Locating your product keys when installing Windows or software suites such as Microsoft Office can be an absolute pain. How many of us have thrown away the packaging for a piece of software, only to realise that we’ve discarded a vital code with it? Should you find yourself in this situation, however, never fear: we’ve compiled a handy how-to to solve your product-key problems. Also see: Windows 10 preview.
For more Microsoft Office-related problems, here's how to system restore your laptop but keep your copy of Office, and how to install Windows without the disc.
How to find out your Windows or Microsoft Office product key: Step One
Trying to locate a product key by yourself is a nightmare - even if you manage to hunt through your computer’s Registry to find it, the code itself is encrypted. Luckily, there are a plethora of third-party programs that will do all the legwork for you.
Our favourite of these is ProduKey, a small application that will delve into the Registry to fish out and decrypt your product key. The file size is tiny, meaning it won’t take long at all to download and run.
How to find out your Windows or Microsoft Office product key: Step Two
Once downloaded, simply run it once and it will immediately display the product keys of any Microsoft Office software up to 2013, as well as the keys of operating systems such as Windows Vista, 7 and 8. Then you can either copy the keys for future use, or export them to a HTML file for digital storage.