So if you can use Windows 10 even without purchasing it, let’s also see why you should buy the license to activate it.
Use Windows 10 without an activated license
Even if there are several reasons that should push every user to buy a Windows 10 license as soon as possible, you can still use a PC with Windows 10 even without paying for the license and activation. There are some limitations in the non-activated version of Windows 10, but none such as to prevent normal use of the computer.
How to download Windows 10 and install it without license or activation
To download Windows 10 just open the Microsoft website and click the button to download the Media Creation Tool, the tool that then allows you to download the installation files and copy them onto a USB stick. By starting the PC from the USB stick created by the Microsoft program, you can proceed with the clean installation on any PC in a normal way, without any difficulty. One of the first screens of the installation wizard will ask you to enter the product key so that you can “Activate Windows”. However, you can simply click on the “I don’t have a product key“at the bottom of the window for go ahead and complete the installation.
If this option does not appear, you can still continue the installation by writing a KMS client configuration key that Microsoft publicly provides on this page.
An important thing to decide when installing Windows 10 is the choice between the “Windows 10 Home” or “Windows 10 Pro” version. We have seen in another article the differences between Windows 10 Home and Pro and it is also important to consider that if you intend to buy the regular license to activate the installation of Windows 10, the Home version costs much less.
Windows 10 limitations without activation
If you install Windows 10 without a key, you can still use the computer freely and without any risk that it will stop working suddenly (as was the case with Windows 7 and XP). An inactive or unlicensed version of Windows 10 doesn’t have many restrictions. Initially, you won’t notice any difference, only that one appears on the PC desktop background fixed writing which warns the user and says Windows not activated. Activate Windows now. However, there will not be (at least not at the moment) pop-up warnings that can disturb the use of the computer.
In this regard, in another article we have seen some tricks for remove the “Activate Windows” message in Windows 10.
Another limitation is that of not being able to change the desktop wallpaper and not being able to customize the graphics settings. Going in Settings> Personalization, you will notice that the options for changing the wallpaper are disabled, as well as others such as the one that activates the Dark mode for applications and Windows Explorer.
However, you can change the background in other ways; for example, you can right-click on an image or photo icon in a folder and then choose the option Set as your desktop wallpaper. You can also open an image in the Photos app or in another program such as Irfanview and use the menu to find the button Set as wallpaper (This type of limitation was also present in Windows 7 where any change then reported the black background, but Windows 10 does not seem to do it and still remains the chosen background). If you want to use one of the backgrounds included in Windows 10, you can use the trick seen above using the files in the folder C: Windows Web Wallpaper.
Other limitations of Windows 10 without activation are some security settings in the Windows 10 security center, do not disturb mode that cannot be activated and then access via facial recognition (Windows Hello) does not work either.
Aside from these basic limitations, the PC with Windows 10 installed not activated will continue to run forever and may also receive critical security updates. This could also change in the future, so be careful for Windows Update to download the patches every week, otherwise your PC will be at serious security risk. As for the Windows 10 system updates, they can be done manually by downloading them through the Media Creation Tool. In this regard, I refer to the guide on how to download Windows 10 updates.
Why activate Windows 10
Though Windows 10 can be used without paying for it and without activating the licensehowever, activating it is recommended if you use the PC for work or study or if it is used to save important data. The situation with Windows 10 not purchased under license can change at any time and if security updates were interrupted then it would be a big problem.
Unfortunately I have to admit that to write this article I could not reproduce the case of a PC not activated with Windows 10 for a long period and I did not find precise indications about it, so it is not said that after a year of use it can display pop-ups that ask to activate Windows 10 or that security updates will always be downloaded on time with Windows Update.
How to activate Windows 10
First of all it should be remembered that if the PC is upgraded from Windows 7 or 8 (even cracked) to Windows 10, the license is automatically validated and there will be no activation problems.
In addition, you can activate Windows 10 even without product key if you reinstall Windows 10 on a computer that had already been installed or pre-installed in the past.
Also, don’t forget, you can transfer a Windows 10 license to a new computer.
If, on the other hand, you install Windows 10 from scratch on a new PC, then you can activate Windows 10 by purchasing the license from the Microsoft Store. Going in Settings> Update and security> Activation you can click the Store link to buy Windows 10. In the Activation settings it is possible then change product key to insert a valid one.
As noted, it is possible to buy the Windows 10 license even for a few Euros on Amazon or Ebay (beware of scams, especially on Ebay).
One recommendation that I would like to make is not to look for product keys on the internet or to look for Crack for Windows 10 because, as already explained, KMS activators for Windows 10 can be dangerous and hide viruses.
In other articles, to complete the topic, we also talked about how to find the Windows Product Key and validate the authentic copy and how to activate Windows 10 and solve product key errors.
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