How do I activate WindowsXP now that support has ended? | 4 Best Ways

windows xp activation

With the constant technological change, everything around us has been getting constant updates over the last few years. One such thing is, hands down, Microsoft windows.


That said, if you are one of the old school OG’s who still wants windows XP, this windows XP activation guide will really come in handy!


With the release of the latest windows like 7,8,10, XP wasn’t Microsoft’s top priority anymore. Thus, they ended up stopping windows XP support in 2014. This means Microsoft no longer provides security updates or any official technical support for this OS.


But if you still need Windows XP or want to learn how to activate it, here are some solutions waiting for you.


How to Bypass Windows XP Activation


Even though Windows XP support ended years ago, it is still possible to access it and use it. There are several methods of bypassing the activation and using windows XP. The only downside is that it is a downgrade, and Microsoft doesn’t provide updates for Windows XP anymore.


Here are a few ways we recommend you use:


Changing Windows XP Product Key Manually


A product key is a unique set of characters, mostly 25 digits used to activate windows and verify it isn’t being used against Microsoft’s terms and policies. We work around removing the old product key and changing it to ours for this process.




To start, hold down the Windows key and press the R button. It opens the “Run” program, which allows you to access your computer’s registry.




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A dialog box should open in front of you now. When it does, type in the exact word as follows “regedit.”




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Now, to continue, press Enter. It will guide you to the Registry Editor tool.




windows xp activation






Look around the options you have on your screen now. You need to navigate your way through a few folders to reach what we are looking for. As registry is all of your computer’s sensitive information, be careful not to delete anything.

Consider clicking on the file and exporting it as a backup just in case.




windows xp activation






Now expand the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” folder. Remember, you need to click on the + sign to the left to expand it. Make sure not to click on the folder itself. 




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Now open the software folder. From now on, every older you need to open will be inside the previous folder. For example, Software will be inside HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. It will get a bit confusing, but we will guide you through it.




windows xp activation






Scroll down and look for a folder named “Microsoft.” When you find it, click on it and expand the folder.




windows xp activation






A whole group of folders will now appear on your screen. Slowly scroll through and look for the “Windows NT” folder. Expand when you find it.




windows xp activation






Open the “Current Version” folder.




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Press the “WPAEvents” button but don’t expand this one. It is most likely you can see the contents inside listed on the right side of the Registry editor.




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You can see two files on the right side of your screen. Right-click the entry named “OOBETimer”




windows xp activation






Once you right-click on it, there should be an option to modify the file. Press modify.





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Several sequences and pairs of numbers should appear before you. Delete all of them.




windows xp activation






Type in a fresh new pair of numbers. It does not matter at all what you put in. However, you must keep the format consistent. For example, if there was a group of 4 numbers you deleted. You must put in a random group of 4 digits. Click OK to save the changes.





windows xp activation






Press “Exit” to close Registry Editor.




windows xp activation







Press Win+R again and open run. Now type in

“%systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a” into the Run window.


Remember, we use quotation marks to differentiate what you should write and what you shouldn’t. So do exclude them when writing the command.


Entering this command should open the Windows XP activation wizard. The smart way would be to copy and paste the text. Then press OK to run the command.




windows xp activation






Now, a blue dialog box should appear with several options in front of your screen. Among the three ways of activating your Windows XP choose the second one. It should say, “Yes, I want to telephone a customer service representative to activate Windows.”


To select this option, click on the check box left of it. Just in case when you click on it, the saying changes to “Windows XP is already activated,” this method won’t work for you; if this message does not appear, click next.




windows xp activation






At the bottom, you can see a button called “Change Product key” press on it. That is the activation button.




windows xp activation






When the change product key screen appears, you may attempt a few times with different keys. Just make up random keys in a similar format and enter them if you don’t have the original one. Or you can use a key finder to generate the key.


To get a key finder, google “Windows XP key finder” on your local search engine. And follow whatever it says. After entering the product key, press update.




windows xp activation






After you find a key that works and finish updating the key. Click back and check the “Activate windows over the internet” option from the checkbox.


This will help you activate it hassle-free. Remember not to select the “telephone a customer representative” option as Microsoft stopped providing customer support for Windows XP on April 8th, 2014.





windows xp activation




How to Remove Activation on Windows XP?


Like how we used a key to activate our windows XP, here, we will remove the activation process altogether. This will work similarly because you don’t have to activate windows XP if activation is not required.


The steps to achieving this goal are lengthy but straightforward. So make sure to follow our steps accordingly. Remember, this is a last resort type of process. Do it if you want to delete the activation option.


  • To start off, press win+R and type in Regedit. It will open the Registry Editor. When opened, search for “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” and expand it. Then continue onwards looking for “Software” and expand that too.


A bunch of options will appear in front of your screen, then scroll and look for “Microsoft” expand that and continue to expand “Windows NT.” It will take you to some files. From there, expand “Current Version” and click on “WPAEvents.”


  • A file named “OOBETimer” will appear on the right of your Registry Editor. Double click on it, which will proceed to open a new tab. In this window, you will see “Value Data.” Click on it, and delete everything inside the box. Remember, you have to delete everything; this is an important step.


  • Once you have deleted everything, enter the following characters FF D5 71 D6 8B 6A 8D 6F D5 33 93 FD. When entered, click “OK” right below. Right-click in the WPAEvents folder; it will open a list of options between which you need to choose “permissions.”


  • There you need to select the “SYSTEM” group from the list.


  • From the list of checkboxes, tick to fill the box named “Deny” beside the “Full Control Entry.” Proceed by clicking on “OK.”


So, this is how we remove the activation but do not worry; you still can activate windows XP. But to do so, you have to open the command box and type in msoobe/a. What this does is activate your Windows XP using the command prompt.



How to Reset Windows XP Activation Loop?


In order to start working on this, follow these steps given below:


  • First of all, you have to restart your computer, so it will be wise to load this guide on another device. You can restart your computer from the start menu or hold your power button for 10 seconds. It will turn off your computer, then press it again to start.


  • Next, as soon as the logo appears, press “F8”. It is a must to do it as soon as the logo appears for the first time. Keep pressing F8 till you see the advanced menu open. Onwards use your arrow keys to select the “Safe Mode” with the “Command Prompt” option. The advantage of starting your computer in this mode is it will bypass the Windows XP activation loop for long enough to reset the timer for your Windows XP trial.


  • Click “Enter,” you might have to wait for a bit for it to load in Safe Mode. When the command prompt appears, type “Explore.exe” and press enter. Remember, we use quotation marks to differentiate the text and what you should write. So leave it out when putting the command in.


  • After you press enter, a dialogue box will appear on your screen. It will say, “Windows is running in safe mode,” proceed by clicking yes. Once done, you should notice that your desktop interface is now accessible.


  • Press windows button+R; this will open the Run tool, which is required to complete the fix. Once the run tool dialog box pops up, type in “rundll32.exe syssetup, SetupOobeBnk” without quotation marks. This is an essential command, do not make any mistakes while typing it.


  • By typing in this command, you can reset the Windows XP trial clock to 30 days. After typing it correctly, press “OK.” Now, continue by restarting your computer; to do so, go to the startup menu, press power, and restart.


This will fix your windows XP activation loop problem. When your computer restarts, you will be able to log in like usual rather than being stuck in the activation loop.



How to Check Windows XP Activation Status?


We learned enough tips and tricks to activate our windows XP. Now let’s learn how to check if our activation process worked or not, or our windows are active or not.


  • Like most people, you can right-click on my computer icon and go into properties. Then it will open a tab with all the essential information like system info, registered to, and things about your computer’s hardware.


  • But this isn’t the complete information. It does not say whether our windows are active or not. So to check where your windows are active or not, how many days for activation you have left, or just detailed information on Software and hardware, copy these steps. Press start and then go to all “programs.”


  • From there click on “Accessories” and go to system tools. A new tab will appear in front of your screen. The left panel will show the system summary, components, internet settings, hardware resources, and software environment.


  • In comparison, the panel on the right will display information about the category you select. Select system summary from the left panel; a detailed overview will be present on the right side of your screen, including “Item and Value” columns.


  • Among other options in the “Item and value” column, there will be an option called “Activation Status.” The value inside that shows the windows’ activation status. So, in conclusion, if you own an activated copy of Windows XP, it will say activated and vice versa.



Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q’s)



Can Windows XP still be activated 2022?


Yes, as of now, it is possible. If you own a legal disk of Windows XP, you can boot it up and activate it with the key written at the back of the packet. Even if you activate it, you won’t receive any updates as Microsoft discontinued it.


Is Windows XP license-free now?


No, it is not. Windows XP never was free, neither will be. The only way to get it for free is to take the piracy path. As of now, there is no way of legally obtaining Windows XP from Microsoft.


What happens if you don’t activate Windows XP after 30 days?


In case you don’t activate your Windows XP, you will see the “Activate Now” message every hour. Moreover, every time you launch your control panel, there will be a message saying your windows version is not genuine.


Does windows slow down if not activated?


Yes, most of the windows version slows down when not activated. You will stop receiving any updates, and it will reduce your functions. But your windows won’t always become slower.


However, Windows 10 is very lenient about running un-activated. Even if you run un-activated Windows 10, you will still receive complete updates, and it won’t reduce its function like the earlier versions.





This wraps up everything about Windows XP activation. You should be able to run and do whatever you want on Windows XP if you go through our guide properly.


Even though it is pretty much a downgrade, we all love our old-school stuff. Make sure to do everything word to word, and you will be good to go!



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By Imran Chowdhury

Imran is a tech-savvy guy, love to share the hacks of technology related tips and tricks, and a certified learner from Android developer platform He has been in the industry since 2017. With his vast knowledge and hundreds of blog publications, he can solve any tech-related problem flawlessly. The main areas of expertise are android and ios app-related problems, tech-tutorial, and operating systems. He explains rocket-science-type difficult things easily so you can follow instructions and solve problems. He is currently working as the founder of Writing hack and some other blogs. His love for writing and solving others' problems sets him apart from other writers.

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