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Have you lost your Microsoft Office product key? Here’s how to retrieve it

Discussion in 'Windows Tools & Tips' started by Jeanh, Aug 17, 2015.

  1. Please or Register to view links
    Your Windows or Office software usually comes bundled on your computer, along with discs that contain the product license key. But losing these discs is easy and once lost you no longer have access to the product key. So should you want to reinstall the software you could, on the surface, have a problem. However, you can recover your product license keys from the Windows Registry and it’s a lot simpler than you might think with third-party utilities. Here’s how.

    There might be several reasons why you want to reinstall Windows, from fixing software problems to a slow running computer or maybe you’ve been a bit slack and Please or Register to view links has been low on your priority list, and your computer is riddled with viruses. One of the easiest ways to fix these problems is by reinstalling Windows.

    And with Microsoft Office you may need to reinstall because you’ve got a new computer or you’re trying to resolve a program error. Depending on which version of Windows or Office you are running there are different methods for reinstallation – all quite straightforward.

    However, the one common denominator is the need for the product key. Most software programs require a product key as part of the installation process. If you’ve lost your Microsoft Office or Windows product key, you’ll need to find it before you can reinstall the software suite. Without it you can’t reinstall the software.

    The product key can be found on:
    • The product CD or DVD, if the software came on disc
    • The computer on which you want to install the product
    • The readable parts of your original product key, if this information is available
    • The ‘inner circle’ number on the software disc
    What to do if you no longer have the original Microsoft disc
    If you don’t have the original CD or DVD the Microsoft Office/Windows product keys are encrypted inside the Please or Register to view links*. This means you can retrieve them.

    Unfortunately manually searching for lost Windows/Office keys manually in the registry is next to impossible unless you know how to create Please or Register to view links. You may be able to find the correct key in the registry but all that will be visible is encrypted text and not the product key that comes with the actual product. That said, the easiest way to retrieve the product key is to use third-party software:

    All you need to do is download it, unzip it and then run it to see all of your product keys. The only potential problem with Produkey is that some antivirus programmes might detect it as a false positive and see it as malware trying to steal the product key. To get around this, after you have downloaded Produkey, disconnect from the internet, Please or Register to view links and then run Produkey.

    Belarc Advisor is more than a product key finder. It will tell you about more things than you probably ever wished to know including a detailed report about your machine’s RAM, processor, and circuit board and a lot more too. Importantly it also includes a list of software licenses for Microsoft Office, Windows, antivirus programs, and other applications. It’s also free.

    The Magical Jelly Bean’s Keyfinder provides a basic key finder which is ideal for users without tech knowledge. It comes in a free version and can retrieve your Windows product key from your computer’s registry.

    These three are just a few examples of third party product key finders, there are many more and a brief search on the internet will turn up more. If it is just the product keys you wish to find, simplicity and ease of use should be your guiding principle when making a decision.

    And that’s it. Retrieving lost products keys is not daunting at all when using third-party software. In fact, it’s simple and straightforward.

    *The registry is essentially a database of configuration settings in Microsoft Windows operating systems. It is used to store much of the information and settings for software programmes, hardware devices, user preferences, operating system configurations, and more
  2. Thanks for sharing :)
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