How To Find Windows Server Product Keys

Find Lost Product Keys in Windows Server 2012, 2008, & More

So long as Windows Server is still installed, even if it's not working but still on a network-accessible drive, you're likely in a good spot to recover your product key.

Several special tools, called key finder programs, extract the encrypted Windows Server product key that's stored in the Windows Registry. A few of these programs can even do so remotely.

Picture of the Windows logo
© Microsoft

Review our Key Finder Programs FAQ and Windows Product Keys FAQ if you're unfamiliar with product keys with Microsoft's products.

The following procedure works on Windows Server 2012, Server 2008, Server 2003, including R2 versions. These steps also work for Windows 2000 and Windows NT.

How to Find Windows Server Product Keys

The simplest solution uses a well-vetted software tool.

  1. Download Belarc Advisor. If you've ever used a system audit/information tool before then you'll be familiar with how Belarc works.

    See our List of Free Key Finder Tools to assess other options, including ones that work remotely, which Belarc does not do.

  2. Install Belarc Advisor. It's a small program and shouldn't adversely affect any other programs or services you're running on your Window Server computer.

  3. Run Belarc Advisor and wait while the analysis completes. This process might take several minutes or longer, especially if you're on a slower server.

  4. Locate the Windows Server product key in the Software Licenses area of the results that Belarc displays.

  5. Your Windows Server key will be a 25-character, alphanumeric code, in 5 sections of 5 characters, as in xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx.

    The only exception to this is the Windows NT product key, which is only 20 characters long and looks like xxxxx-xxx-xxxxxxx-xxxxx.

  6. Record your valid Windows Server product key in your existing technology audit documentation or somewhere else where you and your team won't lose it.

Additional Help Finding Windows Server Keys

If Belarc Advisor wasn't helpful, try other product key finders, assuming they list the Windows Server version you're using as a supported operating system—not all of them do.

Beyond that, contact your Microsoft sales representative, assuming you or your company have one. Microsoft may provide you a copy of your original key, or even give you a new one. If you don't have a sales rep at Microsoft, you may have luck requesting a replacement key from Microsoft directly.

While you probably don't want to hear the last idea, it's usually a foolproof one—buy a new copy of Windows Server and use that new product key.