How to Use the Slmgr Command in Windows

Activate, remove, change, or extend a Windows license in Windows

Software Licensing Management Tool (slmgr) is a VBS file in Windows against which you can run commands to perform advanced Windows activation tasks.

You don't need to use Slmgr.vbs to activate Windows or change the product key, but you might need to if the normal activation process fails or if you get strange "Windows is not genuine" errors.

While the Slmgr.vbs file is stored in the System32 and SysWOW64 folders, commands that interface with the file need to be entered into Command Prompt.

Slmgr.vbs is used only for the Windows operating system. Ospp.vbs manages volume licensing for Microsoft Office products.

Result from Windows Script Host showing activation status after executing slmgr xpr

Slmgr Command Examples

After opening Command Prompt, enter the desired slmgr command like you see in these examples:

A regular Command Prompt can work for some of these tasks but others — ones that involve changing data and not just displaying it — require an elevated Command Prompt.

slmgr /xpr

Use this slmgr command to see if Windows is activated. You'll see a message that says Windows is activated if it is, or be given a date if it's not permanently activated, or see an error if no product key has been provided.

slmgr /dli

With this slmgr command, you’ll see part of the product key being used on your computer and an indication of whether the license is active. Other details are included here, too, like the KMS machine IP address, activation renewal interval, and other Key Management Services (KMS) information.

slmgr /dlv

This command for slmgr.vbs reveals a lot more information about your computer. It starts off with the Windows version number and follows with the activation ID, extended PID, installation ID, remaining Windows rearm and SKU count, and a few other details on top of what the /dli option shows.

slmgr /rearm

The rearm command resets activation timers, which essentially lets you use Windows without activating it by extending the trial. For example, if you're using Windows on a 30-day trial, this one-month limitation can be reset back to the beginning after entering this slmgr command.

A restart of your computer is required to complete this command.

There's a limit to how many times you can rearm the Windows activation files. Check the rearm count with the /dlv command above to see how many cycles are left.

slmgr /cpky

Use this slmgr command to remove the product key from Windows Registry. Doing this will not delete the key from your computer or un-activate Windows, but it will prevent key finder programs and malicious tools from being able to retrieve the key.

slmgr /ato

This slmgr command forces Windows to try online activation, which is useful if you attempted normal activation steps (not using Slmgr.vbs) but received a connection problem or similar error.

slmgr /ipk 12345-12345-12345-12345-12345

Change the Windows product key with this slmgr command. Replace those numbers with the real product key, but be sure to include the dashes. Restart the computer to fully apply the new key.

If the key isn't correct, you'll see a message that The Software Licensing Service reported that the product key is invalid.

slmgr /ipk mattpc Matt P@ssw0rd 12345-12345-12345-12345-12345

This command is the exact same as the slmgr /ipk command shown above but instead of executing the change product key request on the local computer, it's performed on the machine named mattpc with the Matt admin users' login credentials.

slmgr /upk

A fitting last example for the slmgr command in Windows is this one, which will uninstall the product key from the local computer. Just reboot your computer after you see the Uninstalled product key successfully message.

Slmgr Commands

The above examples are fairly basic and should be the only ones most people needs to use. However, if you require more advanced options, take a look at the slmgr command syntax and the other supported options.

slmgr [MachineName [username [password]]] [option]

Slmgr Command Options
Item Explanation
MachineName The machine to administer. Defaults to the local machine if omitted.
username The username of an administrator account on the remote machine.
password The password for username.
/ato Activate Windows license and product key against Microsoft's server.
/atp Confirmation_ID Activate the product with a user-provided Confirmation_ID
/cdns Disable DNS publishing by the KMS host.
/ckhc Disable KMS host caching.
/ckms Clear the name of KMS server used to default and port to default.
/cpky Delete the Windows product key from Windows Registry.
/cpri Set the KMS priority to low.
/dli Display the current license information with activation status and partial product key.
/dlv Display additional license information. Similar to /dli but more detailed.
/dti Display Installation ID for offline activation.
/ipk key Change the Windows product key. Replaces the current product key if present.
/ilc file Install a license file.
/rilc  Reinstall system license files.
/rearm Reset the evaluation period/licensing status and activation state of the computer. Use /rearm-app to specify an app, or /rearm-sku for a specific sku.
/skms Set the Volume Licensing KMS server and/or the port used for KMS activation.
/skhc Enable KMS host caching (enabled by default). This blocks the use of DNS priority and weight after the initial discovery of a working KMS host.
/sai interval Sets the interval in minutes for unactivated clients to attempt KMS connection.
/spri Set the KMS priority to normal (default).
/sprt port Set the port on which the KMS host listens for client activation requests (default TCP port is 1688).
/sdns Enable DNS publishing by the KMS host (default).
/upk Uninstall the currently installed Windows product key and return the license status back to a trial state.
/xpr Show the expiry date of the current license or indicate whether activation is permanent.

The MachineName option can't be used across platforms. For example, you can't manage Windows activation on a Windows 7 computer from a Windows Vista computer.