wikiHow to Activate Windows XP Without a Genuine Product Key

If you can't find your product key after reinstalling Windows XP, you may be locked out of using the operating system. You can bypass the activation process by editing the Windows registry and using an OEM key, though this technically violates your license agreement with Microsoft. Only use the following if you are unable to activate and you have a legally-purchased copy of Windows XP.


  1. 01 - Activate-Windows-XP-Without-a-Genuine-Product-Key-Step-1-Version-3

    Press . Win+R and type regedit

  2. 02 - Activate-Windows-XP-Without-a-Genuine-Product-Key-Step-2-Version-3

    Click "File" → "Export" and save a copy of your registry in case something goes wrong.

  3. 03 - Activate-Windows-XP-Without-a-Genuine-Product-Key-Step-3-Version-3

    Expand .HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WPAEvents.

  4. 04 - Activate-Windows-XP-Without-a-Genuine-Product-Key-Step-4-Version-3
    Double-click .OOBETimer and delete all of the values.[1]
  5. 05 - Activate-Windows-XP-Without-a-Genuine-Product-Key-Step-5-Version-3

    Type .FF D5 71 D6 8B 6A 8D 6F D5 33 93 FD and save the changes.
  6. 06 - Activate-Windows-XP-Without-a-Genuine-Product-Key-Step-6-Version-3

    Right-click the "WPAEvents" folder and click "Permissions".
  7. 07 - Activate-Windows-XP-Without-a-Genuine-Product-Key-Step-7

    Select "SYSTEM" and then check the "Deny Full Control" box.

  8. Click Start and select "Activate Windows". If you don't see the option, open the Run box and type %systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a

  9. 09 - 2016-12-24 09_11_32-How to Activate Windows XP Without a Genuine Product Key_ 14 Steps
    If you see that it says "Windows is already activated" then you have done this correctly. If not, continue following the instructions.