How to Bypass Windows 30 Day Activation / Product Key Requirements




This is my first Instructable!!! I'll show you how to bypass that annoying activation screen that Windows gives you after your 30 days are up. Microsoft requires you to enter a valid Product key within 30 days of installing Windows. It's a little trick to prevent piracy of their software. I'll show you how to get around that and use Windows normally, and access the Desktop and Start Bar just like you normally would, at least until you acquire a valid product key from Microsoft. Note:I Will be using Windows XP Home Edition. Any other XP version should work as well.

Whether you use this information to retrieve files after windows locks up or to access your computer without having to purchase a new CD from Windows, I suggest researching the laws concerning these types of activities before attempting them. I do not support piracy but I do believe users should have access to Windows, i.e. their personal files even in the event of an invalid/used product key.

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Step 1: Step 1 - Login to Your Account and Access Explorer

Step 1:
Turn on your computer and login to your account. You get a message telling you that you need to activate your product, Click Yes and the Activate Windows screen will load. Now press the windows key + U and Microsoft Narrator should pop up. Click OK for the little disclaimer Narrator gives you and behind it will be the Narrator option screen. In the top left of the Narrator option screen, you'll see a little computer icon, click it and a drop-down menu will appear. Click on About Narrator. On the next pop-up, click the link Microsoft Web site. You now have access to Internet Explorer!!! Whether you have an internet connection at the time or not, it doesn't matter, we aren't actually trying to get online.

Now we are going to access your desktop and Start bar. In the address bar, type: C:\WINDOWS\explorer.exe and press enter.

VOILA! You have access to your entire computer just like you normally would! Don't close Narrator though, because windows tends to realize what you're doing and reset back to the Activation screen. It's not bullet-proof, sometimes my computer will reset back to the activation screen, but you can just do the same thing again as many times as you want!

Step 2: The End!

So that's what's up.

Good Luck and feel free to post any questions.

- DuFF

Step 3: GO GREEN!!!!!

I publish this instructable in hopes that everyone will be able to free OS-deprived, hopeless computers from the junkyard. Microsoft overprices their operating systems, to a point where it's easier to just throw away an old laptop or desktop, than spend money on acquiring the license to the Windows OS. I successfully revived an old '98 that wouldn't startup by Installing a used Windows XP Home Edition OS from an old CD. Microsoft requiring every user to have their own license is ridiculous. It's simply too expensive. I support free information sharing.


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    38 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    As of 2014 xp is no longer supported. I HAVE a GENUINE product key and had to reinstall. I have called and called and only get an automated machine. Its NOT RIGHT. The tape infers that "oh , u probably bought a new car , tv etc , in the last 10yrs" so " they have supported xp for 12 , longer than any of their other products." SAY WHAT ? Who are they trying to smoosh ? Hell NO , I have had the same vehicle for 11 yrs and the TV I had since I was 20 ! Guess what ...THEY WORK!! Tell you I paid good money for my xp and I expect it to work. They claim it will get infected and not run newer programs. Like dude, I am so simple I cant use an anti virus program ! Also , I HAVE the programs I NEED and "My" pc crashed cuz of my lil grand ones , NOT the product ! This is REALLY BAD PR !


    Here is something from E-How.

    How to Bypass Windows XP SP2 Activation


    1. Click the "Start" button. Then click "Run" and type in "regedit" minus the quotes. Click "OK" and the Registry Editor will appear.
    2. Scroll through the list of entries and find "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WPAEvents." Click it once to see what is inside of the entry.
    3. Select "OOBETimer" within the entry and change the value to "FF D5 71 D6 8B 6A 8D 6F D5 33 93 FD" minus the quotes. Hit "OK" to confirm the change.
    4. Right-click "WPAEvents" and select "Permissions." Then click "System" and "Permissions for System."
    5. Click all the boxes under the "Deny" field so that they are all checked. This prevents Windows from re-activating WPA.
    6. Click "OK" and then exit Registry Editor. WPA will now be disabled. If it is not, simply repeat steps 1 to 4 to re-disable it, which Windows will not be able to reverse now that you've denied the System privileges to change the values.

    Hope this helps... I have not tried this yet.

    7 replies

    If you get stuck in the infinite activation loop like kmjruth, go into standard safe mode (without networking or command) and roll back the Oobetimer to EB 54 8C C6 0E 45 17 59 55 5B F4 30 (zeroes not O's). Then reboot and going back into safe mode type cmd in the run prompt. Then as admin and use trial the "rundll32.exe syssetup,SetOobeBnk" that romeroo mentioned. I had the same problem as kmjruth because I set the permissions in step 5 to deny as administrators...*Very important* to check both deny boxes "full control and read" **under the correct SYSTEM profile** not administrator profile in the security tab.

    Thanks Buddy ShutterBugger

    This trick worked on SP3 also .. it worked for me on XP Pro Sp3 .. None other worked as this do. Thanks a lot..


    You may not get away with this process.

    It will work perfectly, but do not make the mistake of going online for windows updates; you will end up not being able to log in (see kmjruth's post of March 15, 2011: "I did this and now when I go to login I still get the activation box...if I say yes to activate it tells me windows is already activated and brings me back to the login screen....if I say no it brings me back to the login screen")

    It happened to me and I had to reinstall


    5 years ago on Introduction

    If anyone uses the 30 day reset trick - beware - it cannot be used more than 4 times!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Instead of activating, reset your Windows XP O.S. to 30 more days to try out, also called a 30 day trial reset. First you need to load in 'safe mode' then click Start and then click 'Run.' Once the 'Run' window opens type "CMD" without the quotes. Inside the 'cmd.exe' window type, "rundll32.exe syssetup,SetOobeBnk" without the quotes (Pay attention to the capital letters) hit enter; wait about 9 secs to complete the task and restart your computer. Done.!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Dude, You Rock! My company had this old system which had been installed with new HDD and hence Windows XP Professional had been reinstalled. It was brought to my notice that windows needed activation after 30 days. Thanks to your post I could open my computer, set up the network adapter and activate windows.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Great stuff. Never thought I would ever need this but had to do this for my fathers workshop pc today. It's got a legal version of windows but was never activated. I had to get past that screen to setup network settings (to my dsl modem) so I can activate online AND yes it doesn't last very long then you get logged back out. Just work fast :)


    6 years ago on Introduction

    it works for awhile but after about 5 minutes, i can't view my desktop all I can see was my blue back ground with the activation windows and Microsoft narrator how's that?


    6 years ago on Introduction

    how to remove 30 days activation key into window xp sp3


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I did this and now when I go to login I still get the activation box...if I say yes to activate it tells me windows is already activated and brings me back to the login screen....if I say no it brings me back to the login screen.


    is there anyway to undo this?

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    hey there kmjruth,
    i have only juzt joined n' u may already have thiz one sorted out but if not...
    juz put in the original os disk u uzed 2 inztall the os, in cd-rom drive, restart n' when u get to second 'r'' for repair, clk on the 'r' and windowz wil proceed 2 reinztall the os but it doezn't elimin8 anything, it juz replacez all the filez that the os put on in the 1zt place, that will fix ur activated-not-activated dilemma.
    warm regardz