Are you noticing Activate Windows watermark on your desktop? Does it give you some minor annoyance? It may appear sometimes even if you’ve activated Windows properly. And this watermark can get in the way of what you’re working on.
Today we will explain what Windows activation is and how you to remove the “activate Windows 10” watermark.
While you install Windows 10 on your PC free of cost, doing so does not activate the operating system. Activation checks your Windows copy with Microsoft to make sure it’s a legit one. You have two best ways to activate Windows 10: with a product key, or with a digital license.
You receive a product key if you buy a Windows 10 from Microsoft or another retailer. If you purchase a PC setup, it also comes with a product key. But for users who upgraded to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 will have a digital license and they don’t need a product key.
Unactivated Windows 10 works the same as an activated one, with fewer restrictions.
You’ll see the activate Activate windows watermark in the bottom-right corner of your screen, with a message that Windows isn’t activated. You can’t use any of the items in the Personalization category. This guards you against changing the wallpaper, color, Taskbar, and other basic settings.
Other than that Windows 10 functions will run fine but you’ll still receive some system updates and don’t have to deal with any annoying popups.
Now that you understand about the Activate windows watermark let’s take a look at some of the reasons this watermark appears. Then we see how to remove the activate Windows 10 watermark.
To check why you have the Activate windows watermark on your system, go to Settings > Update & Security > Activation.
You will see the status of your computer and what you can do to remove the watermark. Let’s see the common ones. You need to contact our Windows Support Alert if any specific error code of your issue isn’t mentioned here.
If your Windows 10 is not activated because the previous version of Windows also wasn’t activated either. If the unlicensed copy of Windows 7 upgraded to Windows 10 and never entered a product key during installation.
Because of this, Windows 10 is not activated and it shows the watermark. The same thing would mostly happen if you installed a fresh copy of Windows 10 on a machine and didn’t enter a product key.
The easy way to fix this to remove the Windows 10 watermark is to enter a valid product key if you have one. Thankfully, Windows 10 accepts any valid Windows 7, Windows 8.1 key. If you still have the sticker on your old Windows 7 computer, it works to activate Windows 10.
Enter your 25-digit product key to activate Windows 10. If you enter a valid key that hasn’t been used many times, Windows 10 will activate and remove the watermark.
Another issue that happens when you make significant upgrades to your computer like replacing the motherboard or changing hard drives. Windows 10 attach your digital license to your PC’s components, if you make some major changes, it no longer recognizes your computer.
To fix this, run the Windows activation troubleshooter. This helps you to re-link your Microsoft account to your PC and activate the Windows 10 again. Go to Settings > Update & Security > Activation and click Troubleshoot. Once the troubleshooting process starts, click I changed hardware on this device recently.
If you haven’t linked your digital license to your Microsoft account this won’t work. You can contact Windows remediation service and it sorted out, but there’s no guarantee of success.
A less common problem, but mostly occurs in a business situation. If Windows is activated from a company server, and it loses contact with the respective company server, then Windows will show the Activate windows watermark after some time.
When you go to the Activation menu, you’ll see a message “We can’t activate Windows on this device because we can’t connect to your organization’s activation server.” For this, you need to reconnect your computer to your company’s network and reactivate it. You can try using a VPN to do this if you can’t then connect it physically.
If you don’t have a valid Windows product key or never connected a digital license to your Microsoft account, and you've got a difficulty with enterprise activation, the only last option left is to buy a new product key for Windows 10.
If you don’t want to pay more money then look for some alternative retailers. You may be able to find even some discounts from third-party sites, but you are responsible for the risk of buying a scam key. Follow Windows could not connect to the system event notification service tips for getting a cheap and legal Windows license.
Once you activate Windows 10 with a new key, go to the Activation menu and make sure it states that your activation is linked to your Microsoft account. If it didn’t mention this, click the Add an account button below. Sign in your Microsoft account so you can reactivate in the future if needed.
You’ll see two common methods that remove the Activate windows watermark . If you are planning to try any of these, don’t expect either one to work and fix the error.
The first tells you to run a command taskkill /F /IM explorer.exe. This command is to restart File Explorer. It’s not directly related to the watermark, so even if your watermark disappears temporarily, it will come back.
Second is a Registry edit. This one directs you to find a key name PaintDesktopVersion and ask it to set to 0. However, this value is usually set to 0 so it won’t have any effect on Activate windows watermark .
Avoid downloading random software to remove activate windows watermark or activate Windows, they could include malware. Be cautious when you're gonna try other methods that require modifying or deleting system files since it may cause problems to your system.
We’ve seen what is Windows activation, where this remove activate windows watermark comes from, and the ways to remove it. Ultimately, the best and safest way to permanently remove activate windows watermark is by activating the OS.
Some other methods give you the result for a short time and then watermark might come back after some time. If you don’t mind the lack of personalization options, working in your PC with the remove activate windows watermark is acceptable.