Once you have installed Windows 10, the next important step is to activate it. You must activate your new Windows 10 within 30 days of installation. This process helps verify that the version of Windows on your PC is genuine and is not on more computers than allowed.

The activation process connects your unique product key with your Lenovo computer. You can activate Windows 10 a couple of ways:

  • Using the 25-character product key that was in the confirmation email you received after purchasing Windows or in the box Windows came in, or
  • During the upgrade process from Windows 7 (SP1) or 8.1, your computer will automatically activate Windows 10. No further action is required.

how to activate Windows 10

What to know about activating Windows 10

  • Your currently installed Windows OS (7 or 8.1) must be a genuine, activated copy. If it is not genuine, then you will see a prompt to enter a product key for Windows 10.
  • You will be prompted to enter a product key when performing a clean install of Windows 10 (not upgrading from a previous OS).
  • You will not be prompted to enter a Windows 10 product key if you upgraded on a previously activated Lenovo PC, a genuine Windows 7 or 8.1 license, or a Windows 10 Preview build. Windows 10 will automatically activate on these upgrade types. If you are still asked to enter a product key, select “Do this later.” Windows 10 should activate automatically in a few days.

In the Settings, you can check if Windows 10 is activated. From the Start button, select Settings > Update & security > Activation. If necessary, you can buy a different edition of Windows 10 in the Windows Store.

According to Microsoft, if you’ve formatted or replaced your hard drive, you won’t be able to use a product key to update to Windows 10. You’ll need to install your previous version of Windows and then reinstall Windows 10.

To get help with common activation errors, visit the Windows Support Center on the Lenovo Support website