How to Fix the Windows Activation Error 0xC004F012

The error code 0xC004F012 pops up when the users try to activate their Windows. The error code is accompanied by the statement, ‘We can’t activate windows on this device because you don’t have a valid digital license or product key.’

Windows Activation Error 0xC004F012
Windows Activation Error 0xC004F012

This error is typically caused due to a missing or corrupt licensing repository and sometimes can also pop up after major upgrades, which makes Windows lose its activation status. Below, we have discussed several troubleshooting methods that you can try to resolve this issue. Proceed with the one that fits your situation the best.

1. Run System Scans

The first thing that we suggest you do is to rule out any corruption issues in the system that might be causing the problem. For this, we will be using the SFC and DISM tools. 

Microsoft developed both these utilities to scan the system for errors. SFC works by scanning the protected system and replacing the corrupt ones with healthier ones. On the other hand, the DISM tool is responsible for repairing a corrupt system image.

Follow, How to Run SFC Scan.

After that, you can follow, How to Run a DISM Repair in Windows.

Head over to this guide to run a system scan. In case that does not fix the issue, you can proceed with the next troubleshooting methods in this guide.

2. Rebuild Tokens

Rebuilding the Activation Token files or Token.dat files can also fix the issue at hand, as they might be corrupted or faulty.

Here is how you can try doing that as well:

  1. Launch File Explorer and navigate to the following location:

    C:\Windows\System32\SPP\Store\2.0 directory
  2. Locate the tokens.dat file and right-click on it.
  3. Choose Rename from the context menu.

    Rename the file
    Rename the file
  4. Rename the file to tokens.old.

    Renamed tokens file
    Renamed tokens file
  5. Once done, press the Win + R keys together to open Run.
  6. Type cmd in Run and click Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open Command Prompt with administrative rights.
  7. Alternatively, you can also type cmd in Windows search and click Open.
  8. Click Yes in the User Account Control prompt.
  9. Type the following command in the Command Prompt window and hit Enter to execute it:

    net start sppsvc
    Execute the mentioned command
    Execute the mentioned command
  10. Now, execute this command:

    cscript.exe slmgr.vbs /rilc
    Execute the mentioned command
    Execute the mentioned command
  11. Restart your device twice. 
  12. Upon reboot, press the Win + I keys together to open the Settings app.
  13. Choose System > Activation.

    Click on the Activation button
    Click on the Activation button
  14. Expand the Activation state option and click on Troubleshoot. Wait for the activation troubleshooter to scan the system for issues and fix them.
    Click on the Troubleshoot button
    Click on the Troubleshoot button

Hopefully, the activation error will be resolved once this is done.

3. Restart the Software Protection Service

System services and other similar components are vital in helping your system function as it is supposed to. 

For your system to finish the activation process successfully, the Software Protection service must be running properly. If it is acting up, you are likely to face the issue. Fortunately, the fix is easy; in most cases, restarting the service should fix the problem.

Here is how you can do that:

  1. Press the Win + R keys together to open Run.
  2. Type services.msc in Run to hit Enter.
  3. In the Services window, locate the Software Protection service and right-click.
  4. Choose Properties from the context menu.

    Click on the Properties button
    Click on the Properties button
  5. Click on the Stop button in the Properties dialog.
  6. Wait for a few seconds and hit Start again.

    Click on tthe Start button
    Click on tthe Start button
  7. Expand the dropdown for Startup type and choose Automatic.
  8. Click Apply > OK to save the changes.

Once done, check if the issue is resolved.

4. Use Command Prompt to Activate

Alternatively, you can also use the Command Prompt to activate Windows 11 as well.

Here is how you can try that as well:

  1. Type cmd in Windows search and click on Run as administrator.
  2. Click Yes in the User Account Prompt.
  3. Type the following command in cmd and hit Enter to execute it. Replace ‘Product key’ with your original key:

    slmgr.vbs.ipk <product key>
    Insert slmgr command in command prompt
  4. Now, execute this command:

    slmgr.vbs/ato
    slmgr.vbs/ato command in Command Prompt
    slmgr.vbs/ato command in Command Prompt
  5. Once done, check if the issue is resolved.

5. Use Your Phone to Activate

You can also call Microsoft to activate your Windows. 

Follow these steps to proceed:

  1. Press the Win + R keys together to open Run.
  2. Type Slui 4 in Run and click Enter.
  3. Expand the dropdown for Select your country or region and choose your country.

    Choose your region
    Choose your region
  4. Click Next.
  5. Now, call the toll-free number for your country and note down the confirmation ID you are given.
  6. Then, click on Enter confirmation ID.

    Click on Enter confirmation ID button
    Click on Enter confirmation ID button
  7. Type this ID in the dialog on your screen and click Activate Windows.

    Click on the Activate Windows button
    Click on the Activate Windows button

6. Clean Install Windows

If none of the methods have worked for you and you are still encountering the problem, then we suggest you move forward with a clean install

When you clean install an operating system, you erase the entire hard drive and then install the operating system again. In a clean install, an operating system is put on a brand-new computer, and an old operating system is replaced or upgraded.

Head over to this guide to proceed with a clean install. Hopefully, it will resolve the issue for you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Zainab Falak


Zainab is an actuarial science graduate with a keen interest in technology. She specializes in data analytics and learns python and R in her spare time. At Appuals, she writes about anything and everything related to Windows 8, 10 and 11.
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Expert Tip

How to Fix the Windows Activation Error 0xC004F012

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Restoro which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Restoro by clicking the Download button below.

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