|
|Windows 10 S||3NF4D-GF9GY-63VKH-QRC3V-7QW8P|
Note that the above keys are for evaluation purposes and you can’t activate Windows using those keys. Doing so would cause the error
If you want to replace the generic key with a retail key which you’ve purchased, use these steps to update the Product key.
How to Change the Product Key in Windows 10
Open Settings (Win + i) and go to Update & Security > Activation
Click Change product key
Alternately, you can use the built-in Slmgr.vbs script. Open an elevated command prompt window and use the following command-line to apply the new product key. Replace XXXXX-.. with the actual product key, and hit Enter:
slmgr.vbs -ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX
About the author
Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.