How to Change the Product Key in Windows XP Pro SP3

Written by david somerset
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How to Change the Product Key in Windows XP Pro SP3
(Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

While the average Windows XP SP3 user will never need to make a change to their product key, those who have been victimised by software pirates or for some other reason have found themselves with an invalid key will have to do so. The product key proves to Microsoft's update services that you have a genuine copy of the program and is what defines the license you have to use the software. Microsoft has provided a tool for XP users who need to change their product key from an invalid key to a genuine one.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Go to Microsoft's Windows Product Key Update Tool (see References).

  2. 2

    Read the details about what the program will share with Microsoft when it updates your product key. Check the box labelled "I understand this tool will send the above information to Microsoft" and press "Download."

  3. 3

    Choose "Run" on the "File Download" dialogue box rather than saving the file to your hard drive.

  4. 4

    Enter the product key that you are changing to when prompted to do so. Press "Next" to allow the tool to complete the update process.

  5. 5

    Click "Finish" when the update is done; your system will restart automatically to complete the process.

Tips and warnings

  • Remember to activate Windows with your new product key after you have changed it.

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