How To Retrieve Windows 8 and 10 OEM Product Key From BIOS


The OEM license model has changed since Windows 8. If you buy a Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 pre-installed computer, you will no longer see a sticker on the back or top of the machine with 5×5 product key printed on it. There is only an official Windows 8.1 / 10 logo sticker instead. That’s all.

The main intention for this change by Microsoft is to limit the number of keys being compromised. But to most of the end users, it’s merely a piece of good news not needing to worry about the sticker fading or getting scratched. The downside is that they will have a little chance of seeing or saving a copy of it for future use, or as the physical approval for having a proper licensed Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 computer.

The key is now embedded in BIOS and can be retrieved automatically during the activation process in Windows 8 / 10. Theoretically, you will never be asked for a key to activate your machine. But to have the process run smoothly, you will need the right Windows 8/10 installation media that matches the one stored in BIOS. Or, you will be prompted to type in the right product key.

So is there a way of knowing what my Windows 8 or Windows 10 product key is?

If you have Windows 8 or 10 installed and activated

NirSoft’s ProduKey is your friend. It’s a free portable tool that reveals the keys not only to your installed Windows operating system but also other installed software as well, such as MS Office.

But if not

For example, how can I retrieve the key from a downgraded machine that runs Windows 7?

That’s where RWEverything  (Read, Write Everything) comes to the rescue. Let me quickly show you how:

First of all, download the proper version from its Download page. There is also a portable version available that lets you run and forget it.

Extract the program from the zipped file, and double-click the RW.exe executable file to launch the program.

Then, click ACPI icon from the top toolbar, and MSDM table in ACPI table. And you will find your BIOS embedded key right in the Data row.

RWEverything to extrieve windows 8 key from BIOS1 - How To Retrieve Windows 8 and 10 OEM Product Key From BIOS

I’ve tested it on several Windows 8 pre-installed machine and have confirmed that the information retrieved within the tool is accurate.

/Update on Dec 19, 2018/

There is an easy way that you can use to retrieve the embedded product key info right from a command line. Open a Command Prompt window and run the following command:

wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey

It returns the product key if it finds one in BIOS, or returns nothing if not.

/Update on June 28, 2018/

Apparently, the ProductKey tool from NirSoft has a new version, v1.93, that pulls the product key from BIOS as well. Run the tool and look for the line called Windows (BIOS OEM Key).

2018 06 28 11 36 42 ProduKey - How To Retrieve Windows 8 and 10 OEM Product Key From BIOS

/Update on Feb. 2, 2015/

NirSoft released a new tool called FirmwareTableView that can also retrieve embedded Windows 8 product key from BIOS. Check it out.

FirmwareTablesView - How To Retrieve Windows 8 and 10 OEM Product Key From BIOS


  1. this is excellent – exactly what I needed!
    Had installed win8 from special ISO with bios key bypass on a computer with win8 key embedded in bios 🙂
    Aside from that – it’s also good to check if keys match in case of problems.

    • Hi,
      I bought a new Dell Inspiron with a Bios Win 8 product key. the problem is that for some reason, this key is blocked. Dell gave me a new key which works but every 15 mins or so, the msg to activate windows comes up. When I checked in system, I can see that Windows somehow goes back to the blocked bios key. I have to activate it every 15 mins!! How can I solve this? Can I replace the blocked bios key with the new key I have which works?

      • you might need to uninstall your blocked key first.

        Click on the Start Button and type: CMD (into the ‘Search programs and files’ field in the Start Menu)
        The Start Menu will show ‘CMD.exe’,
        Right-click the CMD.exe file and select Run As Administrator.
        In the CMD window, type: slmgr -upk (this will uninstall your windows key.
        To input your new windows key type in slmgr -ipk

        • whoa for some reason that last direction came out all funky.. the last directions should read like so:
          To input your new windows key type in slmgr -ipk (insert key here without dashes) and then press enter… make sure when you go to uninstall the product key that you also press enter after that prompt

      • No the MSDM tab is not there either on mine and i’m using Windows 7 64bit. Does this program ONLY work for Windows 8?? Because the article above says it works for windows 7. I have used several different versions of this program and can not seem to get that damn MSDM tab to show up. The only tabs I have after clicking on the ACPI tab are (in this order) RSDP, XSDT, RSDT, FACP, HPET, MCFG, APIC, BOOT, OSFR, SLIC, SSDT, SSDT, SSDT, FACS, and DSDT.

          • It is embedded in the Bios cause it is a Dell Studio. I called Dell and they said that it is embedded.They said the only way to get the product key is through them. Apparently they have all the product keys for every laptop sold but they wont give it to me because of a contract Dell has with Microsoft that wont allow them to give out the product keys unless I pay 150 bucks. Its bullshit..

          • I can confirm that this program does not show the DELL bios keys. I’ve got a WIndows 8 based DELL and there is no MSDM key listed. Maybe it’s either somewhere else or something?

  2. The RW utility is just what I’ve been looking for… Works a treat on retrieving OEM preinstalled Win8 product keys from BIOS in both Win7 and Win8. Thank you for sharing.

  3. I have windows 7 home premium on my dell 64 bit operating system. I downloaded the version and it is not showing the MSDM tab??? The only tabs it shows are (in this order) RSDP, XSDT, RSDT, FACP, HPET, MCFG, APIC, BOOT, OSFR, SLIC, SSDT, SSDT, SSDT, FACS, and DSDT. Notice that mine displays the “SSDT” 3 times. I notice in the picture provided above that where my second SSDT is displayed is where the MSDM should be… is this because i am using it on a windows 7 and not windows 8? The article above says that it can be used for windows 7?

  4. OMG, I LOVE YOU! I have been trying to find a way to access my embedded key so I could activate Windows 8.1 RTM (which uses the same keys as Windows 8). KUDOS!!!!!!

  5. Thank you, I had been looking everywhere for this! I was on this all day, I even called Acer support to try to get help (yeah that was a bad idea, the guy didn’t even know the product key was embedded in the bios and was trying to sell me a new windows 8)

  6. You, sir, are my bloody hero. Upgraded to 8.1 and the installed product key wouldn’t allow activation for some bloody reason. Extracted the UEFI key and used that instead, and it activated instantly. Cheers!

  7. Just wanted to say a massive thank you for this blog as I spent nearly two hours on the phone arguing with Samsung support about getting a recovery disc as I had my HDD upgraded to an SSD and could not work out how to reinstall Windows 8.

    This blog was the final piece in the puzzle to allow me to reinstall Windows 8 OEM on completely clean HDD with a legitimately downloaded upgrade iso ie I haven’t broken the law in any way to reinstall the software I had already paid for.

    Samsung told me that it would cost £90 to get my laptop reimaged or a recovery disc sent out to me and said it would be illegal for me to try to do it any other way.

    I am now going to take great pleasure in telephoning Samsung on Monday and making a very lengthy complaint to their customer support department about how useless their technical staff are.
    Not that it will make a blind bit of difference

    • Hey! I’m on the verge of replacing my slow-as-hell 5400rpm hd with an SSD, in a samsung laptop. In preparation I tried asking some information about how to go about it, at samsung support, but I only got useless copy paste answers. nothing concrete. Could you maybe give a short rundown as to how you did it? I’ve been toying around with the samsung recovery tool by making a bootable backup on an external USB-disk but I have my doubts about whether that will work or not.

  8. Very handy. BTW I have found solution for Linux system (if you don`t have any Windows installed already). Just install acpidump utility, run as root #acpidump >> acpidump.txt” and search in acpidump.txt file for string “MSDM” – below it you find your Win Key.

  9. ProduKey didn’t work for me, but WpKey didn’t the trick in a snap! You sir, have just performed an epic act of heroism by providing a link to the handy tool! You’ve just saved my life!!!

  10. While RWEverything crashed WPKey worked like a charm. Now i know my serial key.

    Thank you a million times and than a million more.

    I just found this site but i will add it to my Feedly RSS and i will remove adblock from blocking ads!

    Again THANKS!

  11. I’ve got a Dell XPS 8500 that came with 64 Bit Windows 8 installed, but now upgraded to Windows 8.1. I ran Nirsoft’s Produkey and it retrieved the information for me.

    But, because it had been upgraded to Win 8.1 since I got it, I also tried RwEverything, and found the information (as shown how to do in the article). I thought that the upgrade to Windows 8.1 (installed from the Microsoft Store), may have changed the key, and wanted to get the original key in case a reinstall was ever needed (since there is no COA sticker on an OEM setup like this).

    Interestingly the keys match (same key found in the MSDM table using RwEverthing as Nirsoft Produkey reported for Win 8.1). I guess the Product ID may have changed though, even if the Product Key didn’t.

    I want to reinstall Win 8 using an MBR (legacy) boot setup and drive format, since it shipped with UEFI using GPT; and wanted to make sure I had a product keep I could use if needed (in case the Dell reinstall disk won’t work with a Legacy/MBR setup and I need to try a different disk instead).

    That’s because I want to install some older Linux distros in a mult-boot config with it, and some of them won’t work with a UEFI boot setup (although many newer linux distros will support UEFI now). Fun.

    Anyway, both methods for retrieving the product key work on this Dell XPS 8500 (running BIOS version A12, upgraded from the original A09 BIOS firmware that it shipped with).

  12. Thanks for the update on the website Kent. Just as some feed back i went ahead and tried both of those new key finders you posted. However, for my Dell Studio 64 bit Windows 7, it is not extracting my original product key from my bios… only the product key that I am using right now which is a key that is widely used on pirated versions haha. But it works for now… until i come across something that can retrieve my original out of my BIOS. I’ll keep searching out there…

    • Thanks for the comment, Reece. It’s interesting to know. To me, RWEverything worked over 90% of the times while the second tool fills in the gap for the rest. It seems to be always working to me.

      Is your Dell Studio a Windows 8 machine that doesn’t have a product key sticky label on your computer?

  13. how do i know which version of version windows 8.1 i must install when i get my key? samples below

    Windows 8.1 (Core) x64
    Windows 8.1 (Core) N x64
    Windows 8.1 (Core) Single Language x64
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64
    Windows 8.1 Pro N x64
    Windows 8.1 ProWMC x64
    Windows 8.1 Enterprise x64

    • first of all, the key you extracted only works for OEM version of media. It will not work on volume licensed copy.

      second, you only need to determine whether it’s for 8.1 or 8.1 pro. Enterprise version doesn’t need a key to install. And you will find which version to use right from the computer. The stick on the computer will tell you which version of Windows 8 is licensed.

  14. May not have worked for Dell machines, but works a treat on Toshiba! You squire, are a bloody genius! Now I just have to figure out if there’s an easier way to go back to the bog standard Windows 8 from the Windows 8 Pro with media center – and so far it looks like I’m in for a long evening of factory refreshing (GRRRR)

  15. All, I have a Dell 9010 AIO. I had to have the mobo replaced, wiped hdd, 1st,:

    -Ran OS Win8Pro disk that the AIO came with but the disk asked me for a key @ install
    -Used one of those temp keys for Win8 pro
    -Ran all the tools, none worked, got errors or application crashes
    -Dell service ticket opened, they have to replace mobo again

    Probably the mobo installed on this system did not match for the disk OS version or something? I advise, get your Win8 keys before any modifications!! Guh

  16. how to find the win 8 product key after instlling the window 7 with changing uefi mode to legacy mode on preinstalled window8

  17. now i want to install window 8 but when i boot with win8 usb it show error product key not found instead of showing entering box of product key

  18. Just tried a couple of these.
    I am at the Win8 “Install now” screen using Dell Recovery media.
    I pressed Shift-F10 and tried to run WpKey and it won’t run from there.
    I then tried RWEverything (64 bit) and, voila!, the key appeared!

    Interestingly, it also states “Win09” in the MSMD table.
    The system was originally W8 and was updated to W10

  19. Thanks, just had this problem with my ASUS tablet that I needed to activate windows again (someone probably reinstalled windows not with the recovery), and this helped me find the key using RWE.
    Glad I checked before sending it to ASUS’s labs…

  20. I replaced my new laptop’s HDD with an SSD that had an existing Win10 install. It quickly determined that something changed, so I used RWEverything to get my new laptop’s OEM key & reactivated with it. Worked great! Thanks!

  21. Hi Sir

    I have purchase refurbishes pc with genuine windoes 10 home, my bad luck due to some reason i have degraded the windows 10 to windows 7 but my pc was not giving me the performance so if i again install the windows 10 so how can i get back my genuine windows key or any solution to become my windoes 10 again genuine, as there is product number i have, and have a picture from my pc included product id (AAOEM)

    Warranty is also expired at 1 october.

    Pleas help!

  22. I have dell inpiron 5110 lap top. It had win 7. I upgraded it with free win 10. Win 10 worked fine and received updates. However, in july 16, it become corrupted. So I have to install win 8. win 8 key is expiring in Feb 16. I want to install free win 10. Please help. How can I retrieve my earlier win 10 product key.

  23. typed this word for word in the command prompt and got me exactly what I needed. None of this extra non-sense to read. Straight to the point.

    wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey

  24. MSDM key retrieved by this method didn’t work, yet when booting in UEFI mode the key is read automatically from the MSDM ACPI table and there is no need for typing it in.

  25. I love this article! I downloaded that tiny tool from NeoSmart and it worked instantly with zero thinking or button pressing. Nifty, thanks! So I’m curious what OS it’s for! I don’t know what edition of Windows10 this laptop came with, other that it’s a Windows 10 Dell Edition of Windows. Dell Support lets me download a recovery multi-OS image for a flashdrive but it doesn’t say what OS this PC shipped with. I don’t think Microsoft ever made a special series of keys just for Dell, so this key must be for either Home or Pro. Is there some way to know what OS this key is for? I tried entering it into my laptop (which uses a clean install of windows10 pro) and it simply said it’s not the right version of Windows.

  26. Windows 10 refused to pick up the license automatically from my Dell All-in-One (which shipped with Windows 8) but the Windows OEM Product Key tool from NeoSmart worked perfectly… ran first time, and produced a key that Windows 10 was happy with. Thanks!

    • I don’t think there are any other ways around it. But you can start Windows 10 installation, if your computer has a key embedded in BIOS Windows 10 installation will pick it up automatically. If not, you still get a trial version of Windows in which you can use the methods mentioned in the post to retrieve the key from BIOS.

  27. it works, just using command line, run CMD as administrator, paste above command line & there you go…..

    Thanks…. very useful

  28. windows 8.1 build 9600 UEFI usando Bom trabalho! chave do UEFI como você fez isso? o meu é o windows 8.1 Single Language ********-VT67Q
    Windows ID -AAOEM NOVOS 2019

  29. hi
    i see several options when testing the key, in PIC Checker.
    Can you please explain what all of the mean?

    My key checks out on some, but not all. for windows 10 pro.

  30. I want to run RWEverything (rw.exe) from windows command prompt, to write PCIe config place, can you provide me the command or user guide.

  31. The RW utility is just what I’ve been looking for… Works a treat on retrieving OEM preinstalled Win8 product keys from BIOS in both Win7 and Win8. Thank you for sharing.


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