How to Remove Windows XP Pro Activation

Written by jim campbell
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How to Remove Windows XP Pro Activation
Disable the Windows license before selling your computer. (computer image by Hao Wang from

When you upgrade to the Windows XP Professional edition, the license product key saves in the Windows XP registry. To deactivate this number, you change the value in the Windows registry. When you deactivate the Windows XP Professional license, the next time Microsoft checks the validity of your operating system, an error occurs. This is beneficial for people who sell a computer and want to retain the operating system license. It forces your buyer to install a personal operating system before the computer functions.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Click the Windows XP "Start" button and select "Run." Enter "Regedit" to start the Windows XP registry editor.

  2. 2

    Navigate to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\Current Version\WPAEvents" in your Windows XP registry.

  3. 3

    Double-click the registry value labelled "OOBETimer." In the opened dialogue box, change one of the letters in the value. This deactivates the license key because it is now an invalid license.

  4. 4

    Click "OK" to save your settings. Reboot your computer for the changes in your registry to take effect.

Tips and warnings

  • After the license is deactivated, you can reactivate the operating system by clicking the Windows "Start" button, selecting "Run" and entering "%systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a" into the text box. A wizard opens prompting you for a new license key.

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