Windows 11 keeps asking me to activate windows

Occasional Contributor

Greetings Everyone.


I using a MacBook Pro with the M1 chip and running Windows 11 ARM in a Parallels Desktop VM. I really like the new look of Windows 11. Since this version is an Insiders version why is it always asking me to activate it? How do I stop this version of Windows from doing that? I thought since it was an Insiders version it will not ask me to activate it because Windows 11 is not yet released to the public.


The attachment will show the activate windows reminder.


All help will be greatly appreciated.




24 Replies

Hello @Emad_Leiman,


You must activate Windows always, whether it is a Preview build or stable version. If you don't activate it, you won't be able to personalize the system and can't use all features. 


Hope this helps!

Hi Kapil,

A few days ago I contacted Microsoft and told them about the activation reminder and they told me that Windows 11 isn't supported yet, but suggested to try a Windows 10 product key. They gave me a link where I could purchase a digital one which I did. Unfortunately, that key didn't work so I had to get a refund on my purchase.

I hope I don't have to wait until Windows 11 has been released to the public before I can make it a legal installation.

At least for now I can still use Windows 11 for doing my B4A programming because B4A isn't available for MacOS. I like both operating systems. That's why I'm also using Parallels so I can get the best of both worlds. :)

I only hope that before Windows 11 goes public the OS won't tell me I can't use it any more until I activate it.

The interesting thing is that W11 installed on a machine with an activated W10 will be activated. I witnessed that on my Surface Pro and my Intel Desktop PC I got updated to W11 insider preview by joining the Windows insider program and obtaining the upgrade through Windows Update.


My assumption is that Windows on Arm in general does not work with any Windows product key obtained through public available means, as Windows on Arm is only delivered to OEMs for production and meant to be sold with the device they produce. The  keys you may obtain through MS Store ore other valid channels are meant for Windows on Intel.




Hi @tallinn1964,


Because there are many software apps that only are available in Windows, I hope they will change that in one of the updates because there are a lot of people who are using the new MacBooks with the M1 ARM chip in them. I also hope the next update of Windows 11 for ARM will allow users to enter a product key that will be accepted.




Well, never mind. I knew I had an unused W8.1 pro license lying around somewhere - and found it in my e-mail (luckily I keep those as an archive of already historic proportions) :) And that key, once obtained through the W8 promotion program, activated W11 pro in my Parallels M1 installation. Another W7 home premium key did not do the trick, an edition mismatch probably (wasn't it that W7 home premium could be upgraded to W10 pro?).


So the conclusion is that ordinary Windows license keys will work for activation. There is no architecture dependence as I thought.

Did you used ISO (unofficial) to install the Windows 11 or you have installed the Windows 10 and joined the Windows Insider program?
I have report of devices where they install using unofficial way which is ISO. If that is the case, install a Windows 10 and join Windows Insider program and then upgrade.

HI @Reza_Ameri,


Before I signed up to the programme, I had an older MacBook and had Windows 10 intel version running under Parallels. When I purchased a newer MacBook with the M1 chip, I transferred my Parallels license to the new computer but found my Windows 10 would not run on that computer so the Parallels support rep gave me a link to get Windows 10 for ARM from the insiders programme. The Windows 10 beta version they gave me had a product key to use which was different than my Intel version of Windows 10. It looks like one of the updates had a problem with product keys because that's when it kept on asking me to activate windows even though I had a product key that Parallels support gave me and it work working perfectly. It was a long time ago. I think it was an ISO file they sent me. That's how I entered the product key they gave me. Maybe that key had a limited amount of time to preview the software.

In this case, make sure report this issue through the Feedback Hub app.

HI @Reza_Ameri,


I will try that. Thanks.


Welcome, this way the Windows team would be able to investigate and fix the issue.

Eid Mubarak my friend.

Yesterday, I submitted the feedback to Microsoft and am awaiting their reply.
best response confirmed by Emad_Leiman (Occasional Contributor)

That's great, as you may know Windows 11 is still under testing and development and when you share a feedback, the Windows team would be able to investigate and check what causing the problem.
Hopefully, they will be able to suss things out with the software and give me a solution I can use to fix the issue and hopefully use my existing product key that I was using for Windows 10 from my old MacBook even though I don't have that key written down anywhere now because it's quite an old key.
wmic path SoftwareLicensingService get OA3xOriginalProductKey

CMD Admin command to find original product key.

Hi @Deleted 


I'm assuming you wanted me to type that into the command prompt. I tried it but Windows only responds "OA3xOriginalProductKey" as shown in my screen shot which is just text and not the product key.


Is there another way to get the product key?


Screenshot 2021-08-01 at 22.53.01.png

Probably not. The given command only works on PCs where the windows activation key is stored in BIOS by the OEM. If you get a blank response on an activated Windows installation that means you have what is called a "digital license" bound to your MS account. There is no way to retrieve an activation code for that kind of license - tools that do retrieve one will give you a well-known standard activation code that does not work with a new Windows install. However, if you install W11 with that MS account on the same machine you had W10 running with this license it should be activated right from the start.

Hi @tallinn1964

When I had my older MacBook I was running the Intel version of Windows 10 on a Parallels Desktop VM. My license key came from that install of Windows 10 which is many years old. When I purchased my current MacBook which is ARM based, I installed the ARM version of Windows 10 which I got from Microsoft Insiders onto the VM. That version never asked me to activate the install twice regardless of how many times the automatic updates for Windows 10 for ARM where installed. My problems only started when the automatic updates were for Windows 11 for ARM. Each of the Windows 11 updates worked for around 2 hours just like the previous Windows 10 for ARM did. While I was using each update, I got nagging reminders to activate Windows even though the software was activated. Some bug in one of the updates caused all new builds to keep nagging me to Activate windows, so I gave in and contacted Microsoft to purchase another license key. I tried to enter that key into the activate screen and it refused to accept that newly purchased product key so I got a refund. This is clearly some kink of bug if it doesn't accept any valid license key. I even called them and also sent feedback to Microsoft through the feedback process of Windows 11 but they won't get back to me which is very frustrating. They really need to fix that bug or do something that will stop those nagging reminders.

HI Emad,

I understand your frustration, not sure what caused it though Parrell's doesn't officially support Windows 11 yet.

I see, it won't accept the license, probably due to that it is a beta build. Did you get a support agent to fix?

Best to just wait or get back to Windwos 10. Are you able to go back to 10 and make sure the license is there than do it again?



PS: This is probably just a bug normal for insider preview builds
Step 4: If the troubleshooter fails to activate your copy of Windows 10, you will see a link labeled I changed hardware on this device recently.

Step 5: Click the I changed hardware on this device recently link to see a page where you need to enter your Microsoft account email address as well as password.

Step 6: You need to select your Windows 10 PC from the devices list, check the box labeled This is the device I am using right now and then click the Activate button to activate your copy of Windows 10.

Does this work if you do the troubleshooter?

Sorry, if I am unable to help, it is hard to test this out since my computer has a activated licnese.