Retrieving Software Keys on Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Lost your software keys after upgrading to Windows 11? Don’t worry; it’s easier than you think to retrieve them. All you need is access to your computer and the command prompt, and you’ll have your keys in no time.

Step by Step Tutorial: Retrieving Software Keys on Windows 11

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to understand what we’re doing. We’re going to use the command prompt to find the software keys stored in your system’s registry. These keys are necessary for reinstalling or activating your software.

Step 1: Open Command Prompt as an Administrator

Type “cmd” in the Windows search bar and select “Run as administrator.”

Running the command prompt as an administrator gives you the permissions necessary to access the registry where the keys are stored.

Step 2: Enter the Command to Retrieve Keys

Type the following command and press Enter: wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey

This command queries the system for the original product key used for your Windows installation.

Step 3: Note Down Your Product Key

Your Windows product key will be displayed. Write it down or copy it for future use.

The key is usually a 25-character alphanumeric code that you’ll need if you ever have to reinstall Windows 11.

After completing these steps, you’ll have successfully retrieved your Windows 11 software keys. Keep them in a safe place, as they’re crucial for software installation and activation.

Tips: Retrieving Software Keys on Windows 11

  • Always run the command prompt as an administrator to avoid permission issues.
  • If the command doesn’t work, ensure you’ve typed it correctly without any typos.
  • Keep a physical copy of your software keys in a secure place.
  • Consider using a digital key manager for safekeeping.
  • If you’ve purchased your software digitally, check your email for a copy of the key.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if the command doesn’t display my key?

Ensure you’ve entered the command exactly as shown and that you’re running the command prompt as an administrator.

Can I retrieve keys for other software besides Windows?

Yes, many software keys are stored in the registry and can be retrieved using similar commands.

What should I do if my key is not readable?

Try re-entering the command or use a key retrieval tool that can decipher the key.

Is it legal to retrieve my software keys this way?

Yes, as long as you’re retrieving keys for software you’ve legally purchased, it’s perfectly legal.

What if I lost my original installation media?

As long as you have your software key, you can often download the installation files directly from the software provider’s website.


  1. Open Command Prompt as an Administrator.
  2. Enter the retrieval command.
  3. Note down your product key.


Retrieving software keys on Windows 11 is a straightforward process that can save you a lot of headaches, especially if you’re faced with the task of reinstalling your software. By using the simple steps outlined in this article, you’ll be able to quickly and efficiently retrieve your keys right from your own system. Just remember to keep your keys in a safe place for future use, and you’ll be all set.

Whether you’re a seasoned techie or a newcomer to the world of Windows, it’s always good to know how to manage your software keys. And hey, it’s a pretty useful skill to have in your digital toolbelt! If you find yourself stuck, or if you’re looking for more advanced options, there are plenty of online resources and communities that can offer help. Don’t hesitate to reach out – after all, that’s what the internet’s for, right?

So go ahead, give it a try, and take control of your software keys today!

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