Windows 10 OEM Key Not Applicable on Windows 11

Copper Contributor

I just upgraded to windows 11, however my OEM key doesn't seem to work.


I've downloaded "ShowKeyPlus" from github and tried to retrieve my key from my windows.old folder but I get the message: OEM Key Not Applicable.


I really wish to have my windows 11 activated. I have an eligible windows 10 OEM key which is not automatically being processed. And when I try to troubleshoot in the activation menu I get the Error code: 0xC004C003


Why is windows 11 not recognizing my windows 10 OEM key? Is it because it is a windows 10 "Home"? If yes, how do I downgrade my Win 11 to home?

5 Replies
Did you upgrade to the Windows 11 through the Windows Insider program?
It shouldn't ask for the product key, I advise you to report this issue through the Feedback Hub app.

@Reza_Ameri I did a manual install using the .iso I am an insider but I had to bypass the TPM check. I do have the windows.old folder and it should still pickup my product key, but it somehow didn't. And it is giving me the error.

@Nimac91 there is no official ISO files from the Microsoft and all available ISO are fake and unofficial. I read about some tricks to get the ISO from the insider and it is not recommended. The best way would be upgrade from the Windows Insider. Also note that Microsoft temporary suspend checking the TPM for upgrade in the insider.

I understand what you are saying. I am an insider and I've always been able to run Dev builds. But Microsoft made a huge mistake by making TPM 2.0 a requirement for people who run perfectly great PC's who suddenly can't get trough the TPM check to install Win 11. So I chose to do the installation manually which is something Microsoft should expect people will do.

I am not at fault here for trying to get windows 11 run on my desktop when I've already upgraded 4 of my machines in the household. I would not want a different experience on my main desktop or anybody telling me I am not allowed to install this because my motherboard doesn't support this very specific secure boot.

Microsoft really made a mistake here imo.

Now that's not the issue, the issue is the insider build somehow doesn't support product key's in the windows.old folder and doesn't recognize my windows 10 copy is legit. I would like to know how I can get that fixed or get a win11 dev fkx it in a future update because that will be a problem for many people who can't get trough the TPM check but really want to test drive win 11.

The bypass is quite easy and it's just silly not to expect people to bypass the TPM.

I have a gaming rig with all the latest and greatest but no TPM.

Also you mention Microsoft turned off the TPM check. That's definitely not true. I can still not upgrade 1 of my gaming laptops which runs great specs but doesn't have TPM either.

I would like to hear if this is gonna be fixed soon because I can't indefinitely work on a machine which thinks I don't have a product key. And going back to windows 10 is not what I want. This is also a great way to give feedback and make sure this doesn't happen again in the future for those who upgrade manually with a disc, usb or .iso virtual machine.

I understand your concern , many users express this disagreement with new Windows 11 system requirement and it is good idea to share this through the Feedback Hub app or if the similar issue exist, then upvote it.
In regards to the issue with the product key, please share it using the Feedback Hub app too.