Locating Your Software License Keys

Did you know that if you do a complete reinstall of the software on your PC, you will need the product license keys (or serial/registration information) for the software that you had paid for?

For example, products such as Microsoft Office, Nero, Windows (to name a few) require license keys in order to install the product, no matter how many times you end up installing them. I know from my experience with helping others on their PCs, when it came time to reinstall a licensed product (that they had purchased) there were occasions where they could not locate any documentation that contained the license keys or registration numbers. They either was unaware of the licensing process or simply forgot where they placed the CD or documentation that contained the key. In some instances this can result in a loss of hundreds of dollars.

In the event you cannot locate your product keys or licenses, there are several FREE solutions (listed below) that may be helpful; however, it is important that you take advantage of them prior to your PC becoming inoperable. I currently use all three of these apps, in combo, to make sure I capture everything.

The first solution is an app called LicenseCrawler. License Crawler is a portable app that requires no installation. Simply download and run the application; however, you will need admin rights to run LicenseCrawler. When you run LicenseCrawler, it literally will crawl (scan) your computer’s registry for the license keys.  LicenseCrawler will harvest and list any application product keys and other serial numbers or license keys very quickly, and supports all versions of Windows operating system from Windows 95 to Windows Vista. LicenseCrawler has the ability (and option) built-in  to scan various areas of the Windows registry to gather the information.

The second solution is ProduKey (by NirSoft)ProduKey, also a portable app, serves the same purpose as License Crawler, with the exception it scans your PC for the license keys for Microsoft based products (such as Microsoft Office and Windows).

The third solution is an application called SIW -System Information for Windows. This app, also available in a portable version, is actually a tool that gathers detailed information about your system properties and settings and displays the results in a comprehensible manner.  One of the categories which it gathers information, is a category for license keys.

The whole point to this article is to make you aware that if your PC goes south, you will need those product keys and licenses to reinstall your software. If you currently have your license keys keep them in a safe place for future reference and to prevent the keys from being stolen. If you do not have the keys, take the time to try these apps to recover what you have paid for.

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18 Responses to Locating Your Software License Keys

  1. Bill Mullins says:

    Rick,

    Your dead on the money. Without a product key it’s all over but the crying!

    Thanks for this great post, which I’ll link to in tomorrow’s TNN.

    Bill

    • Ramblinrick says:

      Bill,

      Thank you! It is all over but the crying. I can remember a friend who purchased Microsoft Office and installed it on their PC. The PC went south and required a complete reinstall. Guess what? They could not locate the MS-Office install media and no license key. In the end, just that alone, they were out several hundred dollars.

      Rick

  2. Rick,
    I agree with Bill, “dead on the money”. Excellent post on a topic we should all treat with importance.
    Best,
    Paul

  3. [...] Locating Your Software License Keys – In the event you cannot locate your product keys or licenses, there are several FREE solutions (listed below) that may be helpful; however, it is important that you take advantage of them prior to your PC becoming inoperable. [...]

  4. Cappydawg says:

    Nice article and good info. I write down all my license keys in a little black book just in case I can’t locate the original info. I will be adding these little gems to my usb key.

    • Ramblinrick says:

      Cappydawg,

      Good that you keep those license keys. You would be amazed at how many folks do not do this.

      As always, I welcome your presence and comments here.

      Rick

  5. [...] What’s On My PC Locating Your Software License Keys [...]

  6. sree says:

    Thank you very much. Very good post and very important for all computer users. Keep up the good work.

  7. Anonymous says:

    re: “The third solution is an application called SIW -System Information for Windows. This app, also available in a portable version, is actually a tool that gathers detailed information about your system properties and settings and displays the results in a comprehensible manner. One of the categories which it gathers information, is a category for license keys.”

    FYI, the SIW free version won’t save the license keys for you, only display them.

  8. [...] was not too far back that I did a post on Locating Your Software License Keys that has become quite popular. In that particular article I provided several software solutions to [...]

  9. PC Softwares says:

    Thank you very much. Very very important for all computer users. my friends are used this Software License Keys. I will be adding these little gems to my usb key. Keep up the good work.

  10. [...] have drafted articles in the past which featured various utilities to use to recover your software product keys. To name a few there [...]

  11. naush says:

    hey is there any trick to find license key in installation files:
    since< whenever we give the incorrect key : always it matches our key with original key:
    if we find its location that where it store its original key then it will rocksssz!!!!

    plz.. gv a solution

  12. Brian says:

    I am always using “KeyFinder Plus”. It’s also worth a try.

  13. Nikunj Valand says:

    how can i find the my laptop licence key in window 8? and how can i find the my laptop is genuine?

    • Ramblinrick says:

      Nikunj,

      Some manufacturers will attach the license key via a sticker on the device. An easy way to get your product key in Windows 8 is go to the bottom left hand corner of the desktop, right mouse click when the start menu button pops up, select File Explorer. After File Explorer loads, right mouse click on “This PC” and select Properties… The product key is located under “Windows Activation”.

      Rick

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