Installing and using an unactivated Windows 11 is not uncommon nowadays. It’s a very convenient feature of Microsoft Windows 11 to install it now and activate it later. That means, you don’t need a license key just to install Windows 11 on your PC. Fortunately, you can use the unlicensed Windows 11 copy indefinitely without activating it. However, some facilities will be restricted for you until you activate your Windows 11.
So, the real question arises here, how do you use the unlicensed Windows 11? What are the Pros and Cons of using the unactivated Windows 11? What kind of problems will you face if you don’t activate your Windows? And so on…
So many questions, but not a single answer! About that, worry not as we have come to let you know everything there is to know about the unactivated Windows 11 and how to activate it when you’re about to activate the Windows. So, without further ado, let’s take a look.
What is Unactivated Windows 11?
We’ve been talking about the disadvantages of using unactivated Windows 11. But before we get to that part, you should know what unactivated Windows 11 signifies. Microsoft authorized two official versions of Windows 11. They are: Windows 11 Home and Windows 11 Pro. To use them legally, you have to enter a 25-digit product key. The Windows 11 after using that product key is known as the ‘activated’ Windows 11. But, when you use the Windows without putting in the product key, the OS is known as ‘unactivated’ Windows 11.
How Long Can You Run Windows 11 Without Activation?
Normally, if you’re using the unactivated Windows 11, you can use it as long as you want as long as you can survive the demerits of using unactivated Windows 11. But if you’re using it in your company, then you might get into trouble. The trouble can be extended to Microsoft charging you and your company with a few hundred thousand dollars as a fine and sometimes imprisonment. However, that is only when you get caught and get reported officially. Other than that, you can use it as long as you want.
If you want to know more about it, we are explaining that later into the article. So, keep on reading if you want to learn more about it.
Restrictions On Using Windows 11 in Unactivated Mode
Using an Unactivated Windows 11 is not so difficult. You can use it just how you would have used your Windows normally. There are no exceptions. And the most amazing thing about this mode is that, you can use it free of cost as long as you need. You’ll not face any problems in running your computer other than some limited functions and annoyances.
Before getting to the unactivated part, Microsoft allows you to restore your previous Windows purchase as long as the account detail matches. Let us make it clear to you with an example.
Activating Windows 11 on the same PC is free if you already activated an older version of Windows 10 or by using a Windows 11 product key. This also goes for upgrading from Windows 10. But in case you never installed any activated windows on your computer before, then Microsoft won’t activate it for you. In this case, you have to continue using unlicensed Windows that comes with a few disadvantages.
Disadvantages of Not Activating Windows 11
If you don’t activate your Windows 11, you can use the computer properly but you’ll have some limitations on some premium features of the Windows OS. We are mentioning some of the main disadvantages and how they might impact you –
The ‘Activate Windows’ Watermark
When you install an unactivated Windows 11 in your PC, you’ll notice a watermark at the bottom right corner of your display saying “Activate Windows. Go to Settings to activate Windows”. This watermark is so persistent that no matter what you do, it will never go away, doesn’t matter if you are sitting idle, recording your screen, or playing a high-definition full-screen game. This ‘Activate Windows’ watermark is always there no matter what!
Some Personalization Settings are Off Limits
Activated Windows 11 has this facility of letting you personalize your own computer. The personalizing options included changing desktop wallpapers, colors and themes, Start Menu, lock screen, taskbar, fonts, title bar etc. customization. Moreover, you can use Dark Mode to make your computer appear more stylish in activated Windows mode. You are going to miss out on all these settings.
Activation Message on the Settings App
Just as we’ve already discussed about the ‘Activate Windows’ watermark. This one is similar to that, except that it’s visible on top every time you open your settings. The activation message is always there no matter which page you visit, whichever part you’re using of settings. It gets pretty annoying after a while.
Late Windows Updates
Normally Microsoft updates their software services so that you can have a smooth experience using the Microsoft software and the new Windows 11 OS. However, if you’re using an unactivated Windows service, you’ll get belated critical updates for your computer. Some security updates might never be sent towards your Windows 11. Microsoft may not have sent you all of the newest downloads, services, apps, or driver patches to your computer. If you didn’t install some security changes that keep viruses and malware from getting on your computer, it could be easily hacked. Aside from that, you might miss some changes and bug fixes.
Repeated Reminder for Activating Windows
If the annoying watermark, and setting messages are not enough, the Windows 11 OS will keep reminding you to activate the windows with a blue pop up saying “Your Windows License Will Expire Soon – You need to activate Windows in Settings”. This never-ending pop up will not leave your side until you activate the windows!
Paid Windows Upgrades
Microsoft lets people get a free update to a higher version of Windows. For example, if your computer meets the standards for Windows 11, you can get Windows 11. It’s important to note that you can only use this choice if your working system is already enabled.
If you’re a non-activated user, you may need to use different alternatives to restart the new OS. However, Windows that you install using these techniques will also stay non-activated. So, since you will get free updates to the operating system in the future, why not buy a license once and use it for life?
Sudden Legal Takeover
If you’re using an unactivated Windows 11, nobody’s preventing others to break your Windows security system and take over the system. Microsoft ensures the security of a licensed Windows 11. So, your operating system almost never gets taken over.
Moreover, it’s best if you don’t use the unactivated Windows 11 commercially as a sudden audit check might make you fall into some serious problems!
How to Activate Windows 11 After Installation
That is a very good decision if you thought of activating your Windows 11. To do that, first, you need to purchase a Product Key to activate your windows. You can purchase that anywhere, but we’d recommend you to use Msckey.com to purchase the license key as it has the most hassle free and genuine licenses among all.
Now, there’s a number of ways you can use your Windows 11 product key to activate the Windows of your computer.
1. Inserting the Product Key Directly into Settings
If you have an activated Windows 10 installed in your computer and you’re upgrading to Windows 11, you can complete the task via Windows Update without losing any of your data stored in your computer.
However, while installing Windows 11, if it’s not activated, then you can activate it from Settings by following the steps mentioned below:
Settings > System > (You’ll see a message in the settings saying “Windows isn’t activated”) Press ‘Active Now’ > Change Product Key > Change. There you have to enter the Windows 11 product key and the system will finish the leftover work.
2. Activating through CMD (with KMS)
Launch ‘Command Prompt’ as administrator. Then type “slmgr /ipk kmsclientkey. And then press ‘Enter’. However, you have to insert your license key instead of the ‘kmsclientkey’ part. Afterwards, the windows will finish the remaining work automatically. But before that, you have to set up a kms server. To do that, type in the command prompt ‘slmgr /skms [your server]. The server can be anything like, kms.msguides.com, s8.uk.to, etc. Lastly type ‘slmgr /ato’ and then click on Enter.
How much does it cost to activate Windows 11?
Activating Windows 11 is totally free as long as you have the product key or the license. You can buy Microsoft Windows 11 product key from Msckey. It’s cheaper, affordable, authorized, and has faster customer service than most other sites.
Is using the KMS method legal?
Yes, definitely! The KMS or the Key Management Service is one of the legal ways to activate Windows 11. Normally, KMS is used in volume licensing, that is, when you want to activate a lot of computers in one go! However, you have to reactivate your license after half a year.
Can you use the same license to activate 2 computers?
The answer is No! You can only use one license per computer. If you want to use the same license for multiple computers, then we suggest you buy the volume licensing version. That way, you’ll be able to use the same license to activate 2 or more Windows computers.
Will you be able to use a cracked license to activate Windows 11?
Yes, you will be able to activate Windows 11 using a cracked license key. However, we would advise you against doing that because Microsoft can easily detect fake license keys and they’ll block them in a few weeks at most. So, just to be safe and hassle-free, you should consider getting a real license and we highly recommend you to check out msckeys.com as they have authorized Windows 11 licenses at a cheaper rate.
It might be very convenient to use the unlicensed Windows 11 as long as you want. However, it does have its drawbacks and those being very annoying. But if you activate your windows once, you’ll not have to think about activating windows, manual upgrades, annoying watermarks anymore.
So, if you want to use the windows peacefully and securely, you should definitely get your copy of Windows 11. Reminder, if you want an authentic Microsoft Windows 11 product key, you should take a look at Msckey. They sell authentic Microsoft OS product keys in swift payment with instant delivery by mail. You’ll have your product in no time once you use it.