Windows 10 was almost forcefully installed on people’s computers, especially the one ones who were running licensed versions of previous Windows versions such as Windows 7, 8, and 8.1. You would at least expect this process to be easy considering the fact that you will most definitely have a hard time avoiding it, but it’s not.
Windows 10 installing, updating, and activation is a long process and you may get stuck on either of these steps if you are not sure what you are doing. Some users struggle with one step and others with the other and there are literally dozens of error codes for either of these steps. Let’s check out this Windows activation issue!
Fix Windows 10 Activation Error 0xc004f014
This particular error message appears when users want to activate their copy of Windows but, instead they receive the “We couldn‘t activate Windows. Try activating Windows again or contact Microsoft support and reference the error code. You can go to Settings for more information“ error code.
Typically it happens when a new license key is placed to upgrade Windows in OEM systems. These systems are typical due to the fact that they have a pre-installed / activated Windows 10 systems and integrated System‘s Motherboard BIOS due to the sake of security. Normally, the upgrade process should be executed, but due to the failure of Windows activation mechanism, the process cannot be run successfully, which is why the below shown error message 0xc004f014 shows up.
Fix the problem by following the instructions below!
Solution 1: Activating your Windows Operating System
Since Windows 8, users have been able to use a toll-free automated phone call in order to activate their copy of Windows if a similar error message appears on their PC such as in this scenario. This is a great way of solving all of the Windows 10 activation problems and it helped a lot of people deal with this error in particular, as long as you actually possess a working, genuine, Windows 10 product key.
- Open the Run dialog box by using the Windows Key + R key combination.
- When the Run dialog box opens, type Slui 4 and click OK to run it.
- A screen should appear asking you to choose your country or region. Make sure you choose the correct one because of the phone call later on.
- You will need to provide your Installation ID by reading it out loud during the call and you will be provided with your Confirmation ID which should be enough to activate your copy of Windows.
- You will also have to read out your Confirmation ID out loud just to double check whether you typed it in properly.
- Click on the Activate button which should resolve all issues regarding your Windows OS.
- Don’t forget to restart your computer just in case!
Solution 2: Using the Built-in Activation Troubleshooter
Windows comes prepared with plenty of troubleshooters which can effectively detect the issue and fix it automatically for you with no intervention from your side at all. It’s always advisable to run these tests as soon as possible because they may as well fix your problem.
- Open Settings by clicking on the gear icon located in the Start menu, and click/tap on the Update & security section.
- Click/tap on Activation on the left side, and navigate to Troubleshoot on the right side.
- You will not see Troubleshoot of your Windows is activated.
- Click/tap on Yes in UAC (User Account Control) prompt if it asks you do you allow the program to make changes to your computer.
- The Activation troubleshooter will now attempt to detect activation problems.
- If the troubleshooter shows a message that Windows can’t be activated on your device. Click/tap on the I changed hardware on this device recently link.If you are currently signed in to a local account and didn’t add your Microsoft account to your device, then you will now need to enter your Microsoft account (ex: email address) and password, and then click/tap on Sign in.
- Select the device (computer name) you are currently using and want to re-activate with your linked digital license, check the This is the device I’m using right now box, and click/tap on Activate.
- If you don’t see the device you are using in the list of results, make sure that you are signed in using the same Microsoft account you linked to the Windows 10 digital license on your device.
- Your Windows is now activated or not.
Solution 3: Several Reasons For Why the Activation Process May Not Work
If you get a message that states Windows can’t be activated, the following are a few reasons why it might not have worked, along with some possible solutions.
A different product key or version of Windows was used during repair
If your PC was repaired or rebuilt, it’s possible that a different version of Windows was installed. Or, if a different product key was used for your PC during repair, that key might be blocked if it was used on more PCs than allowed by the Microsoft Software License Terms.
One copy of Windows was installed on multiple PCs
If you have one copy of Windows and installed it on more than one PC, activation might not work because the product key has already been used, or it’s used on more PCs than allowed by the Microsoft Software License Terms.
If your product key is being used on more PCs than allowed by the Microsoft Software License Terms, you must buy a new product key or copy of Windows for each of your PCs to activate them.
If you have a counterfeit copy of Windows that wasn’t published and licensed by Microsoft, activation won’t work because Microsoft won’t be able to match your PC’s hardware profile with the 25-character product key.
The Microsoft How to Tell website can help you determine whether your copy of Windows is counterfeit. If it is, you must buy a new copy of Windows.
A used PC
If you bought a used PC with Windows already installed, it’s possible that the product key is being used on more PCs than allowed by the Microsoft Software License Terms.
Ask the seller you bought the used PC from for the original Windows DVD and product key. If they aren’t available, or if you tried them and still can’t activate your PC, you must buy a new product key or another copy of Windows.
If you made substantial hardware changes to your PC, such as replacing your hard drive or motherboard, Windows might no longer be activated. For info about how to activate Windows again, go to the product activation article.
Solution 4: Activate Windows With A Default Key
You can perform an update to Windows 10 Pro by using the default product key. After that key is accepted, you can easily switch to your real product key you were intending to use with your copy of Windows.
If you are using a genuine Windows 10 operating system, follow the instructions below to change your Product Key.
- Create a text file on your desktop with the generic registration key for Windows 10 Pro (it is not totally necessary, but everyone claims this to be the easiest thing to do), namely VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T, and your new Windows 10 Pro registration key.
- Once you have your text file, disable all network devices on your computer. The easiest way to do this is to right click on the Windows icon in the lower left corner of the screen and select “Network Connections” and then right click on your Ethernet connection and select “Disable”. Repeat this for your wireless connections.
- Reboot your computer.
- Once your computer is back up and logged in, open the text file from step one and select the generic registration key, then press CTRL + C (or you can right click on the selected text and select “Copy”).
- Right click on the windows icon in the lower left corner of the screen and select “System” from the menu.
- Once the system window opens, down at the bottom right, click on “Change Product Key”
- Paste the generic registration key that you copied in step 4.
- Click on the “Start Upgrade” button in the lower right corner. Wait for the upgrade process to complete (your computer will reboot a couple of times during the process).
- Once you have logged back into your computer, repeat step 5. This time, you should look near the top, and your “Windows Edition” should be “Windows 10 Pro”.
- Open the text file from step one select your new Windows 10 Pro registration Key and copy it to the clipboard like you did in step 4.
- Re-enable your network connections by following the instructions in step 2, but selecting “Enable” from the menu, instead of “Disable”.
- Repeat step 6. This time you should get a window with two buttons, one that says “Change Product Key” and the other says “Activate”. Click on the “Change Product Key” button.
- Paste your new Windows 10 Pro registration Key into the textbox, and click “Next”.
- After a minute or so, you should receive a message in the window saying the your copy of Windows 10 Pro is activated.
Solution 5: Changing Your Product Key Using Command Prompt
Command Prompt can be used in order to change your product key if Windows activation fails again and again. However, make sure you write down your product key somewhere available for you to see.
- Click on the Start menu and type in “cmd”.
- Right click on Command Prompt which should appear as the first result and select the Run as administrator option.
- At the Command Prompt, type the following command and make sure you click Enter after copying this one.
- vbs -ipk xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx (allows you to replace the current product key with the specified)
- xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx – represents your product key and each small “x” should be replaced with a number corresponding to your real product key.
- After the command is successfully executed, you can freely exit Command Prompt and restart your computer in order to apply the changes we just made.
- Restart your computer and wait for a couple of days for the product key to be applied, which should get rid of the Windows activation error code.