What Happens if I Don’t Activate Windows 10?

Launched in 2015, Windows 10 is one of the finest user interface platforms that offer quality and efficiency in operations. With the ease of access and friendly application, the interface is growing at an incredible pace.

But still, there is one that the user faces, “What happens if you don’t activate Windows 10?” The product key is the primary need to activate Windows 10.

Still, the user continues to use the unlicensed version of Windows 10 as it does not cause serious issues.

Let us see What happens if I don’t activate windows 10 and the limitations that the user might face?

Unactivated Windows 10 Limitations

If you wonder what happens if I don’t activate windows 10 and the limitations that the user might need to face, then here are a few limitations that the user might face. Although the repercussions are almost non-existent as the user will still be able to use the features of Windows 10 but with a few restrictions.

This is not going to hamper the working of the user, but still, the fundamental limitations of using the unactivated Windows 10 are:

Windows 10 Will Display The “Activate Windows” Watermark

activate windows watermark

One will face a significant inconvenience is the “activate Windows watermark” at the lower right corner of the screen. It is intimating the user to go to settings to get a digital license and get the activated Windows 10. Although this watermark is not problematic, this is still one of the limitations as this is not visually appealing.

Windows 10 Will Display The Activation Notice

windows 10 not activated notice

The second one will be a notice stating, “Windows is not activated. Activate windows now.” The said notification is displayed on the PC until the genuine Windows 10 is not activated. The activation notice on the screen will remain until Windows 10 is activated using an activation key. The annoying messages sent by Windows to activate the license are one of the limitations as it causes inconvenience while working and playing games.

Windows 10 Will Not Permit To Personalize The PC

activate windows before you can personalize

The personalization settings on Windows would be restricted. The message that will be displayed while the user tries to personalize is, “You need to activate Windows before you can personalize Your PC.” It means the system will not allow the user to change the wallpaper, background screen, lock screen, and themes. Additionally, the user will also be unable to modify the Taskbar, sound, and other related display features.

Windows 10 PC Will Be Vulnerable to Virus Attacks

The message displayed on the screen says, “Running a non-genuine copy of Windows can put you at greater risk for viruses and other security threats.” Although installing the anti-virus in the system can safeguard the user from the virus attack problem, there is still a little vulnerability. In case of attack, the chances of losing some of the vital information increases, hampering the overall performance.

Windows 10 Not Activated Can Cause Legal Issues

Microsoft is unlikely to prosecute as using the unactivated version of Windows 10 is breaking the law. Although, there are no such instances where the situation occurred as the company prefers to work with the user to ensure the activated copies of Windows 10 on the PC are installed.

Ways To Activate Windows 10

Once you know What happens if you don’t activate Windows 10, the next thing to know is how to activate Windows 10. Although there are various ways to activate Windows 10, the simplest and quickest methods are:

Using the Windows 10 Activation Panel

This can be applied when the user has already downloaded Windows 10 and is not active yet.

The steps to be followed are:

  • Go to Settings> Update and security> Activation> Click on Change product key> Enter Product key click Next> Activate.

And If you don’t have an activation/product key then you purchase from the official website whether you’re using Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro version of windows 10 choose one of them which are you installed on your computer/laptop. We recommend going with the pro version.

Compare Windows 10 Home vs. Pro
  • Purchase the Windows license
  • Make payment with the help of a credit card or PayPal account
  • User will receive an e-mail with the product key
  • Use it to activate

Buying a Windows 10 License Online

This is another way where the user can buy the activation key online from different platforms. There are various platforms like Amazon, BestBuy, and others that offer the facility to buy Windows 10 licenses and activate the genuine version of Windows 10.

Activate Windows 10 by Phone

It is a straightforward process that one can complete by following the steps below:

  • Press Windows key + R> Type slui 4 Press Ok
  • The phone activation wizard will be displayed.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to get the key and activate Windows 10.


While using the Microsoft Windows 10 unlicensed copy, the user might not face any kind of difficulty or issue. However, if the question of What happens if you don’t activate Windows 10 arises, then the first thing to understand is that the problems are just locked personalization capabilities and some annoying messages. However, the issues are not complicated, but it is still better to use the licensed version of Windows 10 for accessing the full features.

See Also

4 thoughts on “What Happens if I Don’t Activate Windows 10?”

Leave a Comment