windows activation


Windows Digital license or Windows 10 digital activation if I say in more specific, is a term that we can see when we are going to activate Windows 10.

There are plenty of benefits you can get by properly activating Windows 10 rather than by just using it without an activation. Activating Windows 10 will allow the user to have more personalization options and better security.

To activate Windows 10, there are two (2) methods: one is Product key activation, and the other one is Digital activation. Which is explained in this article. 

Questions? No worries cause this got you covered!

What is Windows 10 Digital License?

As mentioned above, Windows 10 digital activation (Digital license) is a method of activating Windows 10. Like the Product key activation.

In Windows 8.1 and 7, there was only one way to activate them and that is to use a product key. But, in Windows 10, you can activate it without the use of a product key (one of the reasons why it is called the Digital Activation).

Most of the time, it doesn’t contain any key. You can buy the license online, and after you purchase it, it will activate you computer automatically.

The most important thing you need to know is that the windows 10 digital activation or the product key activation purchase will be associated with your computer’s motherboard once it’s activated.

Therefore, if you make a significant hardware change, you will have to reactivate Windows 10 manually in accordance to the activation method you followed.

How do I know what Windows 10 license I have?

Windows is not activated

If your Windows 10 copy is already activated and you want to check whether it’s a digital activation a Product key activation, just click the button below or go to:

In there you will see the activation status of your Windows 10 computer (see the image above). Now check which one among these appeared there.

Activation StatusIts Meaning
Windows is activatedYour windows is activated with the use of a product key, but a Microsoft account is not linked
Windows is activated with a digital licenseYour Windows is activated with the use of a digital license. Microsoft account is not linked to the digital license
Windows is activated with a digital license linked to your Microsoft accountYour windows is activated with the use of a digital license. Microsoft account is linked to the digital license

But if it’s something like this, then your windows 10 PC is not activated properly. Therefore you are using a non-genuine copy of Windows 10 in your computer.

windows is not activated

Keep in mind that using a non-genuine copy of Windows 10 is violating Microsoft’s license agreement. For more information, read Microsoft’s software license terms: Windows operating systems

If you do not want to read the entire document, go and see the section you want to read from here: Benefits of activating Windows 10

Difference Between Windows 10 Digital Activation and Product Key Activation

There are two(2) things that make Windows 10 digital activation different from product key activation;

  1. How you purchased the Windows 10 license.
  2. How you can reactivate Windows 10 after a hardware change.

1. The way you Purchase/Upgrade Windows 10 License will determine whether you get Windows 10 Digital license

purchase windows 10 from Microsoft store app

The way you purchasing/upgrading Windows 10 license/activation will determine whether you are getting Windows 10 digital activation or Windows 10 product key activation.

If you purchase windows 10 from:

  • Microsoft Store App
  • A seller who sells digital copies (keys)


  • Upgrading your genuinely activated Windows 7 or 8.1 copy to Windows 10 for free.
  • Being a Windows Insider and upgrading to the newest Windows 10 Insider Preview build on an eligible device that was running an activated earlier version of Windows and Windows 10 Preview.
  • Upgrade your Windows 10 Home to pro from the Microsoft Store app.

Then you will get Windows 10 digital license activation for you Windows copy.

How to Reactivate Windows 10 After a Hardware Change.

Windows 10 digital activation troubleshooter

The second thing that makes Windows 10 digital activation different from product key activation is the method you should follow to reactivate Windows 10 once you change your computer’s motherboard.

As I said earlier, once activated Windows 10, your license will be associated with your computer’s motherboard. Therefore it will automatically reactivate even after you reinstall Windows 10 on the same computer

But when you have to change your computer’s motherboard or send your computer to a repair shop, If your motherboard removed, your windows 10 activation will be revoked because of the motherboard replacement.

if such a thing happens, you have to reactivate Windows 10 once again manually. So the method you should follow to reactivate Windows 10 will be depend on the activation you had (digital license activation/product key activation)

You can see how to do that at the end of this article.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Windows 10 Digital license activation

advantages and disadvantages of windows 10 digital license


The biggest advantage of Windows 10 digital activation is that you can purchase it for a lower price compared to a box of Windows 10 copy.

There are Windows 10 digital license keys that are as cheap as $15, which you will never be able to see in a local store or from the Microsoft Official Website.

One of the possible reasons behind its low price is that some sellers sell Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) keys – which is not actually an illegal way to purchase and activate Windows 10.

Once you activate Windows 10 with one of those OEM keys, you can get a digital entitlement for your copy of Windows 10 right away. And again, this is the cheapest possible way to activate Windows 10 today.


There is no remarkable disadvantage when it comes to the Windows 10 digital activation. The thing you need to know and to remember is that you must add a Microsoft account with your digital license; otherwise, you won’t be able to reactivate Windows 10 after a significant hardware (motherboard) change.

Reactivate Windows 10 Digital license After a Motherboard Change

If you are lookin to get a digital license, it is insanely important to know how to reactivate in the event of a hardware change to save your money from spending to buy another license.

So if you don’t know how to add a Microsoft account to your computer, click on the link here. Because your Microsoft account will be the key to reactivate your computer after a significant hardware change.

After adding a Microsoft account, from the link above you can also know what you need to do to reactivate Windows 10.

Although you can use Windows 10 Operating System without a license, there are a few yet likable benefits of activating Windows 10 you won’t get when it’s unactivated.

So, if your copy of Windows 10 is not activated yet or you just activated your Windows 10 recently and you want to know what are the benefits you get by spending your money on activating Windows 10, then, keep reading! You will find everything you need to know in this article.

What Are the Benefits of Activating Windows 10

Before you go any further, remember that the benefits of activating Windows 10 can change from time to time; therefore, this article will keep you posted on the changes in the features of an activated Windows 10. For now, here are the benefits that you can get as of 2021/04:

01. Personalization settings will be unlocked

windows 10 personalization setting is greyed out

One of the main benefits of activating Windows 10 is that you can get all the options and features in the personalization settings.

You know very well that you cannot change wallpapers, windows colors and themes the way you want on an unactivated Windows 10 because the personalization settings is greyed out.

But, once you decided to activate your Windows 10, all the features will be unlocked and you will be able to personalize your Windows 10 PC in any way you want it.

Below are the options you get in the personalization feature once you activate Windows 10:

  • Wallpaper
  • Colors
  • Themes
  • Lock screen
  • Fonts

02. “Activate Windows” watermark will be removed

activate windows watermark

This is not actually a benefit of activating Windows 10; hence, it is more like something you want to get rid of once you activate your Windows 10.

Surely, the watermark is such a nuisance to you if you are using Windows 10 for free; especially when you play computer games or watch movies.

To address this concern, there are some other ways to remove “Activate Windows” watermark without the need to activate Windows 10, but none of them are long term solutions, plus the fact that they also violate Microsoft Terms and Conditions.

Read Microsoft’s Software License terms from here

03. You will get optional updates addition to the critical updates

windows 10 optional updates

While unactivated Windows 10 users only get critical updates, users of activated Windows 10 can get all the critical updates and optional updates as well.

This might seem not a big deal since you can receive all the critical updates that your Windows 10 PC needs, but OS activation makes Windows 10 more stable. It is because, like driver updates, it keep all your devices, with your Windows 10 PC, properly working all the time.

04. Security improvements

activate windows now

Some of you might think that the use of inauthentic operating systems will not cause any security problems.

If you think it that way, then you are wrong. Using an unactivated Windows 10 or any Windows operating system can put your device at risk.

Here is what Microsoft says;

Running a non-genuine copy of Windows can put you at greater risk for viruses and other security threats

Therefore, the best thing to do is to activate your device and ensure your device is well-secured from viruses and other threats.

How Long Can You Use Windows 10 Without Activation

microsoft store windows 10 pro

Mentioned earlier in this article are the benefits of activating Windows 10, and now you know that there are only a few benefits you can get once you decide to activate your Windows 10. So, it is up to you whether you want to spend your money to activate Windows 10 or not.

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about Windows 10 activation;

  1. How long can you use Windows 10 without activation?
  2. Is it illegal to use Windows 10 without activating it?
  3. What can you do about an unactivated Windows?

Using Windows 10 Without Activation (How Long You Can Use Unactivated Windows 10)

Microsoft did not state in its license agreement or on its website that Windows 10 cannot be used for free. In short, you can use it as long as you want to.

And, with the exception of some features mentioned above, everything that can be done on an activated Windows 10 OS can also be done on an unactivated Windows 10 OS.

Is it illegal to use Windows 10 without activate?

Is it illegal to use Windows 10 without activate
Right click and select open in new tab to see the image more clearly

If you are worried about using Windows 10 without activating it, the information below are very useful for you to know.

Microsoft did not impose any restrictions on using Windows 10 without activating it. As mentioned above in this article, you can use it but with limited features and the “Windows 10 not activated” watermark might bother you.

Nonetheless, you have to keep in mind that using an unactivated Windows 10 does not comply with Microsoft’s license agreement. (Click here to read the Windows License Agreement)

So, if you are concerned about going against Microsoft’s License Agreement, you can simply purchase a product key or digital license (entitlement) and enjoy all the benefits of an activated Windows 10.

Myths of Using Windows 10 Without Activation

Myths of Using Windows 10 Without Activation

So far, you are acquainted with the benefits of activating Windows 10 and the things that can happen if you use an unactivated Windows 10.

To equip you with more knowledge on these, here are some of the myths that a lot of people believe into about the use of an unactivated Windows 10.

Does Unactivated Windows 10 Run Slower?

does unactivated windows 10 run slower

One of the most commonly heard myths is that Microsoft deliberately slows down on an unactivated Windows 10.

So, to check whether it is one of the benefits of activating Windows 10, a performance test was conducted between an unactivated Windows 10 PC and an activated Windows 10 PC; both of the PCs have the same specifications.

During the test, there was no observable difference in terms of performance of both PCs used. They both performed the same.

So, the bottom line is that there is no slowing down that happens when you use an unactivated Windows 10 Operating System.

Is an Unactivated Windows 10 Safe?

is pirated windows 10 safe

Some people think that the risk of malwares and other security threats on a PC using an unactivated Windows 10 is higher than the risks on a PC that has an activated Windows 10.

Since there are no reliable tests conducted like the previous one (Does Unactivated Windows 10 Make PC Run Slower), we cannot say for sure if such a thing is true or not.

But, what can be guaranteed is that your PC is safe as long as you are careful in using internet and also wary of the external devices such as USB flash drives, external hard drives, etc. that you use to insert in your PC.

How to Activate Microsoft Windows 10

Up to this section of the article, you are already well aware of the benefits of activating Windows 10, and whether you can use Windows 10 without activating it for a long time, and some of the myths about using an unactivated Windows 10.

After reading all of this, now you might be thinking of activating your Windows 10 copy and get all of its benefits.

If so, you can use the below link & go to the article to know the methods of activating Windows 10.

Find Your Product Key

I think I got all your questions covered regarding the benefits of activating Windows 10. Have a nice day!

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