Do Windows 7 & Windows 10 Key Generators Really Work?

Will a Keygen For Windows 10, 7, or 8 Really Create a Valid Product Key?

Side-view of a hacker-type male using a computer
Muhammad Hafiz Mohd Zainudin / EyeEm / Getty Images

A Windows 10 or Windows 7 keygen is a program that generates unique product keys for installing one of those versions of Windows, and they can be incredibly useful.

These versions of Windows, as well as other Microsoft operating systems, all, require unique and valid product keys as a requirement during installation. In other words, you need a product key if you want to properly use Windows after you install it.

Having a free, generated product key would save money if you're faced with buying a copy of Windows 10 or Windows 8 just for the key. It would also save lots of time, assuming you had a valid key but just lost it.

Windows Key Generators Usually Work... With a Catch

Product key generators for popular versions of Windows usually work just fine to create a product key that your installation media sees as valid. However, it will not find your legal Windows product key.

No key generator for Windows is legal and, increasingly, no keygen will work to activate Windows. Just to be exceedingly clear: no product key for Windows 10, Windows 8, or Windows 7 that a keygen creates can legally be used.

There's simply no more simple way to put it.

See Is a Key Generator a Good Way to Get a Product Key? for a lot more discussion on this topic, including how keygens work and why they're illegal in most countries.

So what to do you do when you need a product key for Windows right now but realize a key generator isn't a good way to go?

Windows 10 Keygen Alternatives

Assuming you've just lost a previously purchased and valid Windows 10 key, you actually have several options.

The easiest, assuming Windows 10 is still installed, is to use a free program called a key finder tool. I keep an updated List of Free Product Key Finder Programs with lots of great choices.

Beyond that, you can sometimes request a new Windows 10 key by calling Microsoft, a process that isn't always successful but very much worth the try. If it works, you'll be very happy you tried this.

Of course, you can always purchase a new copy of Windows 10 from Microsoft but I'd leave that as your last option for obvious reasons $$.

Amazon sells copies of Windows 10 too, often times for less than Microsoft charges.

These tips all work in general for Windows 8 as well, although MS no longer sells Windows 8 directly. Here are Amazon's Windows 8 offerings if you're interested in that version of Windows instead.

Windows 7 Keygen Alternatives

Like with the Windows 10 (and Windows 8) discussion above, a Windows 7 keygen is just not a good option, especially considering that Microsoft has put in place lots of protections against Windows working properly with one of these generated product keys.

See How to Find Your Windows 7 Product Key for lots of help. Many of those same key finder tools work for Windows 7 - more, actually, because Microsoft didn't make it quite as hard to extract in this version of Windows.

Requesting a new key is an option for Windows 7 too, as is buying a copy at Amazon. Like with Windows 8, Microsoft does not sell Windows 7 themselves any longer.